Mission: carbonate all the things is undoubtedly underway. And I love it, being that I’m not a big drinker (despite my boozy baking), homemade sodas are a way I can concoct creative beverages and enjoy them just as much as any cocktail (although, might I add, this soda would be a stellar base for a boozy addition).
This particular soda is a tart and fruity mix of hibiscus flowers and lemon; a hibiscus lemonade, if you will, with an effervescent fizz.
And let me say I have *almost* made my way through the entire bag of dried hibiscus, so (unless I decide to order another bag, of course) my year long obsession with hibiscus might soon be coming to an end.
I do still have some tinkering to do with my soda-fermentation process. And while yeast fermentation is never going to produce as many bubbles as a carbonated soda, it’s still produces just enough fizz to tickle the tongue. Mysteriously, this one didn’t get quite as bubbly as the peach version. Not sure why, perhaps cooler temperatures, lower sugar levels, older yeast, or imprecise pinches resulted in less carbonation this time around. One upside, however? No soda volcanoes.
Lemon Hibiscus Soda
- 3 cups warm water, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 large), finely strained
- champagne yeast*
*Champagne yeast can be found in beer/winemaking supply stores or online.
- Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; add hibiscus flowers. Cover and let steep for about 5 minutes (if it steeps too long the flavor can become bitter) then strain, discarding flowers or reserving them for another use.
- Combine hibiscus syrup with remaining 2 1/2 cups water and lemon juice, stirring to combine. Divide among two 16-ounce plastic soda bottles, top off with additional water as needed. Add a small pinch of champagne yeast to each bottle. Seal the cap securely, shake well, and store in a warm, dark place for about 48 hours or until bottles are hard when squeezed. Transfer to refrigerator immediately to halt the fermentation process and chill overnight or up to a week before serving.
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O learned to make ginger beer(soda) last summer and they suggested using nottingham?? Yeast or robinhood yeast something like that. As it was one of the few yeasts that didn’t turn a soda into alcohol like other yeasts.
I do not care for carbonated drinks. Can I make this without the carbonation?
Most definitely, it’d basically be a hibiscus lemonade! Just skip the yeast part and chill it. :)
Do I still put it in a dark room for a day without using the yeast?
Nope, it’s ready as soon as it’s cold! :)
I will be making it from fresh hibiscus. And the information I found said to place the fresh hibiscus in boiling water after taking out the middle stem part.
Sounds awesome, I’ve never used fresh hibiscus before! let me know how it turns out!
This mt sound ridiculous but I just joined this page. How do I save this recipe to my recipe box?
Click on the “Save” button in the recipe area (on the right just under the thumbnail image). You will need to create/have an account with ZipList to utilize this service, but once that is set up you can use it at a bunch of other recipe sites and blogs. :)
This looks so good! How could I do it with fresh hibiscus flowers? I live in Australia and have an abundance growing in my garden =).
You know, I’m not sure. The process would be similar to making a hibiscus tea, if you’ve ever done that before? If you try it, do let me know!
These look great. I love the color. I have never used hibiscus flowers or made my own soda with fermentation. I am very curious about both now. Thanks for the ideas!
Fantastic mission! I’m loving the peach soda still in my fridge, I can’t wait to carbonate more beverages.
What a beautiful drink!
I’ve had hibiscus tea the very first time in Egypt. Didn’t even know thatthe dried flowers can be used to make drinks. Love your soda and the photos are outstanding.
I have never cooked/made anything of consequence with flowers and I have a new book I’ve been reading about cooking with flowers, and it’s inspiring and seeing this soda, totally amazing. Just gorgeous. Love the color!
And it’s always interesting to me why some things react/develop one way, and yet a similar set of ingredients behaves differently, i.e. your peach version vs. this one. Pinned!
Seriously gorgeous. I just can’t get over how beautiful the colors are here, and it sounds extremely thirst quenching as well. Must try!
Those pictures <3 My gosh!!
I am so enjoying all of your soda posts. I too am a huge fan of carbonation, and will order just about any specialty soda product I come across.
This looks incredible… where do you get your hibiscus flowers?
See comment #6… but I ordered mine from nuts.com.
I can’t remember if I told you or not, but you can get dried hibiscus (jamaica) at K&S. The candied hibiscus at Trader Joe’s is only occasionally available, but the dried stuff is there a lot.
And I’ve been eyeing some champagne yeast for a project I’m thinking about. Good to know someone who’s used it. :)
The pictures look great. Where can I get hibiscus flowers?
Many specialty or international food stores will carry them, sometimes called Jamaica flowers. I ordered my from nuts.com:
AWESOME! Thank you. Love making homemade soda as well.
When I got my soda siphon I was on a mission to ‘carbonate all the things!’ too. I love this flavor combo, sounds super refreshing.
I literally opened up your blog this morning and said “wow” outloud. Such gorgeous photography and beautiful color!!
That tray has just the right amount of wear to it to make it perfect with these pretty sodas! Love!
Don’t be fooled by the flattering light, it’s actually pretty dirty. I wouldn’t put any food directly on it, that’s for sure. Can’t figure out how to clean it up but still leave just enough character to be interesting. Heh. :)
Stunningly GORGEOUS styling and photography, Lindsay! I must try this as I love to concoct as well. It is innate in bakers, isn’t it? And, I bet your Lemon Hibiscus Soda would make a lively cocktail! Thank you for sharing, girl. Pinning!