The Artisan Soda Workshop let me down with their homemade Fresca and failed to wow me with their apricot soda. As a result I was a little nervous about making their coffee soda float but it just sounded too damn cool not to make.
Also in this post is a review for ThinkGeek’s U-Fizz Drink Carbonation Kit which proved to be very… ahem… “interesting” to test in my kitchen.
The Coffee Concentrate
The book claims cold brewing is the best way to make iced coffee and creates less bitterness. Put 6 tbsp ground coffee into 1 1/2 cups water.
Stir together. After 10 minutes, stir again and make sure grounds are immersed. Cover and let sit at room temp for 12 hours.
I could not do that. After a couple of hours… the clean freak in me had to put the container in the fridge. Leaving it out did not feel like proper food hygiene to me.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve and then through a cheese cloth. I used my French press to strain the coffee, like they recommended.
The kit comes with very little instruction and there is a video on ThinkGeek’s site but it does not specify measurements. After many screw up attempts to make carbonated water I turned to a video made by the inventor of the kit which helped a lot.
I tried doing this with a 1 cup of vinegar to 2 tbsp of baking soda ratio which did not create a strong enough reaction to really make bubbles. So I did like the video said and did a 2 cup vinegar to 3 tbsp baking soda ratio.
I first added the vinegar then filled the tube with the baking soda.
I added the tube, removed the sheath and there we have bubbles. I attached the U-Fizz tube to the bottle of water I wanted to carbonate and pushed out extra air, the way I was supposed to.
I then attached the other tube to the fizzing vinegar and started to shake the water to help get the bubbled inside. As I did so, air kept spitting out of the top no matter how hard I tried to screw the cap on.
Back to the Coffee Soda Float
The next step was to have 2 heaping tbsp vanilla ice cream, thawed at room temperature. Um, did they mean melted? And woah, that is kind of weird.
To 1/2 cup of coffee concentrate add 1 tsp agave syrup.
Add the vanilla ice cream and top off with 4 to 6 oz carbonated water.
Well, after a lot of frustration playing around with the U-Fizz Drink Carbonation Kit I did finally get it to work. Was it worth it? I would say… No. Part of why I wanted to carbonate my own water is so I did not have to lug store-bought carbonated water home from the store. Using all that vinegar just means I am going to lug THAT home instead.
Yes, I will still play with it to carbonate juices and make fun drinks and it is definitely worth $7.99 but wow, I found it all very frustrating. I give the U-Fizz Drink Carbonation Kit three and a half out of five wooden spoons.
The coffee soda float from The Artisan Soda Workshop was pretty good. It was refreshing and definitely not bitter but once again, felt more like a health drink disguised as a soda. I rarely drink pop and really wanted to treat myself to sodas made by me and yes, the sugar content of real soda would have knocked me over. What I did not want is a healthy version of classic drinks which this book feels like to me. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be disappointed in this book. If you rarely allow yourself sweets of any kind, this might be a treat for you.
For me, I felt it was misrepresented and a lot of work for mediocre results. I give this cookbook two out of five wooden spoons.