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These days, sodas are mostly boring. But it wasn’t always this way: Sodas made fresh, at the local fountain — called phosphates — were once a staple of American culture. And the sparkle and fizz of an ice-cold carbonated soda is still the definition of pure refreshment. So why not make soda yourself the right way — and with real juice instead of syrup — at home? Our friends at ChefSteps wrote in with some detailed advice.

The first step for making juice soda at home is using freshly prepared pulp-free fruit juice. After seasoning this juice to taste with sugar, acids and just a bit of salt and chilling the mixture, it’s time to carbonate. This is where a whipping siphon comes into play — it may sound daunting, but it’s fun to use and inexpensive (ChefSteps also offers an online whipping-siphon class). Check out the basic directions and a short video below demonstrating how to create tart, fresh juice sodas on your own in no time.

Ingredients
Pectin-free juice
Malic acid (as needed), .3-.5% of juice weight
Phosphoric acid, .05-.1% of juice weight
Fructose, 8-14% of juice weight
Salt, .05%-.1% of juice weight
2/3 cup ice

Directions:

  1. Prepare a pectin-free juice of your choice. Season to taste with sugar, acids, and just a bit of salt. We’ve listed typical ranges for these ingredients, but the exact quantities will depend on the juice used and personal preference.
  2. Fill a 1-liter siphon with 2 1/4 cups seasoned juice, and add the ice. Note: Some pectin-free juices do not require this step. Watermelon and orange, for example, are very light juices naturally and do not require dilution. In this case, replace the ice with an equal mass of the juice.
  3. Charge siphon with one CO2 cartridge, then hold the siphon upright and release all gas to vent the siphon of air.
  4. Charge with two more CO2 cartridges. Then shake until ice melts and the liquid becomes cold. Tip: Removing all of the air before pressurizing with CO2 is important. Compressed air is not fizzy.
  5. To serve, hold the siphon upright and release the pressure. Then unscrew the cap and pour to serve. Tip: If soda lacks fizz, the juice may not have been cold enough (carbon dioxide is more soluble in ice-cold liquid). Reseal the siphon and chill it. Repeat steps 3-5.

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. The site is currently offering a free online class called Cooking Sous Vide: Getting Started, as well as a $10 class called Cooking Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics.