Summer Recipe: Gou Qi Zi Soda
Homemade soda allows you to adjust the recipe to your tastes and create new variations depending on what fruits, herbs and spices you have on hand. Normally made with fresh fruit or fresh pressed juice, this recipe uses decoction of dried goji berries and fresh ginger. Other possible additions would be fresh lemongrass, star anise, fresh basil, etc.
Makes about 1 gallon
- 1 lb dried Gou Qi Zi/Lycium/Goji berries, rinsed
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
- ½-1 cup white granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
- Dry champagne yeast (purchase online or at a local brewing supply store)
- Put the rinsed goji berries and chopped ginger into a non-reactive pot (enamel, glass, herb pot, etc.) with 4-6 cups water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 min until water is looking more like juice or tea.
- Turn off heat, add sugar & lemon juice. Stir to dissolve, let sit for 15 min to cool/macerate.
- Strain “juice” into bottles*, filling bottles about 1/3 full. Top off bottles with water, taste and add sugar or lemon if needed.
- Add ¼ tsp dry champagne yeast to each bottle & seal.
- Let sit at room temperature until plastic bottle(s) are rock hard when pressed (1-3 days), showing that they are adequately carbonated.
- Refridgerate the bottles.
*Note: Makes 5 flip-top 750 ml glass bottles (+small plastic soda bottle) or 2 plastic 2-liter bottles. You must use at least 1 plastic bottle so you can use it to check if it’s carbonated. (If you use all glass bottles you run the risk of exploding and nobody wants that!)