Anton Nocito, the owner of Greenpoint’s all-natural P&H Soda Co. is the author of the new book Make Your Own Soda—which launches tonight at Powerhouse Arena at 7pm. Nocito will be signing copies of the book and demonstrating how to make a Toasted Almond and Candy Cap Mushroom Egg Cream. He calls it “my most unconventional recipe” and says it was inspired by a toasted almond and candy cap mushroom budino at San Francisco’s Flour + Water. Before heading to Dumbo tonight, he was nice enough to share a recipe for homemade strawberry soda with us. It’s great for springtime (and isn’t one of the 70 syrup recipes included in the collection).
Most of the recipes in Make Your Own Soda–like lemongrass, hibiscus and pineapple sodas or drinks like the Chocolate Egg Cream and Hot Apple Spice Cup–are less exotic. “I prefer simple and straightforward,” Nocito says. “I learned early on in my cooking career that the best chefs are the ones who know how to coax the most flavor out of one ingredient and then support it with a couple of others.”
To start making soda, Nocito says you need “basically a pot and some seltzer. You don’t have to go nuts buying things.” If you’ve also got a strainer and a little patience–you have to let the strawberries macerate for a day – you can make this strawberry soda.
A quart of strawberries. Nocito suggests getting them at the greenmarket: “The better the flavor of the fruit, the better the soda will be.”
1 + ½ cups of sugar
Juice from a half lime
A few sprigs of tarragon
1. Wash the strawberries, remove the tops and cut them in half
2. Put the strawberries in a bowl and add 1 + ½ cups of sugar, or as much as you like to taste, and the juice from a half lime
3. Toss in a few sprigs of tarragon
4. Mix it around and let it all macerate for a day
5. Remove the strawberries and strain all of the liquid that has come out of them through a small strainer, pushing out as much liquid as you can
6. Set aside the solids to put on some vanilla ice cream later for dessert
7. Take the syrup that you have and mix it to taste in a glass with ice and seltzer
8. Garnish with a wedge of lime and maybe a whole strawberry