When my friend Stephen showed up at my house last week with a bottle of fermented mango soda, I knew I had to make a batch of my own.
Imagine a big, luscious, juicy mango but as a light and refreshing carbonated drink. Add a squeeze of lime and some mint and you’ve got yourself one seriously awesome summer beverage. If you have kids, they’ll especially love it.
And although mango soda doesn’t ferment long enough to become alcoholic you could certainly use it in an adult beverage. Mango mojitos anyone?
Stephen followed the general formula from my fermented blueberry soda post which also discusses some of the health benefits of fermented soda. Yes, there are health benefits! But you have to ferment it.
Basically, all you need to do is extract the juice from the mangoes, add some sugar, add a starter culture and let the magic of fermentation happen on its own. Unlike other types of fermentation which could take weeks, months, or even years, this rarely takes more than a few days.
Here’s how to do it…
Note: You could add a little more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want it. 3/4 cup was perfect for me. It was sweet but not too sweet. Also, know that due to the fermentation process whereby the bacteria feed on the sugars, the soda will become less sweet over time.
Peeling mangoes can be a little tedious and messy. My dull vegetable peeler was making a mess of things so I tried a cheese slicer instead…
Worked like a charm! I also found a mango peeler which also slices it and removes the pit. They make something for everything these days, don’t they? I’ve never used it but if you use a lot of mangoes it may come in handy.
That’s my trusty Nutribullet. This is seriously one of the most useful kitchen appliances I own. The only thing I use more is my coffee maker. If you’re in the market for a new blender don’t waste your money on some cheap piece of junk from Wal-mart that will break in a year. This little thing is ridiculously powerful and will pulverize almost anything in a matter of seconds. It can even mill grains.
It also saves a lot of time as it’s easy to clean and comes with attachable and portable cups for making on-the-go smoothies. Seriously, get one of these powerful little things and you’ll thank me!
Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Now you could skip this step. If you do, just know that your mango soda will have some pulp in it. This is not a big deal and it can’t hurt you but it will be a bit cloudy and gloopy.
I highly recommend using a ginger bug because I think that gives the best flavor. If you’re new to making a ginger bug, my friends over at Oh Lardy! have a great tutorial on how to make a ginger bug. Otherwise, you can use whey or water kefir.
Bubbling is a sign that the bacteria are actively fermenting the sugars and giving off carbon dioxide. The rate of fermentation is faster in warmer weather so if it’s the middle of summer this might only take a day.
Make sure to use the soda bottles pictured here…
I cannot overstate the importance of this.
As I showed in my fermented cream soda post, if you use poor-quality bottles and are careless (or in my case, just plain stupid), bottles can explode. Some types of glass bottles are better than others. These are the best because they are built soundly and stand up well to the pressure that will build from the fermentation process.
Now to prevent any possibility of exploding glass, you could certainly use plastic bottles too. Personally, I don’t like to use plastic but I know some people who do just to be on the safe side.
Make sure to check the bottles EVERY DAY, especially in summer as the pressure from the carbon dioxide can build rapidly. Because it is mid-August as I write this and we’re in the middle of a heatwave here in western MA, my mango soda was ready in less than a day.
Open the bottles carefully to let some of the gasses escape. Do this over the sink as sometimes you’ll get a bubbling over, like in this video of me opening my fermented blueberry soda. Once it’s carbonated, transfer the bottles to the refrigerator where the fermentation will dramatically slow down.
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.