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Friday, March 18, 2011

Homemade Soda

Do you like soda?
I know I do.
As someone rather frugal and health conscious, its embarrassing for me to admit it, but it really is so. The problem is that almost  all soda is full of artificial flavorings, colorings, and other chemicals that you probably shouldn't be ingesting. And we're not even talking about the carcinogen filled diet sodas (fake sugar is the one thing I try to stay furthest from)...
Forget the cost... Lots of money for one small little bottle...

I was so excited the other day when I read Butter's blog and came across a recipe for spruce beer. Beer is really a misnomer, as there's nothing alcoholic about it. It's just a sweet carbonated drink.

Basically, what you do is gather your flavorings, sugar and water and make a very sweet drink. You add some yeast (or whey, but I haven't tried it that way), mix well, and then transfer it into a closed plastic bottle (like what is used for soda or bottled water) and leave on the counter.
The yeast (or cultures in the whey) will eat the sugar in the drink and release carbon dioxide. Because the bottle is closed, the carbon dioxide has no place to go but into the drink, making it fizzy. This process will push out the sides of the bottle until they become hard. Once the bottle is hard, either drink right away or transfer it to the refrigerator for storage. (If you leave it out for too long, it'll explode.) 
The bottle will get fizzier/harder faster the more yeast you put in, so if you want to give yourself a little leeway, put less yeast. When I put 1 tablespoon of yeast into 4 liters of drink, it fizzed up within 2 hours; 1 teaspoon is a better amount of yeast to put if you're going to leave it 12-24 hours.

Open the bottle carefully and ideally over the sink. If you left the bottle too long (or put too much yeast), bubbles will come out the top the moment you open it up.

So far, I've made wild fennel soda and lemon soda this way and can't wait to try out a million other ways!

Do you like fizzy drinks? What's your favorite beverage?

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