Hike Soda

Adapted from Pascal Baudar’s The Wildcrafting Brewer.


  • 4L (1 gallon) glass jar (plastic will do)
  • measuring cups
  • thin towel or cheesecloth
  • rubber band
  • large mixing spoon
  • funnel
  • resealable bottles


  • 4 L (1 gallon) of de-chlorinated water (you can pour the water out the night before and leave it on your counter—the chlorine will evaporate by morning)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup starter (e.g., ginger bug)
  • foraged (edible!) ingredients such as: flowers, herbs, bark, leaves, needles, cones, seeds, berries, etc.

Notes on Foraging (aka., Wildcrafting or Gleaning)

  • Never eat anything you don’t know or recognize. Some plants are poisonous.
  • To ensure its health and longevity, and to share with others, take no more than 1/3 of each plant.
  • It is not recommended that you forage plants from along roadsides. 
  • Forage plants from areas where people do not use pesticides.


The flavour (and colour) of your hike soda will change with the seasons. Experiment with flavours by combining multiple plants—it’s fun to figure out what plants taste good together…and which ones do not.


  1. About a week before you make the soda, you’ll need to make a ginger bug. You can also get a ginger bug starter from a friend.
  2. Go on a hike to gather your ingredients. You will want enough ingredients to fill 1/2 of your jar (that’s about 4 cups).
  3. If needed, separate leaves/flowers from stems, roots, and other inedible parts.
  4. Wash your ingredients, shake out excess water, then stuff everything into your jar.
  5. Put 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. 
  6. Once sugar is dissolved, add the starter (ginger bug).
  7. Add the sugar water, ginger bug, and the remaining water to your jar.
  8. Stir everything together.
  9. Cover the top of the jar with cloth and rubber band.
  10. Place jar in a warm place to ferment. Active fermentation (seeing bubbles) should start within 48+ hours. Let the jar ferment for 2-5 days. The longer it ferments, the more bubbly and less sweet it will be.
  11. Once it has fermented in the jar, strain the liquid through a sieve and compost your ingredients.
  12. Pour soda into resealable bottles. Put in a warm place and ferment another 1-3 days.
  13. Place bottles in the fridge to slow fermenting. 
  14. Enjoy within 2 weeks.
  15. Caution: open bottles over a sink or outside. Hike soda often continues to ferment in the bottle so can become very explode-y.