I made redwood soda to bring to my wonderful friends on Friday! It is seriously the most delicious thing… It tastes a little redwoody (obviously), with a hint of caramel… Kind of like redwood cream soda! You can also use young douglas fir needles. Try making it at home, it’s really worth it!
Basically what I did was make a simple syrup infused with young redwood leaves. Here’s how I did it:
Ingredients for 2 cups of syrup (about 8 servings):
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- about 1 and 1/2 cups young redwood (or douglas fir) leaves
- sparkling water and ice to serve
I made about a gallon of syrup because it was for a lot of people.
Harvest about 6 inches of leaves off of the ends of a ton of redwood branches (the youngest leaves) until you have about 1 and a half cups (or two handfuls) of leaves. Then wash them all off. If you can’t find redwood you can also use douglas fir.
Then take 1 cup of white granulated sugar (I used this sugar because it does not have a strong flavor but you could experiment with others) and 1 and a half cups of water and stir them together in a saucepan over low heat.
As soon as the sugar is all dissolved (and the liquid is clear) add the redwood leaves. When the leaves start to release an awesome smell, you can turn off the heat and just let it sit there getting a stronger flavor (I actually left it on the stove pilot overnight to get a strong flavor). The leaves will turn brown as they cook in the warm sugar water. When the liquid reaches the desired strength, store it in the fridge to cool down.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with a cloth to remove leaves.
To serve, simply pour a glass of sparkling water, add 1-3 Tablespoons of redwood syrup, and stir. Add ice and a sprig of redwood to decorate. Enjoy!
I’m sure there are plenty of lovely cocktails you could make with this awesome syrup, but since I have no experience whatsoever in that area, I’ll leave it to whoever is cool enough to try making this to figure out.
By the way, I got first in my category at the county science fair and I’ll be heading on to Broadcom Masters (national middle school fair), CA State Science Fair, and Google Science Fair next. I’ll post my abstract for state tomorrow.