There aren't enough ways to enjoy cranberries during the holiday season. Why must these awesome berries be relinquished to jellies, relishes, and cranberry juice cocktail *Shudder*? Well no more now when you feel parched you can reach for an amazing glass of cranberry soda. Much like a sip of dandelion wine can transport you to summers past cranberry soda can transport you to winters past.
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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
- 2 Navel oranges
- 2 Bags of cranberries (Approximately 680 grams)
- 4 Cups Sugar (800 grams)
- 4 Cups Water (0.95 liters) for boiling
- More water for soda
Step 2: Tools
- Medium sized pot
- Fine mesh strainer
- Appropriately sized mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Cutting Board
- Storage jar for candied cranberries
- Stove top(not pictured)
Step 3: Wash the Fruit
Before we can get to capturing the essence of cranberries we must wash the cranberries and oranges. So wash the oranges and dump the cranberries into the strainer to give them a good hosing down.
Step 4: Cut the Oranges
Next using the knife and cutting board cut each of the oranges into 8 even pieces. I do this by cutting the orange in half and then cutting each half into quarters. Once you have the oranges cut up drop them in the pot and grab your berries.
Step 5: Add the Rest of the Ingredients.
Now that you have a lovely pot of no doubt perfect orange wedges it is time to add the rest of the ingredients. Grab your strainer full of berries and dump them in. Next add the 4 cups (800g) of sugar.(It looks like fresh snow). Finally add the water. Now lets head to the stove.
Step 6: Simmer Down Now.
Place the pot on the stove on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering set a timer for 15 minutes and if you are like me wander off. When the ducks start quacking or whatever noise your timer makes goes off stir the mixture and reset the timer. Repeat these steps till your white part of the orange rinds turns a translucent pink(see photo for reference). This took me about 45 minutes. Once that happens squish the oranges with your stirring spoon and get your strainer prepped for the next step.
Step 7: Strain and Kill Some Time.
Set the stainer above your mixing bowl so you can pour your hot cranberry goo over it and have the fluids drain. Once the stainer is set up carefully pour the contents of the pot into the strainer. The cranberry syrup will drip down into the mixing bowl below. This is going to take a while like long enough for a nap a while. So I napped.
Step 8: Wake Up It Is Soda Time...Well Almost
After a refreshing my self with a nap I came back to stained cranberry goo and a bowl full of tasty syrup. Using the funnel pour the syrup into the empty two liter bottle. Then add water to the soda bottle until the fluid level is at about the curve of the bottle top. I included a picture just so you can see what I mean. Next place your soda bottle in the fridge/freezer depending on how long you want the cooling step to take. I chose freezer.
Step 9: CARBONATE DUN DUN DUN!
The time has come to carbonate the soda. You have almost made it to a fizzy tasty delight. To carbonate the soda attach the adapter cap to the soda bottle and squeeze out the air from the bottle. Then hook up the carbonator to the bottle and bring the soda bottle to 30 psi of carbon dioxide. Disconnect the carbonator and Shake shake shake. As you shake the bottle will start to feel squishy like before it was pressurized as the carbon dioxide gets absorbed into the soda. Much like the stirring it is time to repeat. Reconnect the bottle to the carbonator and shake. I repeat this step till no more carbon dioxide is absorbed or you reach your desired amount of fizz.
Step 10: Pour and Enjoy!
Pour yourself and your lovely photographer(VHX) a drink! My family added an orange and white tea liqueur to make an adult cordial.
Step 11: Epilogue
Well I hope you enjoyed your beverage as much as I did. Now you may have noticed your stainer is full of candied cranberries. Now you may think well I just toss this out. Not so fast there are many things you can spread or spoon it onto. For example the cheese cake your photographer made. You can store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze it for a tasty treat latter in the year.