If you’re from the Boston area, you’re probably very familiar with Chef Joanne Chang’s famous Flour Bakery. Known for its over-the-top sticky buns, freshly-made sandwiches, and assortment of super indulgent cupcakes, cookies, and tarts, Flour is most certainly one of the top five bakeries in town.
Over the years, I’ve sampled my share of Flour’s baked goods, but one of my favorite things to order is actually not a pastry at all – it’s their housemade raspberry soda. Part of it is the actual soda, and part of it is the memories I associate with it.
About a year after I graduated college, Aaron and I upgraded to a new apartment in the trendy South End. At the time, we were both working in Back Bay and wanted to be able to walk to work, and we also needed a pet-friendly place for the puggle puppy we’d be bringing home the following month. Our new place had a concierge, courtyard, a small gym, central air, and was mostly occupied by young professionals and BU Medical students – ideal for making new friends. It also had wall-to-wall carpet and ended up being on the cusp of some slightly seedy areas, but we’ll focus on the positives.
It was summer, we had just brought Honey home, I had been promoted at work, Aaron loved his job, and to top it all off, Flour Bakery was right across the street. Several nights a week, we’d find ourselves there, in search of a sweet treat after dinner. Aaron would order some ridiculously awesome dessert like a Belgian chocolate brownie or homemade Oreo cookie, I would order a large raspberry soda (and take bites of his dessert), and we’d sit outside with a four-pound Honey on one of our laps and talk about our days. It was perfect.
Years later, those raspberry sodas still take me back to that happy place. I’m not sure what’s in Flour’s recipe, but I imagine it’s really simple – a raspberry syrup made from fresh raspberries, sugar, and water – topped with bubbly seltzer water. I kept my version simple as well, adding in just a touch of lemon juice to give it some brightness, and keeping the sugar to a minimum so the natural sweetness of the raspberries really shines through.
It’s a pretty drink, and one you must order if you make the trip to Flour. For now though, this homemade version is an excellent option.
- 1 C. Organic Raspberries
- ¼ C. Water
- 2 Tbs. Organic Sugar
- ½ Tbs. Freshly-Squeezed Lemon Juice
- Seltzer Water
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook, stirring every once in a while, until the sugar has dissolved and the raspberries begin to break down (about 3-4 minutes).
- Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Strain the raspberries through a sieve and press gently with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the juices.
- Fill a glass with ice and pour 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry syrup, followed by about a cup of seltzer over top.
- Stir to combine and enjoy!