An Easy Dandelion Soda Recipe
This recipe for dandelion soda is delicious and fun to make — it’s the flower’s petals that give the drink flavor and an amber hue. You can also use cat’s ear (Hypochaeris radicata) when dandelions are no longer in season. Oh, and there’s no soda maker required! Just add sparkling water, or seltzer, to give it a bit of bubble.
Recipe for dandelion soda
Makes 2-3 glasses of soda.
1 cup packed dandelion petals
1 cup water
a knob of ginger, around an inch
a squeeze of lemon
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
sparkling water or seltzer
1. Pick dandelions from an area free of chemicals. (You can also use cat’s ear when dandelions are no longer in season.) You’ll want to pick around 2 cups of flower heads. Please don’t do it all in one place. Leave some behind for the butterflies and the bees!
2. Shake each flower to remove any little creatures. Do not wash the flowers. (This is why foraging in a chemical-free area is important.) Remove the yellow petals, called florets, from each flower and put in a heatproof bowl. Discard flower stems.
3. Boil water and pour 1 cup over the florets. Give it a gentle stir and let steep at room temperature overnight.
4. The next day, strain the tea and then filter to remove remaining bugs. You can use a tea or coffee filter, or a cheese cloth. Now you’ll have an insect-free dandelion concentrate that you’ll want to flavor according to your tastes. (I like a tart drink that’s not too sweet, so I go easy on the sugar and add a bit more lemon and ginger. I also leave the ginger slices in while refrigerating. It gives the soda an added kick.)
5. Pour tea into a small pot. Add sugar. Squeeze in lemon. Slice ginger thinly and then add that in too. Warm the tea gently over the stove until sugar dissolves. Stir, taste and adjust the flavors as you like (remember it’s a concentrate), then refrigerate after the tea cools.
6. Once the tea is nice and cold pour in some sparkling water or seltzer to dilute and voilà, dandelion soda!
You do not have to remove the florets petal by petal; there’s an easier way to seperate the petals from the flower. Simply grab all the petals between your index and thumb, then twist and pull away from the rest of the flower.
Foraging requires that you’re able to correctly identify plants and animals, so if you’re not sure, don’t touch it or eat it! Never eat foraged foods without checking multiple sources of identification. Better yet, if you’re new to foraging, go with an expert or an experienced forager friend.
This recipe was adapted from Homestead Honey. You can find the original here.