Homemade grape soda? I might have a crush on it (see what I did there!?!)
My version isn’t as sweet as the commercial stuff but it’s fantastically fizzy, relatively simple to make and is a rare treat around our house. There’s something that’s ridiculously fun about transforming ‘real’ ingredients (like grapes) into something that you’ve only had as a commercial product laced with sugar, colors and ingredients that sound like they come from space.
You can make this recipe sweeter by adjusting the amount of honey; but I like it as-is. We use a thin honey as it’s easy to incorporate.
A FEW TIPS ON THE PROCESS:
- Although many of us in the preserving community like to avoid using plastic, this ferment causes intense pressure. Pop-top lids (like Grolsch bottles) may prevent explosions but I prefer homebrew plastic bottles (available at homebrew beer stores) which are made for fermented beverages (like beer).
- other than safety, plastic allows you to check the amount of carbonation that’s taken place. Once the bottle is hard, place it in the fridge. I once failed to do so and a regular plastic bottle began to buldge to the point I was worried about it exploding. Once it’s moved into the fridge, carbonation will slow (and pretty much stop), so it’s essential to store it cool.
- This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Yeast will transform sugar into alcohol. Like kombucha, this recipe could contain some alcohol though it should be minimal to non-existent due to the speed of ferment. Measuring with a hydrometer (a process that I’m not comfortable enough to teach yet; though your you-brew store will be) would be the best way to measure alcohol content.
HOMEMADE GRAPE SODA RECIPE – INGREDIENTS
- 3 pounds grapes, seedless if possible.
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/8 teaspoon of champagne yeast
- Special equipment: plastic brewing bottles, caps and sanitizer (per above), funnel, fine sieve
HOMEMADE GRAPE SODA RECIPE – INSTRUCTIONS
- Remove stems from grapes (and seeds if you have them) and place in blender.
- Add lemon juice and liquify.
- Strain the solids from the mixture. You’ll likely have to stir it to help make it strain. It will have a few pleasant grape solids remaining (which are fine); if you’d rather something closer to the commercial variety, strain multiple times.
- Add remaining ingredients, allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
- Pour the grape concentrate into a 2-liter (2 quart) plastic bottle. If you’re using smaller bottles, split the concentrate equally.
- Top with dechorinated water (spring water or chlorinated tap water that has boiled and returned to room temperature. Leave at least 1 inch headspace.
- Screw lids tight, place in a warm spot of your kitchen out of direct sunlight. Squeeze bottle to test; it is done when it is hard (which should take 12-48 hours and will be faster in a warmer kitchen).
- Store in fridge; this will slow (and practically stop) the ferment.
- Open slowly over your sink. With time you will learn to open it without making a mess!