We rarely had soda in our house growing up (or as we like to say in Southern Indiana, “Coke”). It just wasn’t something that was a pantry staple in my parents’ kitchen. Sure, we’d buy some two liters when company was coming over, but everyday beverages were limited to tea, water and milk. This made getting a soft drink from the gas station during a road trip a real treat. We’d be in the car pulled up to a gas pump and my Mama would turn around to the backseat and ask me if I wanted a Coke, and I remember always being so excited. And then paralyzed with indecision. So many flavorful, sugar-y choices at my disposal. It took me forever to decide.
The novelty of soda wore off when I hit high school, got my driver’s license and started making my own money. Suddenly, I could buy a soda whenever I wanted and thus began the standard country girl three-a-day Mountain Dew habit. I switched to Diet Coke in college, but the soft drink dependency still raged on. No longer was it a fun treat for road trips, but it was a necessity for daily life.
Once I started getting healthy, I began to read about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and then quickly realized that soda was nothing but bad news for my health and weight loss efforts. My daily soft drinks were replaced with water and I never looked back. Now that I’m a few years removed from a soft drink habit, I’ve gained back the novelty of it all. Buying an all-natural soda from the store now feels like a treat again! The one issue: those all-natural soft drinks are pricey as all get out. It’s hard to justify paying upwards of $2 for some flavoring and carbonated water. So, to the kitchen!
I love this refreshing soda because the sweetness level is totally customizable. I love sparkling flavored waters (like LaCroix) but sometimes I crave a little touch of sweetness, but often the natural sodas on the store shelves are sugar overkill for me. I can find a happy medium by making my own. Plus, this sucker has real fruit juice! No more empty calories. Each serving of soda provides 100% of your RDA of Vitamin C and 35% of your Vitamin A. Soda that’s not just not bad for you, but is actually good for you? What a crazy thought!