Before we get started - be super careful when making this because nothing burns like hot sugar. Basically, what I did to make this is use a basic simple syrup recipe and add some tropical stuff to flavor it.
First, to make simple syrup, you heat up equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop. One cup of each is a good place to start. You bring it up to a simmer (not boiling, but starting to bubble) and then bring it back down to low, and just keep heating until the sugar dissolves. You don't want to boil it or cook it very long because you will burn the syrup.
For my tropical version, I added the following:
- Juice of one lemon
- Small chunk of ginger (size of my thumb)
- A few chunk each of frozen pineapple and mango (you could use fresh too- I just happened to have some frozen)
- Juice of one lime
- Dash of cardamom
I simmered these with the syrup until the sugar dissolved and then let it stew a few more minutes just to get the flavor out of everything and reduce it just a tiny bit. Then I strained it through a strainer into a bottle using a funnel. Easy peasy!
To make the soda, mix the syrup with sparkling water to taste. A good ratio to start with is one ounce syrup to eight ounces water.
Have you ever made homemade syrup? Let me know in the comments!