Looking for a sweet and sparkling, yet healthy beverage? Or a zero-waste alternative to soda pop? Ginger bug soda is a deliciously probiotic beverage made from fresh ginger. It is perfect for all sorts of different flavored pops.
Ginger bug is a good homemade soda pop alternative for anyone who doesn’t regularly brew kombucha or water kefir. It is a wild-yeast culture made from sugar and fresh ginger. It only takes around 5 days to catch and it’s pretty reliable for newbie fermenters.
How to Flavor Ginger Bug Sodas
Traditionally ginger bug is used to make spicy ginger beer. However, it can also be turned into all sorts of different flavored soda pops.
Here are a few different ways to add flavor to ginger bug soda:
- 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 or stop the fermentation.
- Teas: Unlike jun or kombucha, you can use any flavor of tea for your ginger bug sodas. Herbal, black, or green teas will all add a unique flavor.
- Other additions: You can also flavor the ginger soda with spices, dried fruits, vanilla bean, or citrus zest.
Favorite Flavor Combinations
When experimenting with flavoring ginger bug sodas, don’t forget that the hint of ginger will always be there. Here are a few of my favorite flavors.
Here are three traditional ginger bug soda flavors.
- Strong and Spicy Ginger Beer: Traditional ginger beer is hot and spicy, and sometimes it even includes hot pepper! Here’s my recipe for ginger beer.
- Turmeric Soda: Bright yellow turmeric soda is a perfect alternative for anyone who can’t handle the spice of ginger. Fresh turmeric and ginger are completely interchangeable, and I often use a mix of both.
- Holiday Ginger ale: Cranberry ginger ale is a winter tradition in Canada. Though the bright red beverage is delicious at any time of year.
Flavors for ginger bug soda pop
Here are some flavors that are brewed using the recipe below. They are scaled for 3 1/2 cups of liquid. The sugar in the general recipe feeds the ginger bug for a carbonated soda. You can use less sugar, but the beverage won’t be as bubbly.
- Ginger Lemonade: Use 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with 3 cups of filtered water along with the zest from 2 lemons.
- Berry Punch: Use 2 cups of berry juice with 1 1/2 cups of filtered water for a bright pink concoction (as seen in the photo above).
- Iced Chia: Brew 3 1/2 cups of chai tea. Stir a little bit of milk or cream into the glass before serving.
- White Mint: Brew 3 1/2 cups of white tea, add in 3 large sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
- Cream soda: Brew 3 1/4 cups black tea, add in 1/4 cup of raisins and 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract.
- Gingered Peach: Finely chop 1 ripe peach and mix with green tea for the 3 1/2 cups of liquid.
- Immune Booster: Use 1/2 cup of cranberry juice, 3 cups of water 2 Tbsp of grated fresh turmeric, and the juice and zest from 1 lemon.
Ginger Bug Soda Pop
Ginger bug sodas are the easiest homemade probiotic soda pop. Ginger bug can be flavored juice, tea or herbs, and spices. Experiment to find your own favorite combination or use one of my suggestions from the section above.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Traditional
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 3 1/2 cups water, fruit juice, or brewed tea
- 3–6 Tbsp sugar (see notes for more details)
- 1/4 cup ginger bug starter
- Spices, fruit, and other flavor additions (See the section above for recommended flavors)
- Mix the liquid with the sugar, and ginger bug starter in a quart-sized (1 L) glass jar. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Add any additional fruit, spices, or other flavor additions.
- Cover the jar with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring. Place the jar somewhere warm and allow it to ferment for 3-5 days. Give the mixture a good stir each day.
- Once the ginger bug soda has begun to bubble it is ready for bottling. Strain the liquid into a bottle that can handle the buildup of carbonation. See below for details.
- Allow the bottled sodas to ferment at room temperature for a further 5-7 days to build up the carbonation. Pop the bottles every two days to test the carbonation.
- Once it’s fizzy, move it to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation. Ginger bug sodas taste best if consumed within four weeks of bottling, as they will continue to ferment until all the sugar is consumed.
- The ginger bug feeds on sucrose, so you need to use sugar or coconut palm sugar in this recipe. Over time more and more of the sugar will be consumed by the ginger bug, so if it seems too sweet, then let it ferment a little bit longer. It is possible to not include any additional sugar, however, the soda will not be as carbonated.
- You can use straight juice as the liquid for a very sweet ginger bug soda. Since the juice is high in fructose, the sweetness won’t be consumed by the ginger bug. Otherwise, I recommend a mix of 1/2 juice and 1/2 water.
- 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.
- If you end up making a lot of soda, I recommend getting a funnel that has a filter built-in.
Keywords: ginger ale, ginger beer, probiotic, summer, healthy, soda pop, vegan, gluten free