Light and refreshing Black Cherry Cream Sodas are a perfect treat for summer! A fresh cherry syrup is lightened with coconut cream and spiked with a black cherry sparkling water. Creamy, fruity, and an easy, delicious effervescent drink!
Black Cherry Cream Sodas
First things first, these are not the sugary sweet cream sodas you may have gotten from an old fashioned soda fountain. While those are delightful, they can be a bit too syrupy.
And, technically these cream sodas are more like a French Soda. A flavored syrup, club soda, and cream – such as half-and-half – make up the French version.
But, of course, I have to stay true to my balanced brand. 🙂 There is no refined sugar in these refreshing drinks, and the cream comes from coconut cream. So there – refined sugar-free and vegan!
Black Cherry Flavor
There is a ton of cherry flavor in the cream sodas. First, we get an intense amount by cooking the fresh cherries to make a syrup. The same way you would make a coulis or jam.
The cherries will break down while cooking and all of the juices and pectin will be released. We want to add a little lemon juice to amp up the cherry flavor, along with a healthy dose of maple syrup for some added sweetness. The mix is strained so we have a smooth syrup/puree as the base of the cream sodas.
UPDATE NOTE: Target no longer carries the ‘Simply Balanced’ brand. At least at my store. They appear to have replaced it with ‘Good and Gather’. They still have the same flavors, and I believe it is the same product – just different branding.
The other ingredient that adds even more cherry flavor, is the sparkling water we are using. If you have been following my posts, you will know that Target carries my fav. Simply Balanced Black Cherry Sparkling Water is what we use for the soda part of these sodas. The sparkling water is unsweetened and has a great fruit flavor, that does not taste artificial.
The other recipes where I use Simply Balanced Sparkling Water:
The Cream in the Cream Sodas
Going back to the French Soda, the cream is usually half-and-half. We are going to use coconut cream and for a couple of reasons. First, I think coconut cream is, well, creamier. And I also prefer the lighter flavor over half-and-half.
While the dairy cream is great for coffee, it can sometimes leave a buttery film in your mouth. And that is not the flavor experience I wanted when making light and creamy summer drink.
The coconut cream comes from, you guessed it, a can of unsweetened coconut milk. (UPDATE NOTE: If your store no longer carries the ‘Simply Balanced’ brand, any can of coconut milk will work. My preference is now ‘Thai Kitchen’.)
Usually, when I use the can of coconut milk, I am separating the coconut solids from the liquid. However, for these Black Cherry Cream Sodas, we are going to shake up the can! And we don’t need to refrigerate it since everything in these sodas is going to be poured over ice. You will have extra coconut cream, so go ahead and use it for some smoothies.
Cream Soda Flavors
I’m going to start by saying I drank both of these cream sodas. They were that yummy. I have also already tested other fruit flavors. Strawberry and blueberry (being the obvious next steps!), and have plans for a peach, pineapple, and mango.
However, if you are as impatient as I am, the process would be identical. I would recommend cooking the fruit to get the flavorful syrup. And the great thing with the flavored sparkling waters is that they come in an abundance of flavors. You could even get wacky and create a flavor combo. Like pineapple syrup with a citrus or lime sparkling water. Just sayin’ …
In all seriousness, I love summer because we get to enjoy the light and refreshing treats like these Black Cherry Cream Sodas. Now, go whip up a couple and enjoy some sunshine – with sunscreen, of course!
Black Cherry Cream Sodas
- 2 – Serving Glasses
- 3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (shaken)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 can Sparkling Water (Black Cherry, or any cherry flavor)
- In a small saucepan, add the pitted and chopped cherries, maple syrup and lemon juice. Cook over medium-low heat, periodically mashing the cherries with a wooden spoon. Cook until the juices have been released from the cherries and the mix becomes slightly thick – about 10 minutes.
- Press the cherry puree through a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl. Press the mix firmly through the strainer using the wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the underside of the strainer to collect all the cherry juice! Set in the refrigerator to cool completely – for at least 10 minutes.
- The cherry puree can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Shake the can of coconut milk and empty into a container with a lid. Stir as needed to make sure the milk is smooth and free of lumps. Pour 1/3 cup of cream into a liquid measuring cup. Cover the remaining coconut cream and keep in the fridge to use for a different recipe, or to make smoothies!
- Add the maple syrup to the coconut cream in the measuring cup and stir until mixed.
- Once the cherry puree has cooled, fill 2 serving glasses 1/3 full of ice. Scoop equal amounts of cherry puree on top of the ice. Next pour equal amounts of the coconut cream on top of the cherry puree. Finish by filling each glass the remainder of the way with the sparkling water. Serve and enjoy!