The best old school soda is made not with a carbonation device but with yeast! The base recipe can be modified with just about anything. I mean just about anything, there are no limits. Use what's in season, what's cheap at the farmer's market or just with the tastes you love. This base recipe makes about 2 liters.
1/2 cup sugar - you can adjust this to taste and according to the sweetness of the fruit
Yeast - champagne or ale yeast. After some practice you can use a wild yeast
Fruit of your choice. eg : watermelon, ginger,apple, strawberry
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons or limes
Pinch of salt
Bottles, can be glass or plastic
Disclaimer: This drink has a small amount of alcohol. The byproduct of fermentation is alcohol.The short fermentation process limits the production of alcohol. If the drink is fermented for the recommend time it usually is less then 0.5%.
Step 1: Making the Base
Depending on the fruit you are using - Peel, juice and/or pulp your fruitand set aside. I am using mandarin orange so I am just using the freshly squeezed juice. If I was using ginger I would boil it with water to bring out the flavor. Use your own judgement, try different things.
I have squeezed 1 liter of juice. Again this is flexible and you may use less or more.
In large saucepan - Bring a cup of water, sugar and salt to the boil.
Step 2: Bottling
Add juice to plastic 2 liter bottle. You can use glass, but it's good to fill a small plastic bottle out of each batch to help test when it's ready. With practice you will be able to use just glass.
Top up with sugar syrup, lemon juice and extra water if needed.
When cooled add a pinch of yeast. Give it a shake and leave in warm place.
Let stand to 12 to 48 hours. Feel the bottle - when it is rock hard the soda is carbonated.
Refrigerate now to stop fermentation. It needs to be stored in the fridge, so fermentation doesn't start again and over carbonate your bottle. After a day or 2 in the refrigerator it is ready to drink.
Step 3: Ready to Drink
Open slowly - it may be really fizzy!
Serve ice cold!
Make any flavor you like. I like
- Apple, ginger and beetroot
- Watermelon and mint
- My personal favorite Wild raspberry with a drop of vanilla for a yummy sweet creamy soda.
The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind. So go out there and play!