I love to make this soda when the dandelions are in full bloom. I harvest right along side the bees. Along with the bees I find this spring flower one of the first delicies of spring.
~Pick 3-5 quarts/liters of Dandelion Blossoms (you can use other flowers for this recipes as well ie red clover, violets, wild carrot are a few I have used).
~Place the flowers in a 2 gallon/8 liter crock and boil 5 quarts/liters of water
~Pour the boiling water over the blossoms and cover, placing a cloth with a rubber band around it, over the top. Stir daily for three days.
~On the fourth day, strain the liquid into a saucepan and put the blossoms in the compost. Add 2 pounds of sugar (I like to use organic cane sugar) and the peel of one organic lemon and one organic orange to the liquid and heat to boiling.
~Simmer for 30-60 minutes. Pour everything into crock. Add the juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon.
~Cool to 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
~Than add a culture. There are several options.
- Kefir water “grains” (2 TBS)
- You can also use a ginger bug culture (1 cup cup), see recipe below.
- Whey from yogurt or cheese (2TBS).
- Soda from your last batch (1/4 cup)
~Cover again with a cloth and rubber band. Let sit for 3-5days or until you like the taste.
~Strain the liquid and return it to the crock. Cover and let it work for one more day. Then either bottle or refrigerate and drink.
~If you bottle it, you will want to fill beer or champagne bottles. And fill one plastic water bottle, as a test bottle. Once this bottle feels firm, you are feeling that the pressure has built up in the bottle. Place all bottles in cold storage as soon as you feel the pressure.
Drink chilled and enjoy!
Recipe for “ginger bug”: Dice fresh ginger root into tiny cubes and put a tablespoon of it into a mason jar 3/4 full of water, along with 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar. Add another 2 teaspoons each sugar and ginger every day for a week, at which time it should become bubbly with a pleasant odor. If it gets moldy, dump it and start over. Even a small amount of culture will start a batch of soda going, but it’s best to use at least a cup per gallon so that these beneficial lactobacilli can dominate before less desirable microorganisms have a chance to take over