Lavender lemon thyme soda

The thirst for carbonated drinks is here along with the warmer weather, and I’m thrilled to have a mini soda factory in my own kitchen – better yet, it’s all made without a machine or CO2 tank! This naturally fermented lavender lemon thyme soda made with a ginger bug is a bright, aromatic gem of a beverage that’s easier to create than it may seem. I hope this impressive DIY sparkler makes an appearance at your next picnic!

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lavender lemon thyme soda
lavender lemon thyme soda

A ginger bug is very simple to make and utilizes wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria from the ginger, which eat the sugar (this is different from lacto-fermentation). Once added to the sweetened tea and bottled, microorganisms from the bug eat the sugar in the tea and begin to release CO2. It’s really rewarding to get this bubbly action from just a few simple ingredients! The fizz can happen fast – please see recipe notes and take caution.

You can swap out the flavorings in this soda for almost anything you like! The options are endless. If using more delicate herbs like mint or basil, add them to the tea base after it has been boiled. Remove from heat and let steep for an hour. Want more soda? Simply use ½ cup soda per quart of liquid. 



Lavender lemon thyme soda   by

This naturally fermented lavender lemon thyme soda made with a ginger bug is a bright, aromatic gem of a beverage that's easier to create than it may seem.

makes: 8 cups

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lavender lemon thyme soda


  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (150g)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 3-4 tbsp organic ginger, skin on (50g)

Lavender thyme tea

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup orgainc can sugar
  • zest of 1 full lemon
  • 3 tbsp food grade lavender
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme (optional but highly recommend)
  • juice of 1 full lemon
  • 1 cup ginger bug, strained


Make ginger bug

  1. Combine water, sugar and ginger in a clean jar. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Unscrew lid but keep on, loosely, to keep contaminants out. Leave jar out at room temperature.
  3. After 24 hours, feed with another tablespoon of each organic cane sugar, organic grated ginger, and filtered water.
  4. Screw on lid and shake vigorously, then loosen lid. Repeat a few times a day until active. Your bug is active when you see bubbles on top/fizzing and a white layer of yeasty microbes settling on the bottom of the jar. This only takes a couple days in warmer weather, but can take up to a week depending on your situation. If it does not become active after a week or if you see mold, start over*.
  5. Keep ginger bug alive on the counter by repeating the feeding process once every few days. You can also let it “sleep” in the refrigerator and maintain it by feeding once per week after letting it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Make lavender lemon thyme soda

  1. Combine water, sugar, lemon zest, lavender, and thyme in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  3. Strain herbs and zest out of the tea. Add lemon juice and strained ginger bug to the liquid and mix well.
  4. Pour into a large jug and cover with a clean cloth that will let air in but prevent contaminants from getting in. Leave out at room temperature for 24-36 hours.
  5. Pour liquid into swing top airlock bottles, filling no more than 3/4 of the way**.
  6. Put somewhere out of the way and ferment for 24-36 hours. It will ferment faster in warm weather. You may wish to “burp” the bottles after you notice some carbonation happening, which will help prevent the carbonation from building too much, resulting in a fizzy explosion.
  7. When you are happy with the amount of carbonation at room temperature, refrigerate to significantly slow carbonation rate and chill. 
  8. Once chilled, point the opening of the bottle away from you (and anyone else) over the sink and open***. Add lemon juice if desired. Enjoy on its own or mixed with your favorite spirit!


*Fermentation will not work with ginger that is not organic or water that contains chlorine. You can dechlorinate tap water by boiling for 20 minutes or letting it sit in the sun (covered loosely with a cloth) for 24-36 hours.

**I highly suggest using a recycled plastic beverage bottle along with your glass swing top bottles because you can squeeze it and assess the level of carbonation that has occurred based on the difference in stiffness.

***Carbonation happens fast–especially if it’s in warmer temps–so be careful! My batch that was bottled for about 24 hours had some major fizz and if I hadn't pointed it away from my face when opening, I would have been injured.

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