Tarragon Ginger Soda

soda3

This summer, one of the ways I used our excess fruit was to make delicious probiotic homemade sodas using my homemade ginger bug.  I made plum soda (one of my favorites!), strawberry soda, elderberry soda, ginger-apple soda, and probably others that I’m not remembering.  I’m planning on trying a pomegranate soda soon, and maybe a persimmon soda (sounds weird, but I’m very curious to try it!), and probably a cranberry soda (no, I don’t grow my own cranberries, unfortunately) for the holidays.

Most recently, I’ve looked to my herb garden to find inspiration, and thought that a tarragon soda sounded promising.  And indeed, it is – this soda has a refreshing, light licorice-y flavor and beautiful golden color.

I had grand plans to write up a tutorial for making a ginger bug (a VERY easy process!), but to be honest, I’ve gotten a bit lazy.  Since there are countless ginger bug tutorials out there, I’ll just refer you to one of my favorites from Nourished Kitchen.

I make my sodas in 1/2 gallon batches, but the recipe could easily be cut in half to make just a quart.  In addition to basic kitchenware (mason jars fall in this category, right?), you’ll also need a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth), a funnel, and (if you want your soda to be fizzy), a couple of swing-top bottles for secondary fermentation (you could reuse Grolsch bottles if you buy Grolsch, or could probably reuse a screw-top glass bottle that originally held sparkling water).  Do take care not to forget about your soda during secondary fermentation – if it sits too long, enough gas could build up in the bottles to cause quite a dangerous (not to mention messy) explosion!  If you’re worried about the risk of explosion, a good precaution to take would be to wrap your bottles in a towel and then place them in a box or pot for secondary fermentation.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 7 cups room-temperature dechlorinated or filtered water (to dechlorinate tap water, just let it sit out in an open container for 24 hours; the chlorine will evaporate off   **edited to add: Many municipalities use chloramines instead of chlorine to disinfect water.  Chloramines will not evaporate off like chlorine does, so if this is the case for your water, use filtered water!)
  • 1/2 cup ginger bug
  • 2 Tablespoons minced or grated ginger (about a 1.5″ piece)
  • 5 sprigs (each 4-6 inches long) tarragon
The ingredients: honey, ginger bug, tarragon, and ginger.

The ingredients: honey, ginger bug, tarragon, and ginger.

Directions

  1. Add water and honey to a 1/2 gallon mason jar (or a ceramic or glass bowl – do not use metal, as it will react with the acids produced during fermentation), and stir with a wooden spoon to fully dissolve honey.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and give the mixture a quick stir to combine.
  3. Top the jar with a cloth napkin (what I usually use), tea towel, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.  Let sit to ferment at room temperature for two days.

    Ready for primary fermentation.  (I usually cover with a cloth napkin or tea towel, but the coffee filter made for a prettier picture.)

    Ready for primary fermentation. (I usually cover with a cloth napkin or tea towel, but the coffee filter made for a prettier picture.)

  4. After two days, use a fine-mesh strainer or a couple of layers of cheesecloth to strain the ginger and tarragon out of the mixture, and pour into your swing-top bottles.  Cap the bottles.
    Filtering and bottling for secondary fermentation.

    Filtering and bottling for secondary fermentation.

    This half-gallon batch filled two bottles: a 1-liter size (about 34 fluid ounces), and a smaller 3/4 liter size (25 fluid ounces).

    Ready for secondary fermentation!

    Ready for secondary fermentation!

  5. Let these filled bottles go through secondary fermentation at room temperature (mind the safety precautions I discussed above!) for 1-2 days: 1 day if the room is on the warmer side (as fermentation will occur more quickly at higher temps) or if you prefer a slightly sweeter, slightly less-fizzy drink; two days if the room is on the cool side.  After this period, place the bottles in the fridge.
  6. Once chilled, you can drink at any time!  Do take caution when first opening the bottles – on occasion, I’ve lost nearly half a bottle at a time due to the excess carbonation creating a literal “soda fountain” all over my kitchen.  I like to burp the bottles before opening, just in case: crack the swing-top open just slightly to release some gas, then quickly close and let settle, repeating a couple of times if necessary.

    The finished product.  Yum!

    The finished product. Yum!

Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Tarragon Ginger Soda

  1. sybaritica says:

    That sounds delicious…. great tip on the chlorination!

  2. Arsy says:

    That sounds amazing! I didn’t know you can dechlorinate water that way! Great tip!

    • Emilie says:

      Yes! It does not, however, remove chloramine, unfortunately – so if that’s used in your water, I’d use filtered water for this recipe instead.

  3. Pingback: Probiotic Cranberry-Orange Soda | Thomahaak Family Farm

  4. Sara says:

    Wonderful tutorial!
    Any chance we can get your plum soda recipe? I’m new to ginger bug sodas and up to my elbows in plums. Looking for guidance!

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