Last summer, I stumbled upon a beautiful Instagram page by Gather Victoria (@gathervictoria). She had posted a wild soda recipe; I am always looking for healthier options, and within the last few years have gotten into fermentation. So I jumped at the idea of making my own soda. The problem was, the recipe called for me to gather my own herbs and fruits with wild yeast on them, something you can’t find in the grocery store. I did have some of my own herbs growing, but needed fruit. I live in a city with a small yard, and my gardening skills, though budding, aren’t quite up to par and wild gathering just isn’t an option where I am at. The next best thing for me was the farmers market!
Luckily Salt Lake has a few great farmers markets. I got my dog Tila ready, and headed out to get what I needed. Since this was last year and my memory isn’t the best I don’t quite remember what I put in last years batch, but what I (and a few co-workers) can tell you is this farmers market soda was amazing!
What you will need:
A ½ gallon of spring or filtered water (tap water may kill the ferment)
1 - 1½ cups yeasty fruits & herbs, chopped
½ cup organic cane sugar or honey
Glass swing top bottles, brewing bottles, or plastic pop bottles with lids, cleaned & sterilized
- Wash the jar, then sterilize with boiling water
- Chop and muddle the fruits & herbs, if you wash your fruit do so gently, being careful not to wash the bloom/wild yeast (white residue) off. This is vital for fermentation. I tried to make this recipe once with store bought fruit with very little bloom on it and it did not turn out.
- Place fruits & herbs in the jar, pour sugar over, and mix. Add the water and stir.
- Cover the jar with a clean cloth and secure with an elastic band.
- Stir morning and night, every day until you see bubbles. 24hrs-3 days. This varies depending on yeast present and temperatures. I have gone as long as 4 days before.
- Once you see bubbles and have a pleasant smell, taste to see if it’s too sweet. If it is, ferment longer.
- When you are satisfied with the taste and bubbles, strain and bottle the soda. Let the jars sit at room temperature and carbonate for 8-12hrs, checking at 8.
- Refrigeration stops the fermentation process, so when you have the right amount of bubbles put the soda in the fridge. Be careful! If it ferments too much and it’s not in a container that is made for brewing, it may explode!
- Your brew is ready to enjoy. You can add more flavoring when serving. If you have lost carbonation, add a dash of sugar and allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours.
- Will keep for a few weeks as long as there aren’t any solids left in the soda.