- 3½ cups water, juice or brewed tea (see notes for details)
- Spices, fruit and other flavour additions (See the bottom of the post for recommended flavours)
- 6 tbsp sugar
- ¼ cup ginger bug starter (liquid only)
- Mix all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
- Cover with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring. Place somewhere warm and allow to ferment for 3 days (stirring each day).
- Once you have bubbles strain the mixture and bottle it. Allow it to ferment for a further 3 to 5 days to build up the carbonation. You may need to add more sweetener at this time (to taste).
- Once it's fizzy, refrigerate and enjoy! Ginger bug sodas are best if consumed within four weeks of bottling.
- The ginger bug needs sucrose for the initial ferment. However, for the second ferment (the bottled ferment) feel free to sweeten to your taste with any kind of sweetener. You will get more bubbles with 1 tsp of white sugar in each bottle. The sucrose will be consumed by the ginger bug, so there won’t be as much sugar in your final beverage.
- You can use straight juice as the liquid for a sweet ginger bug soda. Since juice is high in fructose, the sweetness won’t be consumed by the ginger bug. Otherwise, I recommend a mix of 1/3 juice and either water or brewed tea.
- Finished ginger bug sodas will continue to build up carbonation. Use plastic pop bottles, or swing-top bottles that can handle the pressure of carbonation.
- See the section below for ways to flavour your ginger bug sodas.
Ways to Flavour Ginger Bug Sodas
Juice: I recommend using clear juices, like blueberry, apple or pomegranate. If you want a sparkling lemonade then use just 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixed into filtered water. Avoid juices that have added preservatives, as they will slow down the fermentation.
Teas: Unlike jun or kombucha, you can use any flavour of tea for your ginger bug sodas. Herbal, black or green teas will all add a unique flavour.
Other additions: You can also flavour the ginger soda with spices, dried fruits, vanilla bean or citrus zest
Favourite Flavour Combinations
When experimenting with flavouring ginger bug sodas, don’t forget that the flavour of ginger will always be there.
- Strong and Spicy Ginger Beer: Follow this recipe for a very gingery ginger beer.
- Lemonade: Use 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixed with filtered water along with the zest from 2 lemons.
- Pomegranate Punch: Use 2 cups of pomegranate juice with filtered water for a bright pink concoction.
- Iced Chia: Brew chai tea, and add 2 tbsp of honey. The only will add both flavour and sweetness. Stir in a little bit of milk or cream before serving.
- White Mint: Brew white tea, add in 3 large sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
- Cream soda: Brew black tea, add in 1/4 cup of raisins and 1 vanilla bean split in half.
- Gingered Peach: Finely chop 1 peach and mix with green tea for the 3 1/2 cups of liquid.
- Immune Booster: Use 1/2 cup of cranberry juice, 2 tbsp of grated fresh turmeric, and the juice and zest from 1 lemon.
- Holiday Ginger ale: Cranberry ginger ale is a winter tradition. Though the bright red beverage is delicious at anytime of year.