Easy, 4-Ingredient Naturally Carbonated Strawberry Soda

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Updated May 31st, 2023

This starter-free strawberry soda is like the one-night stand of fermented drinks—no long-term commitment necessary. You don’t need to search for your dream kombucha SCOBY to make it. You don’t take on the responsibility of regular feedings to keep a living culture alive. You make it, you drink it and you enjoy it while it lasts.

Party in a jar

The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast present on the fruit eat the sugar in the fruit and the sugar you add. The microbes reciprocate by producing tangy acids and the carbon dioxide that creates that desired fizz.

naturally fermented strawberry soda brewing in a jar
Strawberry soda just before bottling
strawberry soda fermenting in a jar
Up close and personal, just before bottling

Choose quality soda ingredients

Use very sweet strawberries for maximum fizzy action and flavor. For example, if you buy your berries at the farmers’ market, start this when you get home. If you wait to use your berries, they will taste less sweet. The mixture will still ferment but fresher berries will render a more delicious result.

Frozen strawberries will also work. The microbes won’t die in the freezer. They will simply take a nap.

For this batch of soda, I used granulated sugar. Sucanat, rapadura or coconut sugar would all work well and taste delicious.

I use filtered tap water in my ferments. Our tap water is fine but since I do have naked charcoal filters, I keep those in a couple of glass jugs that I keep filled with water.

Burp your bottles!
Two bottles filled with very carbonated strawberry soda sit on a wooden table
The bottle on the right made from a second infusion of the microbe-covered berries

After bottling you can make a second, more concentrated batch. And eat those strained strawberry pieces too! Or freeze them and add them to your drink to chill it a bit. If you let the drink ferment for a while, those pieces will taste somewhat boozy.


Until you want to settle down with a ginger bug, this drink is for you.

(UPDATED: I halved the sugar and updated the recipe card. If you’ve been making it with a full cup, it may now carbonate slower in the bottle. Please remember to always burp your bottles!)

Two clear glass bottles of strawberry soda sit on a wooden table with a beige wall in the background. The bottle of the left has lots of carbonation at the top of the soda.
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5 from 1 vote

4-Ingredient Naturally Carbonated Strawberry Soda

Make soda at home with only four simple ingredients and no specialty equipment. These may look like a lot of directions but essentially, you fill a jar with the strawberries, sugar and water and then wait. Add lemon juice for flavor. Bottle the drink. Drink the drink.


  • 1 cup sweet strawberries, cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup sugar, granulated, sucanat, rapadura or coconut sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice juice of 1 lemon


  • Stir water and sugar together in a jar with a capacity of at least six cups. The sugar will dissolve fairly quickly. Add the strawberries to the jar. Stir. Close the lid on the jar or cover with a cloth secured tightly with a string or rubber band.
  • Stir the contents daily.
  • After about five days, depending on your kitchen environment, the drink will start to bubble. Continue to allow it to ferment and taste it daily. During hot summer weather, I let the drink in this post ferment in the jar for eight or nine days. Warm weather speeds up the fermentation. Cold weather slows it down.
  • When you like the flavor, strain your drink through a sieve placed over a large measuring cup or a bowl. Set these berries aside. Stir the lemon juice into the drink. Use a funnel to fill clean, flip-top bottles, leaving at least 2 inches of headspace. Set the bottles aside for 2 days or longer, ideally in a box in a cool garage or cupboard to contain potential explosions. The longer the drink ferments, the more sugar the microbes will eat and the less sweet the soda will taste.
  • ALWAYS BURP YOUR BOTTLES! In other words, open the bottles just enough to release some of the carbon dioxide building up inside. You want your drink carbonated but not explosive. Burp the bottles at least every couple of days or every day if you live in a hot, humid area.
    If, when attempting to burp your bottle, the drink begins to gush out, burp it more frequently as it continues to ferment or move it to the refrigerator where it will calm down. If you’re new to fermentation, you may want to burp your bottles outside in case they start to gush out and make a big mess.
    If, after burping your bottle, only a small hiss of carbon dioxide escapes, burp your bottles less frequently. You don’t want so much carbon dioxide to escape that the drink becomes flat. Because strawberries tend to create lots of carbonation, you likely won’t have this problem.
  • When you’re ready to drink your soda, move the bottles to the refrigerator to chill for a few hours before serving. Your drink will continue to ferment in the refrigerator but more slowly. Over time, it will become less sweet. If you won’t drink it for a couple of weeks, burp the refrigerated bottles.

Optional, highly recommended step: make a second infusion

  • After you strain the strawberries, you can make a smaller batch of this. The still-sweet strawberries, now teeming with those fast-reproducing bacteria and yeast, will ferment this next batch quickly and it will likely begin to bubble within a day or so. However, because the strawberries have gone through one infusion, they will render a weaker tasting drink. Make this batch more concentrated. Combine ¼ cup sugar and 2 cups of water with the reserved strawberries. Proceed as with the first infusion. My second batch has less fizz but it still tastes very good.



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54 Replies to “Easy, 4-Ingredient Naturally Carbonated Strawberry Soda”

  1. […] Esta matéria foi traduzida e republicada. Clique aqui para acessar o site original. […]

  2. Awesome. Here in the southwest I’m making a prickly pear soda with a ginger bug this weekend! Thanks for you inspiration and teaching.

  3. Will this recipe get alcoholic over time like the ginger bug drinks do when you let it ferment for longer?

  4. Ah! I added lemon juice to my sugar water . Will it still ferment or should I start again?

    1. Hi Jenni,
      That should be fine. It won’t affect the bacteria and will add more.
      ~ Anne Marie

  5. Hi! I tried this method to the T but by day 2 my strawberries were growing fuzzy mold.. any suggestions to avoid this? I did not use a jar- I used an “airtight” Tupperware.. maybe that’s the culprit?

    1. Hi Katharin,
      I don’t think it’s the container. It should still ferment in plastic. If you want to try again, I’d stir it frequently. Sometimes kahm yeast can form on ferments. It’s annoying but not harmful. But that’s a white film, not fuzz. Yours sounds like mold.
      ~ Anne Marie

      1. I’ve got mold growing on mine as well. It’s in a glass container. Should I throw it away and start again or can it be salvaged.

      2. Hi Jenny,
        You shouldn’t consume it if it’s moldy. I’d start over. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
        ~ Anne Marie

      3. Danielle Reed says:

        Hmmm maybe this is what I have….

      4. Danielle Pedersen says:

        After the second ferment, is there anything you can do with the leftover strawberries? For example – would they be good in a daiquiri drink or a gin and tonic or a pie? Thanks!

  6. I have a mixture of frozen melons, strawberries, kiwis, and blue
    berries. Would this work for that mixture as well?

    1. Hi Casey,
      The blueberries and strawberries will definitely work. I would mash the blueberries up a bit first. I have never tried this with melons of kiwis (they aren’t as sweet) but they should work. I would experiment a little bit, maybe make one batch all berries and one batch a combo.
      ~ Anne Marie

  7. Summer Apodaca says: Reply

    Is this ok for kids or will it develop alcohol?

    1. Hi Summer,
      It can turn alcoholic quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it. So, I would taste it daily and while it’s still bubbly and sweet (but not super sweet like when you first made it), bottle it or move the entire jar to the refrigerator. All fermented foods do contain trace amounts of alcohol, even sauerkraut. Fermented fruit can easily develop more though. Fermentation is sort of a science and an art. I hope that helps.
      ~ Anne Marie

      1. Summer Apodaca says:

        Anne Marie,
        Thanks for this recipe. I just tried my first batch and it is yummy! Also so easy to make with frozen strawberries! Thank you for your reply I will move it to the fridge now, and prehaps I will let the second batch ferment longer and add it to some sangria!

  8. Mine is developing white spots floating on top of the strawberries. Is that normal/safe to consume? Its day 4

    1. Hi Annie,
      It sounds like kahm yeast, which is annoying but harmless. I can’t say for sure without seeing it. I’d skim that off and keep stirring several times a day.

  9. Thanks so much for your reply! Today it is now a thick white layer on top so I think I will try again from new

  10. Thanks for the easy recipe. Will it be ok to just strain it into jars or wine bottles, I don’t have any flip top bottles.

  11. I have a layer growing on mine too. Do you have a way to message? So I can show you a picture?

    1. Hi Linda,
      Are you on social media? You could send me a pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (@zerowastechef for all of them). You may have kahm yeast, an annoying but harmless substance. If it’s kahm yeast, you skim it off as well as you can and when it reappears, skim again. But I don’t know without seeing it (and even then, it can be hard to tell from a pic but I’ll try to make a diagnosis).
      ~ Anne Marie

  12. Can this be made with less sugar? I just mixed mine up and only had 1/2 cup of sugar. No car and it’s raining today so I don’t want to tow my toddler to the market for more if I can do it without..

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      It should still bubble up. I would stay put with your toddler 🙂
      Anne Marie

  13. Ok, this is amazing. The flavor is fabulous. I’m going to try with pineapple and see what happens. Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

  14. Can’t wait to make this over the weekend!

    I have a fresh mint plant…you think I can throw some mint in there in the first step?

    Also wondering how it might work with frozen mango!

    1. Danielle Reed says: Reply

      So I started one with mango and mint over the weekend. The mint leaves are turning brown – which I expected. This morning there was a white cloudy looking thing in the bottom of the jar. Is this normal, or has it molded?

  15. This is the best recipe ever. I have made many batches of strawberry. Delicious every single time. I just made a batch with really juicy pineapple. Amazing! I tried melons but didn’t get the same result as I did with juicer fruits. Love this stuff.

  16. We have an abundance of berries that came from a good neighbor. This is a good way of not letting them go to waste.

  17. […] Soda and Starter all in One – Zero Waste Chef […]

  18. What a lovely idea. Thanks for the information!

  19. Cheri Sicard says: Reply

    I made this, using organic strawberries and organic sugar. It’s been 2 weeks and ZERO bubbles. How can that be? Fruit and sugar have to ferment, no? I ferment foods all the time and am at a loss. I was so excited about this recipe. DO you have any idea why it would not ferment? Thank you.

    1. Hi Cheri,
      That’s odd. No, you can’t really stop fruit from fermenting. I can’t imagine the berries have been irradiated. Were they imported? Any chance there has been a change in your water? If it contains chlorine or chloramines, that would affect the fermentation. But if you ferment in brines and have no trouble, it would not likely be the water.
      ~ Anne Marie

  20. Hello Anne Marie,

    I just bottled my first batch! I was wondering if I can do this with frozen organic cherries? And same amount of sugar?

  21. I saw a few comments that mentioned they got mold during fermentation. I was wondering if boiling the mixture before fermentation would help that?

    1. Hi Sydney,
      I wouldn’t do that. Boiling will kill any bad microbes but it will also kill all the good microbes and the drink won’t ferment. To prevent mold from forming, use clean equipment and stir the drink often.
      ~ Anne Marie

  22. simone robinson says: Reply

    Hi i cant find the lid to my jar can i cover with muslin and elastic band?

    1. Hi Simone,
      Yes, that will be fine! Enjoy your soda 🙂
      ~ Anne Marie

  23. I used frozen strawberries and stirred them every day. I’m on week two and the strawberries have sunk to the bottom of the jar. There are no signs of fizz. Do frozen strawberries need to thaw before starting this process?

    1. Hi Terri,
      I’m sorry your concoction is showing no signs of life. Frozen should be fine. Heat would be a problem but cold shouldn’t be. Something else must be preventing this from fermenting. It could be your water (e.g., chlorine or chloramine can kill the microbes necessary to fermentation).
      ~ Anne Marie

  24. Hi, I made this recipe last night but I accidentally misread it and added the lemon juice with the strawberries. Do you know if it will still ferment?

    1. Hi Karen,
      Yes, that’s fine. The lemon juice also has good bacteria in it, so the addition won’t stop the fermentation.
      Anne Marie

  25. Kitty McIntyre says: Reply

    Thank you so much for the recipe! Could you sub the strawberries with cherries?

    1. Hi Kitty,
      I haven’t made it with cherries (yet) but that would taste fantastic 🙂
      Anne Marie

  26. Stephanie Christeson says: Reply

    I successfully made a batch with organic strawberries then made a second batch with the leftovers. It doesn’t have the brilliant color of the first batch but has more tang, which I prefer. My kids prefer the first batch. After I strained the strawberries (which were mostly mush) I threw them in the freezer, figuring they can be tossed into a smoothie someday. Thanks for the great recipe! I will be trying this with blueberries after we pick next week!

  27. Can I use monk fruit or agave as sweetener? Can I use less sugar and still get this result? I don’t like sweet beverages.

    1. Hi Alena,
      I haven’t tried those but they would probably work. The longer this ferments, the less sweet it will be. The bacteria and yeast eat the sugar and produce acids and the gases that carbonate this. You might want to make a small batch and see how it goes. I hope that helps.
      ~ Anne-Marie

  28. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I’m on day three of letting the strawberries ferment. I can tell the mason jars I’m using have pressure under the lids. I’m unclear from your directions if I should wait to burp them until day five, or should I go ahead and do that now since I can see a small amount of bubbles on the surface with the floating strawberries? It’s been really warm here the last week (around 90 degrees F).

  29. Hi, I’ve been reading about and wanting to try ferments for years but never have. This feels like the perfect recipe to finally start! I’m blessed with a big, wild dewberry (blackberry) bush for the first time and would love to try them in this recipe (mushed a little first). I have a couple questions though…
    1.) I usually rinse my berries w/ a splash of vinegar in water before eating. Can I rinse them at all first? Just incase there was a brush w/ any outdoor animal activity. Do berries have the good microbes within (just like us), and not just on the outter skin, so that a rinse won’t get rid of all the necessary bacteria?
    2.) Instead of stirring with a spoon, any reason I can’t also swirl them around in the closed jar for the same effect (to help keep them stirred more often without burping it too frequently)?

    Thank you for the help! I’m excited. : )

    1. Hi Krystal,
      Lucky you! Blackberry soda will be fantastic. I think a splash of vinegar would be fine but I haven’t tried that myself. You might want to start with a small batch and see how it goes. As for stirring versus swirling, I occasionally swirl my fermented drinks around but mostly stir them. I think swirling should be okay though. But please burp your jar every day to avoid explosions!

  30. Thank you for the reply! I went ahead and started a small batch (no vinegar). It’s mostly going great (thanks for this recipe, giving me the nudge to try my first ferment project)! No mold, some fizz, very pretty/tasty.
    I wish it was a little bubblier though. How do you keep it fizzy without it all escaping when burped? Should I do that less often? It’s burped every time I stir it. It got fizzy after 1 day but thought it needed more bubbles, so I waited. Day 4 now has a slight (pleasant) alcohol taste to it but it’s about the same fizziness. Is it possible to make it as fizzy as soda-pol while keeping it kid friendly (before going to alcoholic)? Will it get more bubbly with more time?

    Thanks so much!

    1. My pleasure! I would bottle it now before it gets more alcoholic. (If you let it sit too long, the bubbling will die down eventually.) It will likely get very carbonated in the bottles. I’d burp them after 24 hours and if you don’t get much of a pop, skip a day of burping. By that point, the drink will be more alcoholic so for the next batch, you may want to bottle it sooner.

  31. Sherrie McKinley says: Reply

    Yes, burp your bottles. I left one for 5 days in the refrigerator after bottling, and when I opened it over the sink, 1/4 of the bottle gushed out!!! :-0

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