Homemade Grape Soda

I don’t know about you, but grape soda has always reminded me of my childhood. There’s something sweet and refreshing about it that makes it an excellent choice for summer time fun. But forget about the store bought neon purple variety… how about trying your hand at making your own soda? We have a great recipe for you from the new book Making Soda at Home by Jeremy Butler. It’s easier than you think (and you don’t even need a SodaStream!).

Want to see Jeremy make some sodas live? How about try some out? Be sure to find us at the Mother Earth News Fair in gorgeous Seven Springs, PA. We’ll be there from September 12-14.

Homemade Grape Soda
Excerpted from Making Soda at Home by Jeremy Butler

Grape soda is a classic flavor. It’s one that has been done by just about every bottler, but if not done right, it can be a really disappointing flavor. To get a nice grape character, the best thing to use is real grape juice. For a straight carbonation or a fermentation, full-strength or freshly squeezed grape juice can be used. For a
syrup-plus-seltzer soda, it would be wasting money and destroying flavor by boiling down grape juice to a syrup consistency. Use a frozen concentrate instead because that work has been done already and under much better controlled conditions to preserve flavor.

Syrup + Seltzer
1 3/4 cups (375 g) sugar
1 cup (235 ml) grape juice concentrate
1/2 cup (120 ml) water

(syrup for 1 gallon [3.8 L] finished soda; use 2 to 3 tablespoons [28 to 45 ml] per 8 ounces [235 ml] carbonated water, or to taste)

Straight Carbonation
1 3/4 cups (375 g) sugar
1 cup (235 ml) grape juice concentrate or 4 cups (950 ml) 100% grape juice
Water to top up to 1 gallon

2 cups (400 g) sugar
1 cup (235 ml) grape juice concentrate or 4 cups (950 ml) 100% grape juice
Water to top up to 1 gallon
1⁄8 teaspoon Champagne yeast or red wine yeast
1 g yeast nutrient

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and half of the grape juice concentrate or juice. If using the concentrate, also add an equal amount of water so the syrup doesn’t burn. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has boiled for about 5 minutes.

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For the syrup and seltzer method, remove from the heat and chill. Add the rest of the juice concentrate and then add the syrup to carbonated water.

For straight carbonation or fermentation, add the rest of the water and the concentrate or juice. For straight carbonation, chill the mixture before adding it to the keg or carbonator of your choice.

For fermentation, hydrate the yeast in ¼ cup (60 ml) or less of warm water. Add the hydrated yeast to the mixture after it has cooled to 10 to 15°F (5.5 to 8°C) above room temperature. Stir in the yeast nutrient.

Mix well and then bottle.

Yield 1 gallon (3.8 L )

Making Soda at Home

An icy cold, carbonated beverage is just the pick-me-up you need when the day really starts to wear you down. So, wouldn’t it be even more rewarding and fulfilling if you could make your own from scratch? Crafting a great carbonated beverage is easy! This informative guide to making soda at home is perfect for anyone looking to create delicious artisan drinks with or without a soda machine. Jeremy Butler breaks down the science of carbonation so you can discover recipes that are easily adapted for each of the three methods for carbonation. He even shows you how to make a soda bar, complete with kegerator, in your own home! Offering resources like homebrew forums, shopping guides, and industrial suppliers, all the information you need to make your own soda is right here. Once you master the bubbles, it’s time to add the syrups.

Making Soda at Home offers over 35 natural and healthy recipes to flavor your fizz. It even provides insider tips on creating your own recipes. Try refreshing coconut-lime or peach sodas on a hot summer day. Tonics like root beer, sassafras, sarsaparilla, and ginger ale are delicious with a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Brew expert clones of your favorite dews, peppers, pops, and colas with ease. There’s even a recipe for butter beer! Perfect for any do-it-yourself foodie, Making Soda at Home will have you drinking natural homemade soda in no time.