I LOVE turmeric soda, ginger beer, and turmeric & ginger soda. They just feel so healthy! Bright yellow, sparkling, and not too sweet. A good-for-you treat that is perfect served over ice on a sunny day.
There are a lot of reasons to love turmeric soda:
- Healthy: Fermented turmeric is a popular supplement with a dose of science to back the claims. It improves liver function and is high in immune-regulating antioxidants and anti-inflammatory curcumin.
- Refreshing: This naturally sparkling beverage is refreshing and delicious. A perfect alternative to commercial soda pop.
- Probiotic: Fermented beverages are naturally probiotic!
- Low-sugar: Turmeric soda must be brewed with sugar since sucrose is what feeds the probiotic culture. However, you get to decide how sweet the final beverage will be. For a low-sugar beverage allow it to brew for an extra week or two.
- Affordable: It cost less than $1 to make your own bottle of turmeric soda.
- Zero Waste: Kick the soda can habit by brewing your own soft drinks!
Turmeric Bug Starter
Turmeric bug starter is really, really easy to make at home. In about 5 days you can have a happy bubbling starter. Here’s what you need to know to make your own turmeric bug.
- To make a turmeric bug starter, follow my recipe for ginger bug starter. Just replace the freshly grated ginger with turmeric root. Otherwise, the process is identical.
- Turmeric bug is easier to catch than ginger bug! The bacteria and yeasts are just more prominent on its skin. Just don’t use any roots that have signs of mold, or it will contaminate the brew.
- Do not use powdered turmeric. This recipe needs fresh turmeric root. The skin is important for helping to catch the turmeric bug. And many brands of powdered turmeric have been treated with preservatives which will slow fermentation.
- Ginger bug starter can be used to brew turmeric soda and vice-versa. They are 100% interchangeable. I’m always brewing one or the other or both together for an immune-boosting mix.
Flavoring Turmeric Soda
Turmeric soda can be flavored just like ginger bug and other fermented sodas. Simply replace part of the liquid with juice or tea. Or add spices and other flavors to the brew.
If you’re trying a new flavor, I recommend just brewing a small batch. That way you don’t have to commit to drinking more than a few glasses. Or if need inspiration, try a few of my favorite flavor combinations.
Here are a few ways to experiment with flavors.
Replacing part of the water in the soda with juice is a great way to add flavor. Berry turmeric punch? Yum!
Here are a few pointers:
- I recommend using clear juices, like blueberry, apple, or pomegranate. And avoid juices that have added preservatives, as they will slow down or stop the fermentation.
- Replace 2 cups of water in the recipes with 2 cups of no-added-sugar juice.
- For sparkling lemonade replace 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Avoid bottled lemon juice, which tends to be high in sulfites.
Unlike jun or kombucha, you can use any flavor of tea for your turmeric bug sodas.
Herbal, black, or green tea all add a unique flavor. Feel free to replace anywhere from half to all of the water in your soda with brewed tea. However, you will still need to included the sugar and fresh turmeric to feed the culture.
3. Other additions:
Turmeric soda can be flavored with pretty much anything you can imagine.
- Whole spices
- Dried fruits
- Vanilla bean
- Citrus zest
Turmeric soda is a healthy and delicious alternative to soda pop. Made with naturally fermented turmeric, it’s sparkling, sweet, and probiotic!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Vegan
- 3 1/2 cups water (see section above for alternatives)
- 3–6 Tbsp sugar (see notes)
- 1/4 cup turmeric bug starter (see the section above for details on how to make a starter)
- 4 Tbsp of finely grated fresh turmeric
- Mix all of the ingredients in a 1-quart glass jar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cover with a piece of cloth or coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring. Place the jar somewhere warm and dark to ferment for 3 to 7 days and give it a good stir each day. (A kitchen cupboard is perfect). Turmeric bug needs air for proper fermentation so don’t seal the jar during this initial ferment.
- Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the jar, strain the mixture into a bottle. You will need to use a bottle that can handle the carbonation. See notes for more details.
- Allow the turmeric soda to ferment for a further 1 to 2 weeks to build up the carbonation. Check the carbonation 5 days after bottling.
- Once it’s fizzy, store the turmeric soda in the refrigerator. Consume within four weeks of refrigeration.
- Turmeric bug soda cannot be made with powdered turmeric. If you are unable to find fresh turmeric, I recommend making ginger beer and adding 2 Tbsp of powdered turmeric to the ferment.
- The amount of sugar used will affect the final sweetness of the beverage. Using 3 Tbsp of sugar is necessary to properly carbonate. Add more sugar if you enjoy sweet beverages. Turmeric soda cannot be made with alternative sweeteners, maple syrup, or honey. It needs sucrose to thrive.
- Use swing-top beer bottles or plastic pop bottles which will be able to handle the carbonation. Decorative bottles aren’t strong enough and might break.