Homemade Soda Pop

Over the last few weeks Nick has been experimenting with homemade soda recipes.  A lovely article on homemade root beer in the most recent issue of Saveur provided the catalyst. These days, store bought sodas use carbonated water to provide the necessary bubbles, though traditionally yeast was used to carbonate the beverage.  However, this gives the soda an ABV of around two or three percent — rendering it unsaleable to those under 21 in our country (you’d likely get ill before being able to consume enough to become even a bit tipsy).

The method for making soda is similar to homebrewing beer.  Nick made root beer first, using the Saveur article as a guide.  In the first photo you can see the spices wrapped in cheesecloth that steeped in the boiling water.  Sassafras root, sarsaparilla root, birch bark, licorice root, ginger, vanilla bean and molasses provided a superb aroma.

More recent creations have included ginger ale (pictured above, and my personal favorite so far) and sarsaparilla soda.  Nick has been using the book Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop as well as various internet sources to create recipes.  Cream soda is coming up next!

show hide 11 comments

Anali - Wow, you just opened up a whole new world to me. I would have never thought of making my own soda! Maybe I’ll be brave and try! And thanks for the link! ; )

davina baum - Hi! I just was perusing bloggers who were at Blogher and I landed here, and I feel the need to flog the root beer recipe that CHOW produced last fall — hearty souls might be interested in comparing and contrasting against the Saveur version. (I work for CHOW, therefore the shameless flogging.) Here’s the story:
There’s also a ginger beer recipe!

twobites - Hey Gemma, it was great to meet you too! It’s seldom I get to actually meet people I read on a regular basis.
A Chicago dinner is a must! I’m up for anything, but I can’t recommend Kuma’s Korner enough. Good food. Heavy metal. And friendly staff. We’ll have to start talking to people.

melissa - Dearest Gemma—what an inspiring post! I have never tried to make beer or soda yet, but I promise I will! Have a great week!

wendy - Wow. I had no idea you could make soda. I’m on it.

wendy - Wow. I had no idea you could make soda. I’m on it.

wendy - Wow. I had no idea you could make soda. I’m on it.

Ginger Root - Ginger Root

Production trends Ginger output in 2005 In 2005, China continued to lead the world in ginge

sarah - hey gemma, i met you over at ellen’s once for some frittata, in case you don’t remember me. i tried making ginger ale once and couldn’t get a good amount of sweetness. it was either too sweet or not enough. were you successful?

mindy - Hey Gemma-
Sorry we didn’t find time to have lunch before I moved out of town, but I hope I get to see you sometime soon.
I’m glad to hear that you guys are trying to make soda. My older brother used to make root beers and different sodas when we helped him make beer as kids. I think it was his way of rewarding us for helping him. I remember the sodas being really good– except that he once made a cream soda that was really weird. He hasn’t made any soda since my younger sister and I are both of age… but maybe now that he has kids he’ll try again. Best of luck to you both!

Ashley - I too was inspired from that article but have yet to find the time to make it. Thanks for re-inspiring me. Cream soda sounds so good!

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