In my last two posts, I’ve detailed two simple cultures that you can use to make your own homemade, probiotic-rich soda. However, I know that lots of people aren’t ready to have bacteria growing on top of their fridge. I understand. So, for you, I offer three quick and dirty sodas that you can make without any special ingredients.(Actually, I was going to include a method that used regular baking yeast. After making it and tasting it, I’ll stick with just the two below. Trust me.) For many people, soda is one of those final frontiers of healthy living that is really difficult to give up.
This weekend we had a group of my daughter’s friends over for what we call “Kids Night Out”. I have scaled back my water kefir production, so I did not have enough to bring out at the gathering. What to do, what to do? I took my handy organic grape juice (Santa Cruz brand is the only one I will buy – for flavor) and mixed it in a 50:50 ratio with natural sparkling mineral water. The kids loved it, it did not require a fermentation and it was still better than soda. Juice cut in half is still plenty sweet, but no where near the amounts of sugar in soda, not to mention that it is lacking in lots of other icky ingredients like phosphoric acid, natural flavor and high fructose corn syrup. If you like Orangina soda, use orange juice.
The second method also uses sparkling mineral water. You can make a simple syrup by heating equal parts of sugar and water in a small pan. Chill the syrup and add it, to taste, to the sparkling mineral water. Make sure that you measure how much you need for future reference. Then, you can add 1/8th teaspoon of vanilla extract for cream soda. Experiment with other flavors. For a Sprite-type soda, you could use a splash of lemon and lime juice with the simple syrup. To make your own homemade Gatorade/Powerade-type drink, all you need to add is a pinch of salt (and you can use filtered water instead of sparkling if you don’t want it carbonated). I’m sure you could also use the flavorings available for home soda makers, but I have never read those ingredients.
Have a happy summer sipping your homemade sodas!