Sparkling Fruit Drinks

OK, so I know I’d said I’d post this recipe in the next couple of days, but had a few spare moments now so decided to do this immediately.  PLUS have a really exciting piece of news in this regard that I wanted to share.

For decades now I have simply followed the seasons making the sparkling grit drinks such as rhubarb, cherry, strawberry and so on which was great, but I had no way of keeping the supply going through winter.  Such a shame as they are popular anytime and they are, as I pointed out in my last blog, free of artificial additives, they are nutritious and lower in sugar than commercial soft drinks.

As I had quite a lot of raspberries in the freezer left over from last season, enough to be a little adventurous, so I tried using these instead of fresh.  Presto – it worked – really, really well in fact.  So now I can make, enjoy and share these delightful drinks with friends and family all year round.  Revolutionary.  My grandchildren love them, especially helpful as one of them has a bad reaction to colourings.

I am so excited about this that I’ve decided to conduct a class for making scintillating Summer Drinks on December 11th here at the Sally Wise Cooking School at Molesworth.  If you make the drinks around then, they will be ready for the holiday season.

So here is the recipe as I have developed it – have fun with it, use any berries or cherries – in fact try any fruit except apples.

Sparkling Fruit Drink (soft drink)

Makes 4.5 litres, approximately

875g fresh or frozen fruit (such as raspberries)

875g sugar

1 lemon, chopped

18 cups cold water

180ml white vinegar

Place all in a food-safe bucket, mix well, then place a tea towel over the top and leave to stand at room temperature for 48 hours.

Strain through a fine  nylon kitchen sieve and pour into PET bottles and seal immediately.  (Empty soft drink bottles are ideal, or you can buy new ones from home brewing suppliers – they are re-usable)

The sparkling drink will be ready in 2 weeks.  Open carefully – it’s best to refrigerate it before opening.

20 thoughts on “Sparkling Fruit Drinks

    • Sally Wise says:

      Hi Meryl,

      I have spoken with an expert on home brewing and was told that it is non-alcoholic. I do think that if it was left to stand for more than a few weeks after becoming fizzy it might become so. If that were likely to happen, I’d simply freeze it to halt the process.



  1. Treva Makara says:

    Can you use more than one lemon? I had a half dozen to spare and threw them in. It is now 48 hours and I would have expected some evidence of the commencement of fermentation in the bucket.


    • Sally Wise says:

      So long as the lemons were not too large it should be ok, but the flavour may overpower the other fruit and it may have thrown the balance out depending on their weight. The drink doesn’t ferment in the bucket but rather develops its fizz in the bottles. If you have a lot of lemons you could make lemon cordial or home-made lemonade which does its own fermenting in the bottles also (it’s a slightly different recipe). Let me know if you need the recipe for either.


  2. Treva Makara says:

    Thanks Sally. The lemons were quite large but I am happy to have a lemon dominance if that is the outcome. Bottled it yesterday morning after 60 hours in the bucket. With all safety valves closed and the lids screwed on tightly, the finger squeeze test indicates that pressure in the bottles is already near optimum. We will try a glass or two (chilled) for New Years’ lunch tomorrow. Doubt the rest will last 14 days before frightening the neighbours.

    Would appreciate a recipe for sparkling lemonade. Also intend to try making Sparkling Elderflower drink next week when we harvest our small crop of flowers – and the supply of PET containers is replenished.



    • Sally Wise says:

      Here is the recipe Treva. The recipe comes from “A Year in a Bottle”.

      Homemade Sparkling Lemonade

      3½ cups sugar
      4 cups boiling water
      16 cups cold water
      4½ cups diced lemons
      200ml cider vinegar

      Combine the sugar and boiling water in a food-safe bucket and stir to dissolve. Add cold water, lemons and vinegar and mix well. Cover bucket with a tea towel and leave to stand for 48 hours.

      Strain, then pour into clean PET bottles and seal (only fill to the base of the necks of the bottles).

      The lemonade is ready in about 12 days (when it becomes fizzy), sometimes longer.

      Refrigerate before opening.


  3. Kirsten says:

    Hi Sally. I love your book A Year in the Bottle. I bought it from Aldi. It’s been fun learning how to bottle. I am now making the lemonade. I let the lemons infuse and now it is bottled. It’s been in a bottle for about 6 days. The day after I bottled I noticed that gas was building up and I unscrewed the lid to let gas escape then screwed it up again. Do I wait till the whole 12 days are done or do I drink it now? Once the gas builds up, does that mean its ready and fizzy? I’ve never done this before and totally confused because it’s been gassy so quickly. I also used apple cider vinegar and found 200ml overpowering. What can I do about that? Thanks for your help. Love Kirsten


    • Sally Wise says:

      Hi Kirsten – The lemonade can vary greatly in how long it takes to fizz. You can drink it as soon as it develops this sparkle. Some apple cider vinegars can be quite strong in flavour – just use a white vinegar next time. If it’s any consolation, the cider vinegar is good for you. To break down that flavour in the current batch, you could add a little soda water when you serve it, along with a slice of lemon in each glass.



    • Sally Wise says:

      I’ve not tried reducing the sugar. You could probably reduce it slightly and see how it goes, but as the recipe stands it works perfectly, so I’m loathe to change it.



  4. tony brown says:

    gday sally love your work and your books ,could you tell me if making a sparkling drink out of tropical fruits would be possible using your recipe such as mangoes or pineapples? any info would be great thanks


    • Sally Wise says:

      Hi Tony – I’ve not tried this but can’t see why it wouldn’t work. The only fruits I’ve come across that failed in this recipe were apples and pears. Rather strangely crabapples were fine. It’s worth a try with tropical fruits,certainly. You could make half a batch to start with, just in case.



    • Sally Wise says:

      Best not to – they might explode. The rocket base plastic bottles (not water bottles though, not strong enough) – soft drink bottles, allow for the ‘give’ that might be needed with the fizz as it develops. Regards, Sally


  5. Anne FOSTON says:

    Saĺly, how long should these last once bottled.

    I have tried your lemon cordial and sparkling rhubarb with great success, thank you for your great recipes.



    • sallywiseau says:

      Hi Anne – they will actually keep for several weeks of kept in the fridge. If left out on the shelf they can become a little explosive, the fridge seems to tame that down a bit. Glade you liked the lemon cordial and sparkling rhubarb. Finally, now covered, our rhubarb is growing so I can make a batch for ourselves. Regards, Sally


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