An artist and a chemist making soda and carbonated juices from scratch, using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Fresh draft soda - available at the Brooklyn Flea on the weekends & select bars & restaurants

Friday, February 26, 2010

We made our goal on Kickstarter!

A big thanks to everyone - we just surpassed our goal of $1500!!
We'll post a more detailed blog in a few days with some flavor ideas that we've been working on.

We're now on Twitter! And images of bottled samples

Courtesy of our PR agency (or Caroline's sister, Sarah), we're now on Twitter!

Also, just finished bottling a couple of samples... been playing around with different logo ideas (with help from our roommate, Stephanie).

A disclaimer is necessary here: we do not have a bottling license so we cannot send or sell bottled soda (yet...)

A big big thanks to all our supporters, and mix tape ideas please

We've been completely blown away by the amount of support we've received. We never in a million years thought that we would reach over 2/3 of our goal on within 48 hours. A big thanks to everyone who pledged!!

I've been toying around with the idea of mix CD's as incentives. Each one will have a different flavor theme:

Maple Bacon - Smoky, Sweet, Sexy Soul.
A mix of soulful, funky, meaty cuts from the 60's til now. Bonus- guaranteed to include at least one Canadian.

Root Beer - Old-Timey American Goodness.
A collection of gospel tunes, sacred harp singing and plenty of good old banjo-pickin', fiddlin' bluegrass and blues.

Ginger Lemon - Spicy and Tart Summer Jams.
From sun-drenched indie-rock to Nuggets-era garage rock to cumbia, dancehall and Afrobeat, this mix will be the ultimate BBQ companion 2010!

Glögg - Norse Metal Madness!
If this one doesn't have you pretending your couch is a long boat and getting ready to row off into battle for Odin then you must be dead... or just not cut out to be a metalhead. Today is a fine day to die! See you in Valhalla...

Also, we don't have any German soda flavors (yet... please send ideas!) but we do have a killer Krautrock mix so you can choose that as well. It's a collection of rare 70's cuts from the best of the Krautrock B-team. No Faust, Can, Neu, Kraftwerk, Amon Düül, Cluster or Tangerine Dream here, just killer Teutonic Psychedelic Rock from some great lesser-known bands.

If you have any other music flavor pairing ideas, feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A busy snow day (part 1) - roots & herbs

Our UPS and Fed Ex delivery people have been making several stops at our apartment in the past 2 days. One of these packages contained several different organic herbs and roots.  Pictured above, going clockwise, we have: nutmeg, burdock, dandelion root, sasparilla, birch bark, ojasanta and juniper berries.

We also received hops and vanilla beans.

Let the experiments in root beer making begin!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brooklyn Soda Works is live on Kickstarter!

We've started a fundraising campaign on to raise funds for scaling up our sodas and selling them at the Brooklyn Flea! There are gifts offered at a variety of contribution levels ($10, $25 and $50) - everything from soda coupons, mix CD's by Tony themed by flavours, to a hand-printed card with one of our recipes.

Pass the word around!

And even if you aren't able to support us, kickstarter is a great platform to raise funds for your own project.

Maple syrup & bacon soda

We're in the middle of phase 1 of our maple bacon & syrup experiment. We bought Ridgewood smoked bacon from Choice Greene, the fancy market one block away, and fried it up in a pan for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Water was then added, and we let it simmer for an hour.

The result is a fatty bacon liquid!

We added gelatin to the mixture, poured the mixture into ice cube trays and let it freeze over night.

The next day, we moved the bacon-gelatin ice cubes out of the freezer, and into the fridge, letting the ice cubes melt very slowly, collecting the fat-free bacon water, which after 48 hours was 125ml.

Next step - maple syrup!
35ml of maple syrup was added and the mixture diluted to 450ml. The mixture was a good balance between maple, bacon saltiness and sweetness.

Now we wait and carbonate.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brooklyn Flea this coming spring and summer!

Had a productive meeting with the Brooklyn Flea Market yesterday, and if all goes well, it looks like we'll be at Brooklyn Flea Market this coming spring and summer, hopefully every Saturday!

The Brooklyn Flea is a wonderfully-curated market that's one of our favorite places to check out new food stalls and snacks, and since its about 5 blocks away from our apartment has been a regular weekend stop ever since they opened. It's pretty wonderful to be in such tasty company, such as the Red Hook Food Vendors, Rick's Picks, Blue Marble Ice Cream and Asia Dog (Robert Sietsema of the Village Voice called the Flea 'the best food court in the city' - so the pressure is on!). For a full list of current participating vendors, click here.

Our CO2 tank and kegs are on the way... we just bought 2 new soda siphons to replace our old one... and Tony just bought a few pounds of vanilla beans and herbs to try making our own root beer!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brooklyn Soda Works + Palo Santo?

We've been talking to our friend Jacques, the chef/owner of Palo Santo in Park Slope about using his kitchen to do the prep work and kegging of our sodas if we get a space at the brooklyn flea. He's interested in the idea but we still have lots of details to work out. Still, very exciting since we now have a good way to legally produce the sodas in a licensed kitchen. Also Jacques is a successful restauranteur with lots of experience in the food world so it's nice to hear he thinks our soda venture is a good idea and wants to help.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bierkraft Fieldtrip!

Went over to Bierkraft today. It's one of the best beer shops in the city- a huge selection of obscure beers from the world over as well as great cheeses, meats, chocolates, and a super friendly, knowledgeable staff. We weren't there for beer though (OK, OK I did grab a few beers, it's impossible to resist), we were there to talk to to Ben about dispensing carbonated liquids. He's an experienced homebrewer and built the impressive counter-flow growler filling system that Bierkraft uses. He gave us some great tips for calculating carbonating pressures based on measuring specific gravity. He also recommended using a jockey box for foam-free outdoor dispensing. I'm browsing my McMaster Carr catalog now trying to figure out how to build one. We've got lots to think about now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger! Lemongrass and lime soda

While not a typical Valentine's Day nor Chinese New Year drink, February 14th seemed like an appropriate day to try out an idea I had for soda/ sparkling juice that would solve some of my frustrations about the strength of the lime juice overwhelming the taste of the mint in the mint-lime soda.

lemongrass lime soda

2 cups lemongrass boiled in 1.5 cups water

3/4 cups Demara sugar

5 tablespoons lime juice

zest of 2 limes

1/4 teaspoon salt

the lemongrass was boiled in 1.5 cups of sugar water for about 30 minutes along with the zest.

Lime juice was added, then salt was added to balance out the sweetness, and bring out the flavour of the lemongrass

The juice was then strained into our soda siphon, and carbonated

In honor of the Year of the Tiger, we're throwing around ideas about using salty plums.
And we just bought a jug of maple syrup for our maple syrup & bacon idea!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brainstorming ideas

The snowy days have been an excuse for us to do some brainstorming, both for flavours and for figuring out our technical set-up.

lemongrass & lime

maple syrup & bacon

grapefruit, jalapeno & honey

spicy chocolate

lemon & thyme

cucumber, mint & seasalt

apple spice


pear cardommon

strawberry rhubarb


And of course, we want to include our very spicy ginger beer. Perhaps we'll have a range of spice levels? We had tried to brew our own ginger beer using yeast last year, and while it was quite rewarding, the alcohol level was hard to control.

Monday, February 8, 2010

spiced chocolate soda

Made a chocolate soda today. We decided to make it as if we were doing a normal spiced hot chocolate (just with water instead of milk) and then remove all the fat and solids using a gelatin clarifying technique leaving us with a nice spiced chocolate water that could be carbonated.

I first learned about using gelatin to clarify broths from the ideas in food blog when I was trying to make a light clear bacon broth for a recipe with scallops and a bean puree a couple years ago. They had a great bacon broth recipe online, check it out here. The basic idea is the same as the old French technique of using egg white- the gelatin creates a 3D matrix that acts as a filter for all solids and fats. You add a bit of gelatin while the liquid is warm and then you freeze it and let it slowly melt in the fridge over a filter. This keeps the fat and gelatin solid and they trap all the other solids with them in the filter letting a crystal clear liquid drip down.
The chocolate water came out quite tasty! The method does need some tweaking though. 1st-recovery was low. I started with a liter of chocolate and only ended up with about 300 mL of chocolate water at the end. I think the gelatin ratio needs to be even lower because of the higher fat content of the chocolate vs. a meat broth. 2nd- not enough spice! The cinnamon, the clove and the hoja santa come through nicely but the chile spice is not really there. May need to use fresh chiles instead of dry or more of them or just lengthen the boiling time to extract more from the dry chile. Otherwise it's good- nice and clear and light but still very chocolatey! This is all probably too much work to scale up especially since we could just make a chocolate syrup and add carbonated water much easier, but it's fun to experiment!

The recipe:

226g (8oz) baking chocolate

1 dry gaujillo chile

2 dry ancho chile

1 tsp hoja santa

3 sticks cinnamon

1 tsp clove

1 L of water

Thursday, February 4, 2010

attempting lime mint soda

I decided to attempt a lime mint soda this morning. We had decided on a lemon mint soda the previous night, but I woke up and realized lemon just didn't feel as exciting as limes... and who doesn't love a mojito? especially in the dead of winter?

lime and mint soda

5 limes

zest of 2 limes

2.5 boxes of mint

roughly 3/4 cup of turbinado sugar

made simple syrup with sugar.

added in zest and heated over low heat

juiced limes

added mint; and muddled.

Mixture was then filtered resulting in about 280ml of very limey liquid.

Here's the problem now: despite adding in 2.5 boxes of mint, the lime taste seems somewhat overwhelming. And since I'm alone (this is my first attempt to make a soda without Tony) I have no one else's palate for corroboration.

I'm putting the limey soda in the fridge, eating a chocolate muffin to make myself feel better then I'm off to install some art.