Sunday 20 October is Garden Day (gardenday.co.za). And, to celebrate, one of the event’s Flower Crown ambassador, Zayaan Khan (@byzayaankhan), has created a deliciously simple, easy-to-ferment soda from fruit, herbs and flowers.
Recipe by Zayaan Khan Photograph supplied
Wild garden soda
- sweet summer fruits like figs, peaches, strawberries or Kei apples (African apricots)
- 2 tbsp raw honey, maple or agave syrup (raw honey works best as it contains wild yeast)
- handful fresh herbs and edible flowers
- 500ml spring or tap water left uncovered overnight
Roughly chop the fruit. Use enough to fill ⅓ of a 1L jar with a screw-on lid.
Add the honey, maple syrup or agave syrup. Top with the fresh herbs and edible flowers, before filling up with the spring or tap water.
Close lid tightly and shake the jar until all the honey or syrup has dissolved – don’t be afraid to bruise the fruit; it will make the drink sweeter and more flavourful.
Unscrew the lid. Cover the opening of the jar with a clean cloth secured with an elastic band, or simply leave the lid on without screwing it tightly. For active fermentation to take place, the drink has to be exposed to oxygen.
Leave the jar on the kitchen counter, covered and away from direct sunlight, for up to a week. It will start to bubble and become fragrant.
Taste the drink after 5 days. If you like the flavour, strain the soda and bottle or put into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Otherwise, leave to further ferment for a couple of days before straining.
Once strained, leave the tightly sealed bottle of soda on the kitchen counter overnight, then refrigerate for a day. This will build carbonation for a fizzy soda. If not fizz enough for your liking, tightly close the bottle and allow to sit on the counter for another day, then refrigerate again.
Increase the amount of ingredients accordingly to make for more people.