A survey of ethnic drinks from around the world reveals that enjoyment of the unique, health boosting refreshment furnished by traditionally fermented beverages is nearly universal.
These drinks are the healthy sodas of old, minus the additives, chemicals, GMO high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors.
Plain water pales in comparison to the effective manner in which a homemade soda or fermented drink quenches thirst after a sweaty round of yard work, exercise or adventure in the outdoors through rapid replacement of lost electrolytes. Traditional beverages also promote thorough digestion of food by supplying additional enzymes when sipped with meals.
When carefully made with quality ingredients, alcoholic fermentation is replaced with lacto-fermentation with complex flavors and a slight effervescence the very enjoyable result.
With nearly all ancestral cultures boasting at least one delicious, artisanal fermented beverage made from the local bounty of the fields, the modern addiction to sugar and synthetically sweetened sodas suggests that our desire for a bubbly drink is a most basic and primal need.
Homemade fermented beverages are indeed the answer to the modern addiction to soda!
If you haven’t yet embarked on a fermented beverage adventure in your kitchen, there are numerous how-to’s on this blog to help you get started or expand your repertoire as needed.
Here are a few of the video and/or written lessons listed in order from easiest to most difficult:
- Hindu Lemonade
- Beet Kvass
- Orangina (fermented orange juice)
- Water Kefir
- Kombucha (Beginner 1, Beginner 2)
- Ginger Ale
- Ginger Beer (coming soon!)
- Kombucha (Advanced Topics 1, Advanced Topics 2)
- Root Beer
While all of these beverages will yield a satisfying, slightly effervescent drink, some people find that they wish for a substantial amount of fizz similar to the tongue tingle supplied by a modern soda.
This is possible, but an extra step – bottling – is required to produce extreme effervescence.
In the video below, I demonstrate the various options for bottling your fermented beverages to achieve a level of fizziness comparable to store soda.
Where to find the right bottles, how much to fill them, how long to leave them on the counter, and how to open them properly without an explosion which makes a big mess are all discussed.
Note that bottling is only done after a fermented beverage is successfully brewed and ready for consumption. It is an extra step and only performed to achieve extra fizz. Bottling of fermented beverages is not necessary if you are already enjoying your homemade drinks just the way they are.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist