Along the Grapevine

Sumac Soda

34 Comments

DSC02869A couple of days ago I wrote about gathering and preserving rhus glabra, or smooth sumac, a departure from my usual rhus typhina, or staghorn sumac. These are only two of the roughly thirty five species of red berried rhuses, and as far as I can tell, their flavours are similar enough that they can be interchanged in recipes very easily. So while I have used the smooth sumac liquid, i.e. berry infused water as a base, you could substitute this with any other edible sumac.

I have made a few natural sodas lately, including tonic water, and the success I have had with all of them has encouraged me to continue experimenting. As sumac is great in a lemonade, tea or mead, I figured it would make a decent soda too. I was not disappointed.

Besides the sumac ‘juice’ as described in my last post, you will need some honey and some starter or bug for the fermentation to take place. The process for making a bug can be found here. Once your bug is ready, you mix the three ingredients in flip top bottles. Ginger is the most common root to use, but I also use dandelion and chicory root where I don’t want a strong ginger flavour as is the case with this drink.
 

My general rule is to mix the ingredients so that the initial mixture is sweeter than you want the end product, since much of the sugar gets used up in the fermentation process, so while there is a high ratio of honey, the drink is still quite dry. However, the fermentation is speedy and effective, so be warned. I try it after three days instead of the usual five, and open the bottles every two days to let excess gas escape. The drink will continue to ferment, so once you are happy with its flavour and fizziness, keep it chilled.
The proportions I used were as follows: 1 cup bug, 1 cup raw honey, 3 1/2 cups sumac juice.

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So here is a soda that is not only delicious but actually good for you. I will be sharing it with the guests at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #104, where I will be co-hosting along with Mila from Milk and Bun. Do drop by for some extraordinary recipes, and if you are a food blogger yourself, feel free to post a recipe of your own. The clear and simple guidelines are outlined here.

 

 

 

 

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

34 thoughts on “Sumac Soda

  1. I love your posts Hilda, you’re so lucky to be able to forage sumac. I’m off to check out how to make a bug and tonic water. Thanks for co hosting the Fiesta party🙂

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  2. Thanks for co hosting Hilda 😀
    This soda sounds delish.. Will check out the recipe🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always a pleasure Sonal. The soda really is the best. I never drink commercial sodas, but this is so much more than a soda – kind of a health drink in a yum way. I hope you do try it, although to call it a recipe is maybe not quite accurate – more of a technique which allows for all kinds of tweaks – more sugar, stronger syrup etc. You kind of cater to your own taste.

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      • I have been meaning to start a gingerale culture forever now Hilda! I guess, I would when the spring is around…
        Lately I get this itch to do most of the stuff at home…oh well…but then I loose many a times :)… I am going to email you when I am ready to indulge in this soda culture thing!❤️

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    • If you want to make a bug, organic ginger is available all year long. I know it sounds intimidating, but really it is just like forgetting something on the counter for a few days, except there is some intent in it. Feel free to e-mail me when you like though if you have any questions.

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  3. Loving it! I’ve never thought about making sodas, or even fermenting drinks, but you make it sound so delicious that I will have to look into it! Can’t wait to get my own bug …😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bugs are such fun. Sometimes I just take a spoonful of one as a tonic to make sure I get a good dose of probiotics. But of course the fun is in making a delicious drink you can impress your friends with.

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  4. Wow Hilda, that’s quite amazing! Would never have thought of making my own soda. Good for foraging eh? :)Thanks so much for co-hosting us this week.

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  5. Hey Hilda! This looks so delicious . One day I will learn to make my own soda through your blog! It really intrigues me, the idea of making my own! I love the taste of sumac, so it must be wonderful.
    Thanks so much for co-hosting! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Julianna. There are lots of ‘natural’ sodas on the market now, and some of them very appetizing, but definitely made at home without processing is much more satisfying and healthful, and surprisingly little work. I hope you do try it some day.

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  6. Pingback: Chiffon Cake | thenotsocreativecook

  7. Your recipes are always amazing and interesting, Hilda. This sounds fabulously good. Thank you for hosting this week’s FF.🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have never tasted Sumac. What little I know about Sumac is from reading your posts. Wish I could taste it! Happy FF!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow this sounds Nectarous Hilda…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved the word “bug” in your post. Never heard that before! I don’t drink sodas either but I do drink a lot of water. I should take the time to kick it up a notch. Thanks for co-hosting…

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  11. Oh my goodness. This soda looks SO INTERESTING & refreshing, Hilda. I don’t drink soda, but this one sounds too good to pass up .. loveeeee

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    • Thanks Pang. Home-made, naturally fermented (dry) sodas are nothing like the commercial drinks we have come to know and hate. I hope you try some version of this one day – goes so well with spicy foods too.

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  12. This soda sounds lovely🙂

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  13. Sumac brings me back to when I traveled through the country of Turkey – MISS IT!

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  14. I’m not the biggest soda fan but this sounds incredibly intriguing! I’ve never thought about making soda’s before or much about the fermenting process of drinks but you’ve got my attention for sure! I’ve never tasted sumac – is there anything you can compare it to?
    BTW are your photos taken in the snow?

    Thanks for hosting!

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    • I have always prided myself in not being a soda drinker, but when I learned to make these fizzy drinks myself, I was hooked. It is a little like a ‘kvass’ – a fermented drink I discovered in Russia, but this one is fruitier. To me it is a bit like a light sparkling wine, but without the alcohol, unless you leave it too long. And yes, I have to take some pictures in the snow because it is the only place I can find decent light these days. Not necessarily a cold weather drink!

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  15. This is so fantastic! I have to give it a try someday🙂

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  16. Hilda thank you so much for recommending my cake for FF! I was out of the country and missed this week. It was wonderful of you to host too! I’ve never made my own soda. You have to be one of the most creative people I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is incredible, so inventive! I have never made soda, I did think about elderflower champagne but I didn’t get further than the recipe!🙂

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