My wife got me a Sodastream for Christmas last year. I love the thing and use it constantly. Unfortunately, while I like the fruit essences they sell to make flavored seltzers, I’m not as big a fan of the various soda syrups they sell. My wife likes the ginger ale, and the diet grapefruit is ok, but nothing they make adequately replaces my Diet Coke cravings. I started testing concoctions after trying the various diet syrups they sell and not really liking any of them. By happenstance I discovered that if you make a regular Diet Dr. Pete soda, then add two tablespoons of coffee concentrate to it, it’s delicious, with a much richer flavor and enough caffeine to nicely substitute for a Diet Coke – in fact, I now like this concoction better. You can also increase the concentrate ratio to match your taste – I’ve gone as high as 4, at which point it gets into ‘caffeine jitters’ territory for me so I’ve dialed it back, but whatever works, the flavor is still pretty good at that level.
We happen to have coffee concentrate around anyway so this is pretty convenient for me. If you’re not familiar with it, concentrate is made using a cold filtering process. We have a cold filter concentrate maker already, but if you don’t have one around and want to experiment, it’s pretty easy to make. Here’s a sample recipe. It also makes fantastic coffee, and is a convenient way to have a single cup when you don’t want to brew a pot.
A word of warning about this recipe – for whatever reason, it causes the soda to fizz up more dramatically than if you make Dr Pete’s without the concentrate, so open the bottle carefully or you’ll end up with soda everywhere. Also make sure to leave a little room in the bottle when you make the seltzer – fill it just a bit below the regular fill line, or pour a little out after you mix it so there is room for the concentrate in the bottle.