Cascade hops soda, with pink peppercorn & orange zest

Hop Soda?!

We love beer over here at Brooklyn Soda Works, especially good, crisp, hoppy american IPAs.  Today we decided to try out a bitter soda made from hops.  The idea was to combine the pine/grapefruit aroma and bitterness of fresh cascade hops with the fruity/herbal spice of pink peppercorn and some orange zest to round it out.  

First try was just way too bitter- we used about 20 fresh Cascade hop flowers and boiled for about 30 min.  Most of the great aroma of the hops was lost in the boil and a we got a whole lot of bitterness that overwhelmed the more delicate peppercorn and orange zest flavors.  

Second try was much better- 2 tablespoons of pink peppercorns boiled in 1L of water for about 15 min, then the hot water was poured over 7 hop flowers and the zest of 1 orange.  Let it sit until it cooled and then sweetened lightly with about 1/4 cup of sugar.  

Yummmmm, tastes nothing like beer but should appeal to beer fans or anyone who likes hops or other bitter and floral tastes.