- 1/4 cup white sugar (the stuff that is not good for you). It is necessary to allow the carbonation process to happen naturally. If you do not care about your sugar in-take, you can use one cup of sugar and eliminate the next item....stevia.
- 4 packets of Stevia
- 64 oz's (1/2 gallon) filtered, bottled or boiled water (you do not want to use chlorinated water as the carbonation will not happen as easily). If you really have to use tap water from a city water source then just fill a pitcher and leave it open to air for 24 hours to allow the chlorinated gases to escape the water.
- 2 pinches of bakers yeast (or if you can get to your local brewers store then pick up a couple packets of champagne yeast).
- One re-purposed, cleaned and rinsed with white vinegar and allowed to air dry 1/2 gallon (64 oz.) plastic soda or juice bottle with original cap. Do not use glass!!!
- Pure vanilla extract or other flavoring of your choice (grated ginger, lemon juice, orange extract, almond, cherry, root beer, etc...). Can be found in the spice/bakers section of your grocery store, ordered online, or found at a local brewers store. Do not use essential oil as it may inhibit the carbonation process and will not stay mixed in the finished soda.
The process is very easy.
- Using a funnel, put your sugar into the plastic bottle and add the Stevia at this time.
- If you are using a solid fruit or root for flavoring, grate it up and put it in the bottle at this time. I tried to add my liquid pure vanilla extract at this point and my finished product smelled like "butt" in the words of my husband and daughter. This does not make a pleasant drinking product. But when I used the grated ginger, it was really good. I used about 1 heaping tablespoon of ginger root grated and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice but it did not produce a strong enough flavor so, once the product was finished and just before I was ready to drink it I added about 1.5 tbs. of my pure vanilla extract and I had a very delicious vanilla cream soda.
- Pour in the water up to the just below the bottom of the neck of the bottle (this should leave about only 1 inch of air space.
- Put the lid on the bottle and shake it up until all of the sugar and stevia is dissolved. Take a small taste by placing a straw into the bottle and holding your finger on the end sticking out of the bottle. This will allow you to pull just a sampling out. You want to make sure that the soda is sweet enough to your liking. If it is not sweet enough, simply add another packet or two of Stevia until you get it to your liking.
- Add two liberal pinches of your yeast to the room temperature solution in your bottle, put the cap back on the bottle and give it a really good shake
- Set the bottle in a place where you will not forget about it and it will be about 70 degrees or higher for 24-48 hours. Squeeze the bottle so that you have an idea how much give the bottle has at the start of the process.
- You will want to give the bottle a squeeze in about 12 hours and compare it to what it felt like at the beginning. If the bottle is extremely firm and hard to squeeze then you will want to put the bottle into the refrigerator to stop the carbonation process (fermentation). Yes, I said fermentation. The amount of alcohol actually produced is so small that you would get ill from drinking to much liquid before you would ever feel any effects from the trace amount of alcohol produced.
- Once the bottle is cold, carefully open it and enjoy. If you did not add your flavoring before the carbonation process, you can do it now. You may want to add it to your drinking glass so that each family member can make their own flavor. Do not mix up the contents of the bottle. You will have some dead yeast cells which have settled on the bottom of the bottle. They will not hurt you but they will not taste that great either. If they do get mixed in, just allow the bottle to rest, capped in the fridge again and it will settle back to the bottom.
I hope someone gives this a try and even adds other suggestions for flavors. The ginger bug that I am in the process of making will give me other options to carbonate other juices and beverages without packaged yeast. Perhaps I will blog next about how to make the ginger bug and what to do with it once you have it made.
Until then, re-read #2 above so that you will have the Wisdom to Breath only fresh air, not air that smells like butt!!! LOL...........