Homemade fizzy soda starts with a flavoring syrup mixture and depends upon yeast fermentation to add the bubbles. Although you can make a quick soda by mixing flavored syrup with carbonated water, using extracts and spices with the yeast carbonation method allows you to create a true artisan custom-flavored drink. Soda extracts, fresh ginger or even fruit juices can provide flavoring, so experiment with your favorite flavors to find a combination you enjoy. Reused plastic 1- or 2-liter bottles, washed thoroughly, work well for bottling.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring cups
- Soda extract or ginger root
- Lemon juice
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil for every 2-liter bottle of soda you are making, or ½ cup for every 1-liter bottle. Remove from the heat and stir in a minimum of 1 tablespoon of sugar, up to a maximum of 1 cup, for every 1 cup of water. Some amount of sugar is necessary, because the yeast must have some sugar to feed on.
Mix 1 tablespoon of your favorite soda extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger per cup of water, adjusting the amount of flavoring to taste. If you use ginger -- which makes ginger ale -- add a pinch of salt and up to 5 tablespoons of lemon juice for every cup of water in the flavoring syrup. Taste the syrup and adjust the lemon juice to taste, remembering that it will be diluted in the final product. Cool the syrup to room temperature.
Divide the mixture between the bottles, using 1 cup of flavoring mixture in each 2-liter bottle and ½ cup in each 1-liter bottle. Pour it in using a funnel. Finish filling the bottles with clear, cool water to within 1 inch of the top.
Place a pinch of yeast in each bottle, using no more than 1/4 teaspoon per bottle.
Screw the lids onto the bottles. Set them in a dark area and allow them to ferment at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
Check the bottles for fermentation every 12 hours. Press or squeeze the bottles where they begin to curve just below the neck. If they feel hard and you can't depress them, the soda is properly fermented. Place it in the refrigerator immediately to stop the fermentation process, and let it chill for 24 hours before using.