DIY Soda Bar

For a party, set out bottles of seltzer and these easy all-natural syrups, which you can prep weeks ahead. The flavors will appeal to guests of all ages—just keep the espresso away from the little ones! All these syrups start with the same base: Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Then add the desired flavoring ingredients as indicated at right.


2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
Juice and peeled zest of 2 pink
or ruby-red grapefruits
1/2 cup instant espresso powder
Split pods and scraped seeds of
2 vanilla beans

To Prepare
Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Cool to room temperature, then strain out the flavoringingredients (the espresso powder does not need to be strained).
Syrup can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.
Each base yields about 1 1/2 cups, enough for 8 to 12 servings.
To serve, fill a drinking glass halfway with ice, pour in 2 to 3
tablespoons syrup, add seltzer, and stir.