Brewing Soft Drinks Badge


Originally uploaded by nodigio

Step One: It’s a hot day at the lake, and even in the shade of the trees you and your friends are roasting. You reach into your ice chest and pull out bottles of the most delicious rootbeer anyone’s ever had – your secret blend of juices and herbs that you made and bottled yourself. Your children bring friends home from school because your house is the only place they can get ginger lemonade sodas. It’s the winter holidays and your guests can’t stop raving about the mulled cider you served – the special recipe you make and bottle each fall.

Step Two: Making your own sodas, ciders, and other soft drinks is far less expensive than buying them. You get to have unique flavors that suit you in your pantry just waiting for you to drink or share. Making sodas is fast, too, so you can make up a recipe for a special event almost faster than you can drive to the store to buy them. You know exactly what’s in your bottles of soda, too – no high fructose corn syrup, no weird flavoring additives. You control how sweet it is. And if you want spearmint strawberry lemonade, you can have it!
Step Three: Finding a mentor for brewing your own soft drinks is harder than finding someone who brews beer or wine because fewer people do it. Start at your local brew shop, because soda makers need to buy bottle caps, bottle cappers, and bottles and the brew shops are the cheapest places to get those. S/he may know of one or two other soda makers in your area. Connect with other soda and cider makers in your area and ask questions. Take notes. Ask them about websites, recommendations, and further resources.

If you can’t find a local mentor, there are online sources for getting information on how to make your own soft drinks.



Step Four: Follow up on the research in Step Three. Gather your equipment and ingredients. Set up a place to make and store your home made soft drinks.

Step Five: Make a soft drink and sample it.

Step Six: Claim your badge!