DIY orange soda delivers the same satisfying combination of sweet and tart you get from the commercial version, but mixed in with the familiar sharpness and prickly joy of orange soda is a new and exciting flavor I wasn't used to tasting in my soda—real oranges.
'DIY vs buy' on Serious Eats
This is a DIY project I would say is all about unique taste and quality rather than cost—at least until the grape season hits locally.
Not that long ago, mole bitters seemed like an exotic and strange ingredient. But now they're all over cocktail menus and I have come to consider them a drink-mixing necessity. I've always liked the combination of chocolate and spice, but being able to use these flavors to liven up my cocktails has been a revelation.
The exotic combination of chile and chocolate in these mole bitters is a perfect addition to cocktails made with tequila, mezcal, or dark rum.
I like to think of root beer as the gateway beverage into the big, bad world of booze. Even though it's a big leap from A&W to Fernet Branca, there's definitely a connection between what makes a good root beer and what makes a good alcoholic beverage. This homemade root beer liqueur has more in common with an aperitif than it does with a soda, because the sugar is dialed back and the root-and-bark goodness can shine through.
The woodsy, complex flavors of root beer are right at home in a liqueur. Use it in cocktails like you would an amaro or in sweet concoctions for a bold and unusual flavor.
There is perhaps no recipe I've investigated that is as simple and yet as fraught with passionate argument regarding the "correct" way to make it as cornbread. Adding to this battle is not my purpose here.
A few dashes of grapefruit bitters can put a so-so sparkling wine cocktail into fabulous territory or turn a limp Paloma or Gin & Tonic into a bright and balanced thing of beauty. But even though grapefruit bitters have been called for in cocktail recipes since the 1860s, many liquor stores don't carry them. DIY to the rescue!
Grapefruit bitters do double duty, giving a cocktail a little citrus lift along with the bitterness. These bitters go especially well with effervescent drinks or tequila and gin cocktails.
With pretty much everyone I know battling some form of cold/flu/sinus travesty, I started daydreaming about DIY instant soups free of questionable additives and shocking sodium content.
Most grape-flavored things don't taste like grape at all—they taste like purple. Commercial grape soda walks the line between the taste of real grapes and sugary artificial flavor. Grape soda should be the non-alcoholic, fizzy sister to wine, but instead it seems to be the least appreciated of the sodas. I've had a soft spot for this deep purple, bubbly beverage since childhood, so I was inspired to make a DIY version that has a more natural flavor.
You can use all-natural ingredients and still get a grape soda that's bold in both color and flavor.
Black tahini offers a sweeter, nuttier flavor than tahini made with white sesame seeds. With such black gold at my finger tips, I decided to add it to a hummus that could stand up to it, pigment-wise. The color alone is sure to turn a few heads at your next gathering.
Asking me to pick my favorite cocktail is sort of like asking parents which of their kids is the best. It's a hard question to answer, but deep in my heart, I know. Sorry, Sazerac and Martini, even though I love you so, the Manhattan is easily my favorite drink. So I was surprised that a simple change to this classic drink made me love it even more.
Swapping in cherry bitters for Angostura bitters can give your cocktails a subtle yet delightful boost, adding a hint of fruit while still delivering the bitterness your drink needs. The best part about making your own is you can customize your bitters to your cocktailing needs.
An easy peanut butter alternative, this nut spread is souped up with homemade pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.
I was pleased to find out that no alarm bells went off when I poured honey and spices into my Scotch—and the resulting concoction was delicious. This DIY Drambuie isn't a carbon copy of the original—and that's the point.
This DIY version of Drambuie isn't a carbon copy of the original—and that's the point. You can play around with flavors to create your ideal Scotch-and-honey masterpiece.
Starting with dried coconut flakes results in a non-dairy yogurt that tastes fresh and bright—without you having to break a sweat or crack a coconut.
Cherry cola is amazing. Cherry Coke, on the other hand, is a disgusting tease. For a split second there's some cherry flavor, but then it's replaced by a chemical finish that reminds you that no cherries were harmed while making that beverage. I've done some experimenting with adding cherry syrup to store-bought cola, which was good. But making my own cola and cherrying it up was even better.