Pomelo Extract

My soda gear has arrived, and I’m very excited about making my first soda. I still need to get my CO2 tank filled and am waiting on one more shipment to arrive containing a counter-pressure bottle filler, but I’m already getting started with making my first soda.

I have always been a big fan of fruit based sodas like those made by IZZE and Clearly Canadian, so naturally my first soda experiment would be something along those lines. I’m also very fond of grapefruit but realize that many people are put off by it’s bitter qualities. So I decided on pomelo, a citrus fruit with a sweeter and more mild flavor than it’s close relative the grapefruit.

Extractification in progress

To make an extract from a pomelo, I skinned one with a potato peeler, which left way too much pith on the peels which I then spent a half hour shaving off with a serrated chef’s knife. Meanwhile, melissa walked by and said “why aren’t you using the Microplane grater for that?”

So for the second pomelo I used the Microplane grater, which was not only much easier to use on the fruit than a potato peeler, but it also took only the very thin brightly colored skin right off, leaving behind the bitter white pith. Another win for this method in this case was that the resulting peel was already finely shredded, as opposed to the peels I removed with the potato peeler which needed further processing to get shredded and chopped down small enough to not only fit through the bottle neck but also maximize the surface area of the skin, enhancing the ability of the alcahol to extract flavor from it.

I filled an empty 750ml glass bottle with the now shredded and minced peels and vodka, and then stored it in a cabinet to prevent light exposure. In about a week, I will see how strong of a solution I have, and start experimenting with making some syrups with it.