DIY Soda Pop, Cranberry Soda-Pop Recipe
Merry Christmas Cranberry Soda Pop
Merry Christmas Cranberry Pop Recipe
Cranberries are one of the North American native fruits. The blueberry and the Concord grape are the others. The cranberry was first appreciated by Native Americans who used the berry for food, healing properties, and as a dye. The settlers learned to appreciate the wild berry too.
Did you know that the name cranberry is derived from craneberry? The first European settlers thought that the pink spring blossom of the plant looked like a Sandhill crane’s neck and bill, hence the name craneberry now morphed to cranberry.
Cranberries were used by whalers and other seafaring people to ward off scurvy. The cranberry is full of vitamin C.
There are many folk remedies that include cranberries as the cure. It is now known that cranberries do contain anthocyanin compounds. These compounds make the red color of the cranberry. Anthocyanin compounds are a powerful antioxidant that may be stronger than vitamin E. Some laboratory studies show that cranberry extract reduces LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol.)
In 1954 a Harvard study found that cranberries reduced the amount of bacteria in the urinary tract. This meant that bacteria was more easily flushed from the system
Today US farmers harvest some 40,000 acres of cranberries a year. We love cranberries as a traditional Holiday fruit that is served in many ways.
My husband is wildly fond of the cranberry. He makes his own jelled cranberry products each year. He loves his mixture on vanilla ice cream!
We discovered a commercially made Cranberry Pop about two years ago. However, the cranberry pop is not always available and it is very sweet.
I make many kinds of soda waters and pop. We like the more grown-up less sweet taste and prefer cane sugar over corn sugars. We also prefer to not consume preservatives.
So, I started playing around with my own recipe. This will make a great Christmas Gift!
Cranberry Pop Recipe
2 12 oz bags of fresh cranberries
2 C. sugar (this is 1/2 C. of sugar to every 4 cups of water)
1 lemon zested
1 lemon juiced
¾ gallon water
Reserve ¼ gallon
4 pinches of Champagne quality yeast (a milder yeast used to make pop and wines)
Boil all but the reserved ¼ gallon water and the yeast until cranberries burst then simmer for about 10 minutes. Mash berries with potato masher. The cranberries do not have to be thoroughly mashed just mostly mashed. Taste test. Is it sweet enough for you? If not adjust the recipe to include more sugar. We tend to like a less sweet soda pop BUT you must use real sugar to activate the yeast. We also mix this cranberry soda with plain soda water to reduce the sugar even more.
Cool at room temperature and this may take a long time
Warm up 1 C. of water (take from the reserved ¼ gallon) and place the 4 pinches of champagne yeast in it.
Let it ‘bloom’ for 5 minutes.
Stir the yeast into thoroughly cooled 1.5 gallon glass jar of cranberry mash. Yeast will die if heated too much!
Add remaining water to fill up jar. It is okay if don't use all the reserved water.
Place in a container with a screw top lid. The lid must be securely tightened on.
Set in a dark and warm area for 4 days undisturbed
Strain the cranberries out and bottle in bottles with screw top lids.
Set in the fridge for at least 4 days….I would leave for 6-8 days. The fridge STOPS the yeast from acting and that is what you want it to do.
Adjusting for tastes:
This is very pleasant served over ice as is.
It may also be mixed with soda water to make a lighter flavored drink. I like it half and half.
It is also good with ginger ale.
It may also be mixed with simple syrup if you want a sweeter ‘kid-type’ soda pop drink.
This may also be used in various adult beverage types of drinks!
Cost $2.40 of cranberries, .25 cents sugar, one lemon at .33 cents. So, 1 gallon of Cranberry soda for less than $3.00 and you control how much sugar and the source of the sweetener.