How to make soda
Our ginger ale soda pop recipe
Yes folks, it’s time to learn how to make soda. And with none other than one of our favorite herbs, ginger. This is a great soda pop recipe.
Ginger is QUITE the medicinal herb. If you want to know a bit more, check out Supermarket Herbalism, LearningHerb.com's free eCourse.
An extremely brief and interesting history of soda pop
When I was a kid, every drug store had a soda fountain complete with lunch counter. As I was growing up, these disappeared. Yet, I always wondered why pharmacies had soda counters.
Well, back in the late 1800’s, many pharmacists experimented with herbs as tonics. They boiled the herbs, added lots of sugar to mask the taste and to make a long story short, added fizzy water somewhere a long the line.
People had JUST figured out how to contain the sparkling waters that were so popular in natural springs spas at the time. Now, drug store owners could administer medicine for common ailments as a delectable drink to draw people into their stores.
Root beer, Dr. Pepper, ginger ale, and even Coca-Cola had it’s origins in the drug store.
Well, these drinks did catch on. However, as you now know, all those healing herbs were removed for artificial flavorings, colorings and even more sugar.
Well, the good news is that these wonderful tasting and fun to make tonics can have a come back in your own kitchen! If you want to learn how to make soda, it's easy!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 to 3 ounces of fresh ginger root (depending on how strong you like it)
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of orange juice
- 3⁄4 cup of sugar (nice to blend white with natural cane sugar if you have it)
- 4 1/2 quarts of water
- Some yeast from the supermarket. Bread yeast will work, but if you happen to have a homebrew store around, get a small packet of ale yeast. It’s cheap.
- Bottles: see below. This recipe will make 8, 16 ounce bottles.
What to do...
- Chop up the ginger root
- Simmer the ginger, juices, and sugars in 1 ½ quart of water for 30 mintues to an hour. The longer you leave it simmer, the stronger it will be.
- Remove it from heat and strain it out through a kitchen strainer. Compost the plant material.
- Mix the brew with the other 3 quarts of water.
- Let it all cool till it’s lukewarm.
- On the side in a small jar, stir in 1/8 teaspoon of yeast in with 1⁄4 warm water (not hot!)
- After 15 minutes, add the yeast solution to your lukewarm brew.
- Let the brew sit for 10 minutes.
- Bottle it up!
I have a case of those bail top beer bottles I got at the home brew store. You can also recycle Grolsch bottles, which are that type.
BUT you can make it easier. Just use empty plastic soda bottles.
In any case, make sure you CLEAN your bottles. Either boil them for 10 minutes if they are glass or use a really light bleach solution and rinse thoroughly if plastic (works for glass too.) For the solution, put 2 tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water. Clean out bottles inside and out, rinse and air dry.
Here’s how to use plastic bottles:
- Pour in the brew and twist the caps on tight.
- Squeeze the bottles and notice how they give.
- Every few hours, squeeze them and see how they are giving. They will get harder to squeeze. When they no longer give any more, put them in the fridge.
- Drink cold and enjoy!
If you used glass bottles, put them in the fridge after a day. Maybe less if it’s hot out. More if it’s cold out. Try opening one. If you get a good “pop” with some fizz when you pour, you’re all done! Refrigerate and drink!
Don't wanna deal with yeast?
If the whole carbonation thing is to complicated for you, then just use carbonated water like club or seltzer water in place of that extra 3 quarts of water.
This recipe takes minutes to make. It’s so easy, so rewarding, and sooooo refreshing!