Fermented Peaches and Cream Soda
A homemade drink that’s fizzy and sweet and free from the harmful ingredients of regular soda.
I love a fizzy and sweet beverage in the afternoon. There’s just something so refreshing about those bubbles and the ice cold sweetness from a drink that’ll wash away the cares of the day. This naturally fermented peaches and cream soda is sure to do just that, and you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to make!
Homemade sodas don’t contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or caramel coloring, they’re made with real food ingredients and a culture to naturally ferment the beverage. The benefit of this traditional method is the culture imparts beneficial bacteria that’s helpful to our tummies and good for the immune system. The trick to getting enough carbonation, which is what makes all those perfect little bubbles, is to use an airtight container such as these grolsh style bottles. I wished I’d bought the clear grolsh bottles because it’s easier to tell what’s in them, but if you already have these dark amber grolsh bottles like us…then just grab some chalk labels and write what’s in them! This is also handy for writing the date you bottled your soda. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget how long it’s been fermenting, which can easily result in a soda fountain when opening the bottle. Funny…but not great, because you’ll likely lose half your bottle of delicious soda!
I learned the basics of fermenting soda from the Weston A. Price Foundation website. There are many flavoring options when it comes to making soda, so be sure to hop over there for more ideas.
Peaches and Cream Soda
- 5-6 cups fresh or frozen peaches
- 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
- 14 cups filtered water
- 3-4 Tablespoons organic vanilla extract
- 1 cup whey
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Fermentation Time: 3-10 days
- Total Time: 10 days, 25 minutes
- Yield: 1 gallon, or 8 grolsh bottles
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
- In a large pot, combine water, sugar and peaches and heat to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Squash the peaches to release their juices and flavor (a potato masher works well).
- Allow liquid to cool to room temperature and then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and whey then stir to combine (be sure your liquid is room temperature before adding the whey or you might kill the culture).
- Transfer to a jar with a lid (two half gallon or four quart sized mason jars will work, lids do not have to be air-tight).
- Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3-7 days before transferring to airtight flip-top bottles.
- Once bottled, test your soda for carbonation daily by opening a bottle. Continue to ferment at room temperature until you hear a decent “pop” upon opening.
Some Helpful Tips
- When making soda, be sure to use bottled or filtered water, and not chlorinated tap water. The chlorine will inhibit fermentation.
- You can substitute different sugars for the organic sugar. Sucanat, maple sugar and jaggery are all great options. I don’t recommend using darker sugars such as coconut sugar, rapadura or molasses as the flavor can be overpowering.
- Honey can be used to sweeten the beverage after fermentation (if desired) however shouldn’t be used as the sugar source as it has anti-bacterial properties that interfere with fermentation. It is possible to ferment with honey, however it will take much longer and result in less of a soda flavor, and more of a wine flavor.
- If you don’t have any whey, you can obtain it easily by simply straining it from whole milk yogurt (not greek yogurt, as most of the whey has already been strained out). For one cup whey, take approximately 2 cups yogurt and strain over a jar for an hour or two (a coffee filter works well as no milk solids will seep through).
- If you want a soda that’s on the sweeter side, stick to a ferment of 24 hours in the jars, and 2-4 days in the airtight bottles. If you want a soda that has less sugar content (meaning the sugar has been consumed during fermentation) then ferment for the full 7-10 days.
- Each home will ferment differently depending on temperature, ingredients and vessels. If your soda is fermenting too quickly, try moving it to a cooler area of the home (something between 64-68 degrees). If after 7 days you’re still not getting carbonation, try moving it to a warmer area of the home (the top of the refrigerator tends to be a little warmer).
- Once your soda has reached desired “fizziness”, store in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. If you don’t have space in your refrigerator, a cold basement will do.
- If one gallon of soda is too much to make, you can cut this recipe in half and it will make approximately 4, 16 oz grolsh bottles of soda.
Can you use less whey and get the same carbonation effect? i tried a nectarine lacto soda before, using the same liquid amounts (maybe only 12 cups water instead of 14) and the soda just tasted like yogurt. Also, it was very thick, like a syrup, and less like soda. Maybe I did something wrong?
Hmm, I can’t say what went wrong with your previous batch Phil, but the thickness does seem odd. How was the temperature in the room it was fermenting in? Most ferments like a steady 68-76 degrees (F). And when you strain your whey, are you using a very fine mesh to make sure none of the yogurt solids seep through? Your whey should be extremely clear, not cloudy at all. Also, my last suggestion is to make sure your containers are air-tight. Using a mason jar with lid won’t get the same results as a grolsh style fermenting bottle.
This sounds so yummy and I have peaches ready to use. I was wondering, I don’t have the flip top soda bottles, so can I just keep them in a big 1 gallon jar that I do have? Or should I transfer it to smaller quart jars after a week?
Hi Melisa, YAY for peaches! Although it is possible to ferment food in mason jars, we don’t recommend doing a second ferment for beverages because the carbon dioxide build-up can actually cause the jars to explode. The reason we love these grolsh bottles, is because they’re made with glass that’s strong enough to handle the pressure buildup. The soda is delicious to drink after the initial fermentation stage, but it just won’t be bubbly like soda, it will be more like juice. We love seeing photos from our readers of our recipes they’ve made…so feel free to share them on our Facebook page! 🙂
Empty wine bottles with a cork work well also. They are made with strong glass and the cork will blow before the glass will.
That’s a great idea Debbie! Never thought of that before.
This sounds absolutely delicious. I have always loved cream sodas, but I can’t even formulate into words how great peaches and cream sounds in a soda. The fact that this is fermented as well, so you’ll be getting all the gut benefits you would out of kombucha is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can’t wait to try this at home.
You’re welcome Billy! It’s one of our faves!
I understand it would take away the cream flavor, but could a ginger bug work in the place of the whey? I just want a peachy soda. 🙂
Absolutely Trish! I think a ginger-peach soda would be fantastic! Just be sure to check for pressure often, as a ginger bug (depending on how active it is) might ferment a bit quicker. Let us know how it turns out!
I have a batch of regular ginger beer going right now (my very first try) and simply rested the tops on the swing-tops instead of tightening them. Lets the air out, but doesn’t let it back in. Seems to be ok so far, but if not I plan on trying the balloon method, or using airlocks next. I’ve been doing kombucha for a few years now, but this ginger bug thing is new and totally fascinated me so far but I have a lot to learn! Thanks for your help.
That’s so great! Yes, fermenting with the flip top lids open should work nicely…then when you’re ready for the carbonation to build up, clamp them down! I did a ginger bug a few years ago and it made the BEST ginger ale! Makes me want to start one up again! There’s always so much to learn with fermenting, just when you get the hang of something, you’ll learn something new, or a different technique, or…you get the idea! Have fun with it and keep sharing!
How fun. I have never made a drink like this before.
Peaches are my favourite fruit. This look s SO good!!
Awesome!! I always forget that I can make delicious fruit sodas just from whey alone. I’m ashamed to admit I dump the whey because I just don’t know what to do with it.
Oh Anya, I feel you! I’ve kept whey in the back of my fridge for months before finally dumping it! Now, when I want some whey I just strain a little yogurt real quick. But, if your whey is strained really well, it can last up to 6 months in the fridge. You just want to make sure all milk solids have been strained out, I use a nut-milk bag and it does the trick.
Oh my goodness. I am totally trying this when peaches come in season! My hubby is going to go wild over it! Thank you so much!
Can you use other types of fruit? I have frozen berries: blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and strawberries. Could I use these instead of peaches since I have them?
Yes Nina! Other fruit will work perfectly fine! Have fun finding your favorites!
This is great because we have a 9 year old girl with gastrointestinal issues. Always looking for ways to get more probiotics into our diet.
My question is….does this contain any alcohol after the the process is complete?
laura, all ferments will contain trace amounts of alcohol. Obviously everyone needs to make their own personal decisions about the alcohol in a ferment, but it is extremely minimal.
What a fun creation!! Glad I found it on Pinterest. Would be so yummy in summer!
Thanks Jenny, this is AMAZING in the summer. We happened to have a bunch of frozen peaches so we’re enjoying it now, too!
Going to have to give this a try……..wait, no kefir grains??
Whey takes it place??
You’re right! No kefir grains! (Although we have made peach kefir by adding peaches to the jar while it ferments…equally delicious!) But this recipe uses whey! It’s another way to ferment sodas without having a SCOBY or grains!