For years, Sonoma architect Karin Campion made her own sodas, to avoid the artificial flavorings and unpronounceable ingredients listed on cans of Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew. She used a well-known, Italian-sounding product to flavor her kids’ sodas and jazz up her iced tea.
“But when I read the labels, I said, ‘Yikes, these aren’t healthy for my sons,’” Campion said. “No one was producing syrups that were all natural, with real fruit and pure cane sugar.”
Thus, in 2003 Sonoma Syrup Co. was born, and Campion has steadily expanded the company to include extracts and bar mixers to go with her dizzying array of infused simple syrups. Whenever possible, she uses Sonoma ingredients: lavender from Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, mint from local patches, Meyer lemons from neighbors’ trees and olives grown in Sonoma Valley.
Her Pure Sonoma Olive Juice ($8.99) dirties up a mean martini. Splash Lavender Syrup ($13.99) into espresso and steamed milk for a lavender latte. Vanilla Bean Extract Crush, made from Madagascar bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans, is a great flavor booster for baked goods. For a refreshing fall beverage, with or without vodka, there’s Olive Mary Mix ($14.99), a bloody Mary mix with the brightness of Sonoma olive juice that was a finalist in the 2015 the Good Foods Awards.
Several Sonoma Syrup products have been featured in beverages served at U.S. State Department receptions, including this one below.
Sonoma Syrup, 707-996-4040, sonomasyrup.com. Also sold at BevMo, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma and other stores.
American Cranberry Pomegranate Punch
Combine in a pitcher:
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups ginger ale
1 ounce Pomegranate Infused Simple Syrup
1 ounce Açaí-Black Currant Infused Simple Syrup
½ cup light rum
¼ cup Cointreau
1 ounce vodka
Serve in tall glasses over ice.