As a little girl I remember my great grandmother giving us Ginger Soda to calm our tummies when we were sick. Even now, when my little one gets sick I always think of Ginger Ale as the go to for a stomach ache. However, the Ginger Ale that is in the store has precious little ginger in it, not to mention all GMO’s and preservatives. Here are the ingredients to a very popular store bought ginger ale.
GINGER ALE SODA
INGREDIENTS: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and 2% or Less of each of the Following, Concentrated Juices (Pineapple, Orange, Passionfruit, Apple), Purees (Apricot, Papaya, Guava), Citric Acid, Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavor, Pectin, Acacia Gum, Gum Ghatti, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Red 40, Blue 1, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives) and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
I don’t think this is the same thing my great grandmother gave us! Since I’ve gone on the “if my Great Grandmommy wouldn’t recognize it as food I’m not eating it” kick, soda (which I’d already sworn off) is going to make a comeback in our household. Lacto-fermented soda, that is!
Lacto-fermentation is a nifty way to convert sugars to carbon gas and lactic acid, which is amazing for digestion and many other health issues. It’s full of probiotics so you won’t feel bad letting your children indulge in a sweet treat! When Grandmommy gave us the Ginger Soda this is what she gave us.
Here is the basic recipe. (You can tweak this to make any kind of soda you like. Ginger, grape, apple, blackberry, let your imagination run wild!!!)
First make your Ginger Bug (click here for instructions in case you’ve not made yours yet)
Chop up your fruit (about a cup for fruit or ½ cup for ginger) and cover it with 2qts of water. Boil. Add 1.5c Raw or Wet Honey. You can also use sugar if you like. Stir until honey or sugar is dissolved.
Allow to cool. When it’s cool (remember too hot kills your Ginger Bug) strain into a 1 gallon glass jar. Add about a cup of your Ginger Bug and de-chlorinated water (instructions on how to de-chlorinate your water). Fill to about and inch below the shoulder of the jar.
Cover with a cloth to keep dust and insects out but allowing it to breathe. Stir twice daily for 3 days and on the 3rd day you should be able to hear it bubble when you stir. When it bubbles a lot during stirring and you can hear it bubble even before you stir it’s ready to bottle!
You can use spring loaded glass bottles or just plain mason jars, as long as they make a good seal. Bottle them up and let the carbonation build. Leave them at room temp for about 24 hours before you refrigerate. They’re ready to drink once they’re chilled! Just make sure that you don’t forget about them because carbonation continues to build slowly in the refrigerator. And use caution when you open them. Think Champagne Bottle! Enjoy!!!!