A natural version on the classic cola flavour! Lavender, orange, cinnamon, and chaga powder are just a few ingredients needed to make your pop.
A couple of months ago our old chest freezer got converted into a kegerator for Adam's homemade beer. While originally I wasn't sold on the idea of losing my extra storage for frozen berries, the lure of having endless carbonated water on tap was enough to get me on board.
Most of the time we drink it as it. But here and there we toss in a little muddled fruit or elderflowers to make our own bougie pops.
Although I've never been much of a pop drinker, we like to keep a few bottles of cane sugar pop stashed away for 'emergencies'. I must admit I do enjoy it on rare occasions. On a recent trip to my favourite healthy food store I picked up a bottle of a locally made herbal syrup.
As soon as I added it to our carbonated water and fell in love. After a bit of research and a few attempts on my own, I came up with this chaga cola using chaga powder. It's totally currently my favourite summer treat.
Like all pops, this pop isn't healthy, but it healthier than pretty much every other option out there. Yes it does use cane sugar (other sweeteners just didn't work), but it takes just the smallest amount to make a deluxe homemade float, rum and chaga cola, or just tall icy glass of pop.
**Look for chaga powder (which you can also us in this tart) in your local health-food store. If you can't find chaga powder, use reishi or a mushroom mix.
- chaga powder
- cinnamon sticks
- fresh ginger
- star anise
- lavender blossoms
- coriander seeds
- ground nutmeg
- coconut sugar
- cane sugar
This recipe is as easy as making a simple syrup. First you combine the water along with the zests, chaga, lavender, and spices together in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to simmer on low for 20 minutes.
After the mixture has steeped, turn off the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the solids.
Next stir the vanilla into the strained syrup. Store the syrup in the fridge, it should last up to a month if not longer.
If you can't find chaga powder, using chaga pieces or flavouring chaga tea will also work.
You can also skip the chaga altogether and opt instead for a classic plain soda!
Other substitutions that can be made include:
- swap coconut sugar for brown sugar
- omit the lavender if too hard to find
- try making a ½ batch for a smaller amount
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp. chaga powder
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 2 tsp. finely grated ginger
- ½ a star anise
- ½ tsp. lavender blossoms
- ¼ tsp. coriander seeds
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 ¾ cup cane sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- Combine 2 cups water along with the zests, chaga, lavender, and spices together in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- After the mixture has steeped, turn off the heat and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the solids. They can be composted.
- Stir the vanilla into the strained syrup. Store the syrup in the fridge, it should last up to a month if not longer.
- To make the cola, start with a tsp. of syrup per glass of carbonated water. Taste and adjust as needed. We like to use around 2 tsp. for our sized cups.