Orange & Vanilla Soda

Recipe is by Thomas Register, beverage specialist with Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, New Orleans.

Zest from 5 oranges

3 vanilla pods, sliced down the middle

6 cups water

1 cup sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the orange zest with the vanilla in 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar. Cover and let syrup steep off the heat until cool, about 2 hours.

2. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the peel and vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water. Refrigerate until chilled.

3. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Make ahead: The recipe can be prepared through Step 2; refrigerate up to 5 days.