Combine the water, lemon zest, lime zest, orange zest, cinnamon, bitter orange peel, coriander seed, nutmeg, and gum arabic (if using) in a large saucepan. Whisk together until the gum arabic dissolves. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon, lime, and orange juices, along with the browning sauce and vanilla. Let cool, then strain.
This syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To mix with seltzer
Yield: 1 serving
Pour the syrup into a tall glass. Add the seltzer and stir just until blended. Add ice and serve
To carbonate with a siphon
Yield: 3 servings
Combine the water and syrup in a 1-quart soda siphon. Charge with CO2 according to the manufacturer's directions. Siphon-charged sodas can be stored in the siphon in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Disperse as desired into tall glasses filled with ice, and serve.
Yield: 5 quarts
Combine the water and syrup in a large container. Test the temperature; the mixture should be at a warm room temperature, from 75 to 80°F. (If it is too hot, let it sit until it cools a bit. If it is too cold, warm it over low heat.) Add the yeast and stir until it is completely dissolved.
Pour the mixture into sanitized plastic bottles using a sanitized kitchen funnel, leaving 1 1/4 inches of air space at the top of each bottle. Seal the bottles. Store for 2 to 4 days at room temperature. When the bottles feel rock hard, the soda is fully carbonated.
Refrigerate for at least 1 week before serving; drink within 3 weeks to avoid overcarbonation.
Pour 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Jack Daniels over ice cubes in a tall glass, and fill with cola.
Pour 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) dark rum and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) golden tequila over ice cubes in a tall glass, and fill with cola.
Pour 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cherry liqueur and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) light rum over ice in a rocks glass, and fill with cola. Garnish with a cherry.
Reprinted with permission from Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss.
Sandor Katz lives to ferment; it’s his life’s work. The author of The Art of Fermentation shares how to make kombucha at home.