My brother is married!! This past weekend (on the Fourth of July!) my brother married his college sweetheart (and my high school friend). It was such a gorgeous wedding set outdoors amidst towering trees and twinkle lights and so full of love and pure fun. A night to remember for sure!
In honor of their wedding, I thought I’d share this fun soda syrup that I created just for them. When the wedding shower was coming together, I knew I wanted to do something special to personalize things a bit. My brother loves root beer floats, so that immediately came to mind. I made a float bar of store bought sodas for his 30th birthday a couple years ago, so I didn’t want to rehash it the same way; but I knew I wanted to do a play on it. The answer? Homemade soda syrups in fun flavors.
The first flavor I decided on was chocolate. I figured it was a safe and familiar enough flavor that people could turn too if my other flavors were too off the wall. Easy. But what other flavors could I make that would work well in a float? And suddenly, it came to me. Buttered popcorn.
So why buttered popcorn? Funnily enough, this is a flavor I associate with both my brother and new sister-in-law. One day in elementary school, my brother came home raving about these awesome jelly beans that he got from his teacher. He said the flavors were so cool – watermelon, root beer, tutti fruitti, but his favorite of all…buttered popcorn. I thought he sounded crazy, but he wouldn’t stop. At least once a week he would talk about these jelly beans, and finally I told him. A buttered popcorn jelly bean sounded weird. How would that even taste? Salty? And the next day, he saved his jelly beans and brought them home for me to try. World. Changed. They’re still my favorite jelly beans to this day.
Years later, in high school I met a girl named Kara who I later found also loved buttered popcorn jelly beans. One day she came to our break spot with a large bag full of just buttered popcorn jelly beans talking about how a sweet friend gave them to her and how she couldn’t imagine how long it took for them to pick out all the other flavors and get that many buttered popcorn ones. She was so touched by the gesture that I didn’t have the heart to tell her that they were sold in bulk in single flavors, but ever since that day, I always think of her when I see the bulk bins of buttered popcorn jelly beans. 😉
So of course, I knew I had to figure out a way to make buttered popcorn soda syrup. I came up with an idea…a theory on how to make the syrup. I crossed my fingers, prayed and hoped real hard that it would work…and it did. Beautifully.
This popcorn soda syrup works perfectly in floats (mix with club soda to create popcorn soda). The slightly savory (but still sweet) popcorn soda plays well with vanilla ice cream to create a creamy concoction almost reminiscent of kettle corn. It’s also works as a fun soda flavor on it’s own or as a delicious ice cream topping!
We’re big popcorn eaters at our house, so we always make it in large batches on the stove (Whirley Pop for the win!) using coconut oil (crucial!). That’s what I used to make this Popcorn Soda Syrup. However, if you’d like something more strongly reminiscent of the popular jelly bean flavor, go for the butter flavored stuff or add whatever butter flavor you normally use on your popcorn.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup hot water (just boiled)
- 4 cups popped popcorn (butter flavored, if desired)
- ¼ tsp fine salt (plus more to taste)
- Carefully pour hot water into a blender and add the sugar, popcorn and salt.
- Place cover on blender but remove the middle portion (where you would normally pour liquids through while blending) of the cover.
- Use a kitchen towel to prevent splatter but still allow steam to escape.
- Lightly hold the kitchen towel over the hole in the cover of the blender and blend the mixture on high for 4-5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved and popcorn is as fine as your blender can get it.
- Allow this mixture to sit for an additional 5 minutes.
- Taste and add more salt, if desired.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to strain out any popcorn bits and allow the syrup to cool.
- Syrup will keep a few days at room temperature and at least a week in the refrigerator.
- Use on everything.
Add a couple tablespoons to club soda and drink as is or add a scoop of ice cream of a creamy, popcorn concoction. I also love it poured straight onto vanilla ice cream…or onto spoons. I don’t judge.
PS. For the Hibiscus Ginger syrup pictured up top, I used this recipe from the lovely Snixy Kitchen. It’s pretty awesome.
What’s your favorite non-traditional soda flavor?
In search of dessert?