Make Soda Pop From Plants

Kathryn Kingsbury shares tips about how to make soda pop from plants, including a brief history of soda making, how yeast works in soda making, a list of equipment needed to make natural soda pop and how to bottle your homemade pop.

| March/April 2007

  • Learn how to make soda pop from plants.
    Learn how to make soda pop from plants.
    Photo: Fotolia/Andrew Kazmierski

  • Learn how to make soda pop from plants.

Learn the basics you need to know about how to make soda pop from plants.

Homemade Soda Pop Recipes

Tonic Root Beer Recipe
Rose Petal Soda Pop Recipe
Strawberry-Lavender Soda Pop Recipe
Elderflower Bubbly Soda Pop Recipe
Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

With soft drinks as much a part of the junk-food pantheon as burgers and fries, it’s hard to imagine that physicians once promoted the drinks as cures for all sorts of ailments. In the late 1800s, druggists frequently served up root beer for well-being, ginger ale for nausea and Coca-Cola for hangovers.

Of course, the sodas of yesteryear were entirely different creatures from the ones we find today. They were made from natural ingredients — the roots, leaves, flowers and barks of plants credited with health benefits. But many pharmacists had received training as chemists, and they couldn’t resist the urge to experiment. By the early 1900s, synthesized flavorings were taking over.

Fortunately, the art of how to make soda pop from plants was not completely lost. For centuries, homemakers had been stirring up batches of “small beers” — low-alcohol, bubbly drinks — right alongside homebrewed beer. During Prohibition, when the only way to acquire beer was to make it yourself, the art of small beers also went through a revival.

You can rekindle this tradition in your own kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

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