Drinks Recipes Science Sweets Technology

How To Make Your Own Orange Soda Without SodaStreams Or Sparkling Water

Is summer complete without soda to beat the sun? We’re gonna be sippin’ on a lot in this hot weather, so we should consider how it’s made and where the soda can come from, especially if there’s a way to make your own from scratch.

Today, soda is typically made via industrial processes that bubble carbon dioxide through water. Tons of it is consumed around the world, as major brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the like have made carbonated beverages immensely popular.

However, it is possible to create your own natural form of carbonated soda at home, and it’s a pretty straightforward process. Foodbeast Chris Abouabdo was able to use the “ginger bug” method on our Twitch streams to make his own fizzy orange soda without using sparkling water, SodaStream machines, or any other technology.

Before getting into the method, it should be noted that there are other ways of getting natural “soda water.” Several springs, especially in areas that have or have had high volcanic activity, may have enough carbon dioxide naturally dissolved inside that it may be fizzy upon drinking. Chemist Joseph Priestley later came up with a method to naturally impart the gas into the water, the basis of how the industry makes soda today.

The “ginger bug” method is a third, separate method that would be more akin to how beer gets it fizz. By fermenting ginger with sugar, microbes naturally present in ginger ferment it to produce carbon dioxide, with negligible amounts of alcohol produced. The result is a refreshing sparkling beverage that anybody can drink and enjoy.

A ginger bug does take a couple of days to make on its own, and you can then add whichever flavors you like. After another couple of days of fermentation, the soda is ready to chill and serve.

It’s a more intensive and longer process than sticking water and a capsule into a SodaStream then adding your own juice, or just even grabbing a bottle or can from the fridge. For those looking to make their own soda from scratch, however, this is one of the few ways to do so.

To see the process in full, you can view the above video or check out our stream on Twitch, which breaks down the process in detail.


Starbucks Testing Carbonation Options in Select Locations


Starbucks has always been known to let customers have it their way. Whether you’re ordering a simple tall coffee or something more complex like a grande double shot upside down iced caramel macchiato, your Starbucks barista just stands there with a smile, asks your for your name, and moves onto the next unnecessarily complicated request. Besides being able to substitute various milks and syrups the coffee chain has been allowing the carbonation of their drinks at certain locations.

The carbonation process involves a Sodastream-esque device that baristas have available to them behind the counter. Originally the chain was testing their “handcrafted sodas” such as Golden Ginger Ale, Spiced Root Beer and Lemon Ale in select Starbucks locations. As odd as it sounds, since soda testing began Starbucks lovers have been asking baristas to turn their favorite coffee and tea drinks into something lighter and more refreshing using the carbonation option. The only drinks that the company is having a hard time carbonating is their espresso and Frappuccino menu items.

Though it’s still in the testing stages for now we could very well see carbonation as a new ordering option available nationwide, assuming customers respond to these drinks positively. CEO Howard Schultz calls recent tests “very encouraging” which might explain why Starbucks has already made a move to trademark the name Fizzio in anticipation of moving forward carbonation plans, whether it be in the form of their sodas or continuing on with in-store drink modifications.

H/T + PicThx Quartz

Packaged Food

Poppin’ Fruity Pebbles: The Pop Rocks of Breakfast Cereal? [VIDEO]

Who wouldn’t want candy for breakfast? Wouldn’t you, if not now, in your earlier, better-metabolized days, sparkle at the chance to take a whole glossy packet of strawberry Pop Rocks and pour it over your delicious, albeit carbonation-free, bowl of Fruity Pebbles?


Well, we would, so when we were given the opportunity to try Post’s brand new line of Poppin’ Pebbles cereal before it hit stores, of course we jumped at it. “New Poppin’ Pebbles has poppin’ pieces which fizz in your mouth and is bursting with berry flavor,” the email pitch read. We imagined fruity, sugary flakes akin to the jagged Pop Rocks candies of our childhoods, that’d snap, crackle, and pop all over our tongues and make our stomachs churn when mixed with soda. And that’s exactly what we got.

Well, sort of. First, the “snap” factor in the Poppin’ Pebbles doesn’t come from the regular pebbles themselves, but instead from the round, carbon dioxide-loaded, green pieces that are mixed in with them. Second, we’re a little sad to report, the pieces themselves weren’t all that poppin’.


The truth is, when tried one after the other, the Poppin’ Pebbles utterly fizzled in comparison to the actual explosive candy Pop Rocks. It wasn’t bad, necessarily. Both on its own and in milk, the cereal definitely did something to our mouth holes. It just didn’t do the thing. The thing that surprised our five year-old selves and turned us into lifelong fans of candy carbonation in the first place.

Overall, Poppin’ Pebbles are definitely a semi-fun way to liven up your breakfast table with sensation and sound. Just don’t expect them to blow your mind the way Pop Rocks did way back when. Sigh.

Poppin’ Pebbles will be available nationwide starting January 1, 2014, along with a new, chocolatey-er Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles to turn your milk chocolate.



Poppin’ Pebbles Milkshake


  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 – 8 strawberries
  • 1 box Poppin’ Pebbles


How to Make It:
1. Pour all ingredients into blender.
2. Blend.


Genius Invents ‘Just-Add-Water’ Beer, It’s About Damn Time


Beer just got a lot more portable.

What if I told you lugging a 12-pack through the woods or across the beach could be a thing of the past? Making bro dreams come true, Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has developed a beer concentrate that’ll whip up a 16oz ale, just add water! Oh, and CO2, because flat beer is not the business.

In what can only be described as an on-the-go sodastream, Pat’s has designed an easy-to-use carbonation system that will have you chugging down a cold frothy beer in minutes. Simply add your pouch of beer concentrate to your Carbonator, fill the plastic bottle with 16oz of water and get to shakin’. The secret is in the Eco2Activator powder, a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid that gives the drink it’s bubbly nature. The powder is housed in it’s own compartment so it won’t mess with the flavor of your brew.

The aptly named “Hybrid Brewing Technology” is a unique brewing process creator Pat Tatera uses to create his beer concentrate. This secret process involves creating the beer without the water, rather than trying to pull the water out of an already brewed beer. The result is a beer syrup that combines successfully with water to create a full bodied brew.

Don’t expect to find these packets at your local Bed, Bath and Beyond. Due to the high alcohol content, the Pail Rail and Black IPA concentrates will be sold for $9.95 (4-pack) at liquor stores starting in September.

Portable Carbonator $29.95 @PatsBCB

H/T + PicThx Gizmag


Craving: Root Beer Float

root beer float

I was driving home from work the other day and just had the biggest craving for a Root Beer Float. I never filled that craving completely until about five minutes ago, when looking through my fridge I found a 2-liter of A&W root beer. And wouldn’t you know it, for the first time in years that I can remember I had vanilla ice cream in my freezer. It was amazing, trust me, you want one.