Make Homemade Blackberry Soda

Several years ago I bought a small blackberry bush on sale at a local nursery. It was really just a small stick with a few thorns. Initially I was doubtful it would even make it. Now when I look back on that day, it makes me laugh. I had no idea how hearty and invasive blackberry bushes actually are; the entire south side of my house has been overtaken by it.

With bushel after bushel of blackberries every year, I have had to come up with a couple of creative ways of using them. One of my absolute favorites is Homemade Blackberry Soda. I use my food processor to get the berries ready. It just takes a few simple ingredients and two days brewing time. The process is very simple. Yeast is allowed to consume the sugar in the honey and blackberries in a closed environment. The yeast in turn produces gas which is trapped in the jar. These gasses form bubbles which give the soda natural carbonation.

I must warn you that because we are dealing with intentionally created pressure in a closed glass jar there is risk involved. The glass can break if the pressure becomes too great. There are a couple of ways to make sure the risk is minimal. First, keep the brewing soda under 70 degrees F. 60 to 68 degrees F would be ideal. Second, check your soda before you expect it to be done. This will release the built up pressure as well as preventing it from becoming overly fermented.

The amounts that follow are for one quart of soda. I’ve never made such a small amount but I always figure out how many quarts I intend to make and multiply all ingredients by that number. I use a standard one quart canning jar; the tight-fitting lids are perfect for the brewing process.

Ingredients For One Quart Of Blackberry Soda

1 pound of clean blackberries

1/3 cup of honey

The juice and zest of half a lemon

1/8 teaspoon of active dry yeast

Filtered water (water with chlorine present will kill the yeast and prevent fermentation from occurring)

Directions

Put the blackberries, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest into the work bowl of your food processor fitted with a multipurpose blade. Pulse until very well puréed. Transfer to canning jar(s) and add the yeast and enough filtered water to fill the jar with 1 inch of airspace at the top.

Move to a cool (but not cold) and dark place. Leave to ferment for about 48 hours. The exact time will depend on the temperature of the room. The soda is done when it is well carbonated. I recommend first checking it at 36 hours. Refrigerate and strain before serving. Enjoy!

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