Fresh Peach & Lemon Verbena Soda

Fresh Peach & Lemon Verbena Soda

It’s clearly peach season, but the end is nigh. While I’m not sure if I’ll make it out picking before the last of the fruits fall from the trees, I am dead set on stuffing my face with as many as humanly possible.

Not only that, but I’m intent on using them in as many unusual ways as possible. Like Monday’s Peach Caramels, this soda is a stellar way to use your end-of-the-season peaches.

Fresh Peach and Lemon Verbena Soda

I was curious if the same yeast-carbonation technique we used to make ginger ale this past spring would work for other soda flavors.

The short answer is: yes.

I think you could ferment sugar water if you really wanted to.

But this peach concoction is so much better.

Fresh Peach and Lemon Verbena Soda

I infused the fresh peach soda with lemon verbena – a gorgeously fragrant herb that I’ve been growing on the balcony but have yet to find a use for.

As it turns out, the verbena turns is the perfect complement for peaches, enhancing the peachiness (if that’s even possible). But since I know it’s not exactly something you can go buy at the grocery store (and surely I don’t want you to miss out on this amazing soda) you could use basil, lavender, thyme, mint, or any herb, really, in its place. And unlike the caramels where the peach was barely distinguishable, here the peach is front and center. Like drinking a ripe peach. A perfectly ripe, perfectly effervescent peach.

Peach & Lemon Verbena Soda

Yield: two 16-ounce bottles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 48 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 large peaches, peeled and pitted
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large), finely strained
  • champagne yeast*

For verbena syrup:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 handful fresh lemon verbena leaves

*Champagne yeast can be found in beer/winemaking supply stores or online. It has a more refined flavor than bread yeast and makes for a perfectly fizzy soda.

Directions:

  1. Place peeled peaches in a blender or food processor. Add 1/2 cup water and blend on high speed until smooth.
  2. Pour juice through a fine mesh sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Discard any remaining solids.
  3. To prepare simple syrup, stir sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; add lemon verbena. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes, then remove verbena leaves and let cool completely.
  4. Combine peach purée with remaining water, lemon juice, and lemon verbena syrup. Divide among two 16-ounce plastic soda bottles; add roughly 25 granules (a small pinch) of champagne yeast to each bottle. Seal the cap securely, shake well, and store in a warm, dark place for 48 hours or until bottles are hard when squeezed (this might be as little as 24 hours, especially on warmer days). Transfer to refrigerator immediately to halt the fermentation process and chill overnight or up to a week before serving.