I have many memories as a kid, drinking an ice cold vanilla cream soda on a hot day. Sometimes it was straight from the bottle, other times it was poured over a few scoops of vanilla ice cream to create a float. This comfort flavor was the base for this more modern style soda recipe. I wanted to infuse the delicate floral flavors of vanilla beans with a touch of spicy ginger, the warming affects of chai tea (Cinnamon, Assam and Darjeeling black tea, orange peel, ginger, coriander, cardamom seed, star anise, cloves and black pepper), with the addition of Fall mulling spices (Saigon cinnamon, allspice, Ceylon and Madagascar cloves, blade mace and inner cardamom seeds) and round it out with orange peel, both bitter and sweet versions and how they all play together with vanilla beans.
These flavors all infused together into this elixir. Once the Fall Spiced Syrup is made, it can be combined into a 5 gallon corny keg and made into a Fall Spiced Cream Soda to be served on draft. But that is just the beginning. The syrup can be instead added to a soda syphon and served in a small format. Or the Fall Spice Syrup can be used to flavor all ready carbonated water (club soda | mineral water) to make a quick soda. The syrup be used over pancakes | waffles or poured over ice cream as a sauce. Try mixing an ounce of the Fall Spice Syrup into a craft cocktail with a base of Bourbon or Rum, adding a few ounces of tangerine | blood orange | orange juice to make delicious beer alternative. The possibilities are endless. What will you create with this recipe?
Makes 12 cups of Fall Spiced Syrup, making 5 gallons of craft soda, serving 54 twelve ounce glasses of soda.
Fall Spiced Cream Soda
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A Vanilla Cream Soda with a Fall Flavored Twist. Chai tea, mulling spices, orange peel, ginger and combined to make a syrup that can be used for many different applications.
In a pot with a 2 gallon capacity, combine the water, honey, sugar, mulling spices, chai tea, crystalized ginger, orange peel (both bitter and sweet), vanilla beans that have been split and salt. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Watch and adjust the heat once the liquid is boiling, to make sure that there is no boil over. To extract out as much flavor as possible from all the ingredients, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid, letting the syrup infuse for an hour, as it cools.
This syrup can be used to make a 5 gallon batch of soda or smaller servings (see below). The syrup can also be canned and used for a later date, given away as a gift or used as a sauce | elixir.
To can the Fall Spice Syrup, strain out the loose spices and tea leaves through a fine strainer and pour into a clean pot. Bring the syrup back to a boil and then carefully pour into two 1 quart mason jars (or four pint jars for smaller servings) that have first been clean and sterilized in boiling water for 10 minutes. Cover with new lids and seal. As the syrup cools, it will pop, creating a seal, with lid having a concave dome to its top. The finished syrup can be labeled and stored in your pantry.
To Make 5 Gallons of Draft Soda:
Add the strained Fall Spiced Syrup to a clean and sanitized 5 gallon corny keg. Add 4 gallons of cold water and seal with its lid, adjusting to fit tight and properly. Shake the keg well and attach the CO2 connector to the kegs out post to infuse the gas in at the bottom of the keg. Turn the regulator to 40 PSI and continue to shake the keg for 5 minutes. Place the keg into your cold storage and chill for at least 36 hours to fully carbonate.
To Make a Soda Syphon Size Batch of Fall Spiced Cream Soda:
To make a smaller batch of soda, you can use a soda syphon and the Fall Spice Syrup. Add 1/2 - 2/3 cup of Fall Spiced syrup to your soda syphon and top the rest of the 1 liter container with cold (filtered) water. Seal with its top (and gasket) and add 1 CO2 charger, screwing on the gas, until it releases the gas into the container. Shake well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. This will allow the CO2 to infuse into the liquid and have the soda stay carbonated.
To Serve, squirt into a glass (empty or with a scoop(s) of ice cream) and enjoy.