Healthy Homemade Sodas

Image: Romulo Yanes

Mayor Bloomberg recently announced that he plans on banning super-sized sugary beverages from New York City’s restaurants and food vendors. While it’s not without controversy, we can appreciate measures intended to create a healthier city. Indeed, Bloomberg’s ban on smoking in public places and trans fats from restaurants has set the bar high for many other major cities. The good news is that banning soda doesn’t necessarily mean limiting yourself to H2O for life, although there’s nothing wrong with that. For special treats, there are plenty of homemade sodas that can be made while skipping the sugar and the chemicals. And they’re simple and fun to make, even for kids. Here’s a few recipes to try at home from Cherry-Vanilla to classic Ginger.

Cherry-Vanilla Soda

3 cups 100% unsweetened black cherry juice

1 vanilla bean (about 6 inches long)

Seltzer or soda water

Simmer the black cherry juice and vanilla bean in a medium-size saucepan for 35 to 40 minutes. Chill the remaining syrup in the fridge. Pour 1/4 cup into a tall glass with ice and fill to top with soda water.

Serves 4


Ginger Beer

Two tablespoons ginger

1 lemon


Soda Water

Grate the ginger very finely and add to a jar or large glass. Squeeze a lemon on top and let it soak for an hour. Add a few drops of stevia, a natural, pretty harmless sweetener. Add soda water and ice and drink up.

Serves 1


Mashed Berry Bliss

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup raspberries


Soda Water

Lightly crush the berries with a fork and put at the bottom of a large pitcher. Fill with soda water and refrigerate for one hour. Add stevia to taste.

Serves 4