Soda. The current scapegoat in the “war on obesity”.
I like soda… I like soda a lot. But I gave it up a while ago.. newsflash! Still fat. Take that you people who say “just cut out soda and you’ll lose 10 pounds!”.
I used to drink so much Mountain Dew that my “going away gift” when I left a previous employer was a case of Mountain Dew and a giant bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Clearly, my food choices needed improvement.
Really, my reason for ditching the fizzy stuff was all of the crap that goes in it. Even thought I pretty much quit the sweet stuff well before reading about what was happening with John over at Epbot, I was still horrified by that post. Seems like John is doing pretty ok now.
But I’ve missed the fizz. Sure, seltzer.. okay… seltzer with fruit juice.. fine.. whatever. Home made syrups added to seltzer? tasty… but I cannot be trusted with it.. I’ll just drink it straight. Sugah Bomb! Soda Stream? no thanks.
Let’s face it… I wanted soda… sticky sweet soda.
Once day recently I was stalking Alana Chernila’s Instagram Feed and she posted a picture of a new book called “True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home” by Emma Christensen. FYI: Emma also writes for the Kitchn.
I had expected that, like every other “soda” recipe I’d seen around, these would be “make this syrup, add it to seltzer”.. meh.. but NO! The soda is made in a sealed bottle with yeast!
I started laughing my ass off.. because this brought up this memory about this one time at band camp when I lived with my parents 20 years or so ago, I found a recipe somewhere (probably NOT the internet.. probably a magazine or something) to make “apple ginger beer”. The idea was you took apple cider, grated ginger and bakers yeast and mixed it in a glass bottle with a cork. Then every day, twice a day, you popped the cork so that you released the gasses that were building up. The cider turns to hard cider or “apple beer” if you will.
I knew about airlocks.. I did. But the recipe said to just release the gasses.
Let me tell you a little something about yeast. In my experience, yeast kinda of reach a point where they are just eating like little pigs and their carbon dioxide production increases rapidly. You know what else can happen?
A cork can shoot itself up 8 feet and embed itself in a drop tile ceiling. That, my friends was my first experience in brewing. It was not pretty.
But! I was willing to give it another shot. I decided to make the watermelon mint.
After a quick jaunt to the Homebrew Emporium to pick up some champagne yeast for less than a buck (oh and I may have ended up with some campden tablets and possibly a goat cheese kit and maybe another book on soda making..don’t you just LOVE a good Emporium?) and asking around for an empty two liter soda bottle, I was ready to brew up a batch of soda.
I wasn’t taking any chances at a messy clean up. That bottle was gonna hang out in the bathtub
After about 18 hours (pretty short.. but it was warm in the house) the soda bottle was rock hard. So into the fridge it went to slow the fermentation.
You guys, this was amazing.. so refreshing! LOOKIT ALL THE BUBBLES! Very soda like without being full of chemicals! I did make another batch of Strawberry Lime soda recently. LB thought the watermelon was too sweet.
That’s the really awesome thing about True Brews… every section has a master recipe so you can design your own! (More on that later)
Oh and remember, there is a hella lot more in this book than just soda… kefir, kombucha, cider, sake, beer.. if it ferments, she’s got a recipe for it.