Bubbling Waters: Raspberry and Blueberry Soda
Now fermentation fans and home brewers can rediscover these “primitive” drinks and their unique flavors in The Wildcrafting Brewer. You’ll be surprised at how easy making your own natural drinks can be!
One of the best ways to begin brewing is by dipping your toes in the bubbling waters of homemade soda. Mountain raspberry and blueberry soda is a recipe easily adapted to different regions of the country, featuring your local pine, fir, or spruce needles along with farmers’ market fruit.
There are no real rules. Let it be about fun, creativity, and flavors. What fun flavors will your environment develop? There’s only one way to find out.
Check out the “wonders” of brewing in the excerpt adapted for the web below from The Wildcrafting Brewer by Pascal Baudar and browse these related links for more recipes:
- Winter in the Forest Beer
- Tree Sap: Nature’s Energy Drink
- Brew Outside the Box: Making Mushroom-Infused Beer
- Recipe: Ginger Beer
This is probably the prettiest soda I’ve ever made, and it’s super tasty as well.
The recipe is extremely loose, so don’t overcomplicate things. If you live in Oregon or on the East Coast (Vermont, Maine, New York), you may use different trees such as spruces or pines (white pine, blue spruce, and so on), and of course different berries. If you live in Maine or Vermont, by all means use your wonderful maple syrup as a sugar source. It’s all good.
This is very much a “concept” drink to celebrate the season.
- Clean your fermentation vessel and place your fresh ingredients in it. Add spring water (don’t use tap water, which may contain chlorine) and sugar. There are no real rules for this simple fermentation: Just pack 80 percent of your jar with what you have collected/purchased. I use around 50 percent berries and 50 percent pine/fir. Cut the tips of the needles to help extract the flavors. Start with around 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of sugar for 1⁄2 gallon (1.89 L) of water.
- Add yeast (wild yeast starter or champagne yeast). Screw on the lid of your container, but not too tight; you want fermentation gases to escape. You can also cover it with clean cheesecloth or a paper towel. Stir gently two or three times a day with a clean spoon. Taste as you go, and judge by flavors. When you like what you drink, you can stop. It may take 3 or 4 days or more. I usually don’t leave the fruits in the liquid for more than 3 days (some get mushy).
- Strain and pour the liquid into recycled plastic soda bottles or glass swing-top bottles. Check the pressure after a day or so.
- When you’re satisfied with the level of carbonation, place your soda in the fridge and enjoy the next day. I like to drink it within a week.
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