Saturday, August 27, 2016

Homemade Mint Lemon Refresher or How to Make Sodas

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I first wanted to share some of our local library's art. This is all made with a paper punch and those free paint chip samples. Isn't it awesome! 
 This is my favorite. I really love trees and have quite a few tree art pieces in my own house. I think I'd try this if I thought I could make it look as nice!
 Soooo, I found this great book called "Homemade Rootbeer, Soda and Pop" (you can get it here on Amazon) in our local library and we were very excited to try it out. There are a lot of "make your own pop" books but I liked this one because it has historical recipes. If you've read my Austen Takes the South books, you'll know I loooooove old recipes and always include the history of the food when I write it into a scene. Food, history, and stories. The perfect trifecta!
 First, this funny recipe from Anonymous in 1771 for Pumpkin Ale. No, we didn't try it, but it made us think of Harry Potter's Pumpkin Fizzies! Anotherpart of the book reminds readers that there was no line between alcoholic and non-alcoholic back then. It was more of a matter of how much alcohol, since anything that was fizzy was slightly fermented, and therefore had traces of alcohol.
This is relevant. I promise.
So, I thought this lemon mint refresher sounded wonderful. Remember, I really have no experience in fermenting anything but I figured sugar, flavoring and some fizz... what could go wrong?
 First, piles of mint... Check!
 Vintage jar filled fresh lemon juice... Check! (I was making a big batch, so if you try the recipe, follow the one above. I was tripling and adjusting as I went.)
 Pour boiling water over the mint leaves and let it set. (Oh, be sure to wash them first. Ours came straight from the garden and needed to be de-dusted.) Pour the mint water and the lemon, sugar, and yeast together. Put on the lid. Let it sit for a day. Now, this is where I went wrong. It was very warm in the laundry room where I had the jar (it was supposed to be in a cool, dark place) and plus, I left it for two days.
 So, when I went to open it up, the lid nearly popped off! My friend who works at a winery shook his head when I told this story because I'd basically created a lemon-mint BOMB in my laundry room. So glad I didn't let it sit for a week! The whole thing could have exploded.
But it didn't!
What it did do was fizz all over the place. My friend said we'd made "no-messin'-around" bubbly, like champagne. It was certainly... *gasp* No what I was heading for. We all had a sip and declared it quite interesting and chalked it up to a learning experience. I think we'll still with mixing flavors with soda water!
And one last photo. My husband took this picture of a snapdragon seed. SO funny. If you have snapdragons, go check them out. They're like tiny people.

Until next time! Feel free to stop by my author pages at Mary Jane Hathaway or Virginia Carmichael, or by my blog on The Things That Last!


  1. I will be haunted by that snapdragon seed FOREVER.

    It's very Gollum-like, I'm going total Lord of the Rings.... and nightmarish!!!! But how funny, I'd have never thought of that!

    I've tried making drinks, and Mary Jane, I'm like you. I leave them too long, I brew them too rich, and they're dreadful.

    Who knew that fermenting slush was such a science?

    Answer: Every Beer Maker in the World, LOL!

    But not me!

    I'm glad you tried it, and I'm glad I'm not the only abject failure!

    Okay, back to work for me....


  2. I know, right??? That seed face is crazy! I first saw it on facebook and thought, "No way does it look like that." I waited until late summer (honestly, I can't believe I remembered) and hubby went out to take a picture. Ha! They actually look more like skeletons but this one looked like a happy skeleton.

    And we just added the syrup from home canned vanilla peaches to some soda water. YUM. Totally skipping the brew fest yeast this time.

  3. I'm sure this is a delicious recipe, but after that Snapdragon seed face, I'm too traumatized to notice!

    It's one of those creepy monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

    1. Haha! I guess I can see that, too. :)

    2. Yes! And it's even creepier when you see what they really look like- skulls. The smiling one is even worse!

  4. I thought that was some kind of cute bug!! LOL

    What a fun recipe! I've never thought to try to make something fizzy. :)

    1. Honestly, I think it would need stronger flavors to balance out the pinch of yeast because it tasted pretty strong to me. But then again, I made it into hard cider or something! I should try again and use just the amounts in the recipe. I might have to make smaller batches, and then not forget it for a few days.
      There were hundreds of recipes and I really want to try one of the older ones!