Suddenly Sauer: Preserving Food and Tradition in a Modern World

Hibiscus Soda Floats
March 31, 2010, 11:57 am
Filed under: beverages, Pickled Anything

In the slow uphill climb toward realizing my dreams, I made progress today akin to landing on the moon.  I tasted the first of, hopefully, many truly delicious cultured soda and cashew based ice cream floats.  Sound strange? I wish you could taste the goodness for yourself.

Cultured Hibiscus Soda and Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

I photographed this with one hand while pouring, hence the stylized angle

The finished product.  Yum.


30 hibiscus flowers
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
1/2 gallon water
1 cup whey

First I brought the water to a boil, then I turned off the heat, added the flowers, and let them steep for 15-20 minutes.  Then I strained out the flowers, allowed the mixture to return to room temperature, added another 1/2 gallon of water, and 1 cup of whey.

I poured the mixture into my lovely new blue glass grolsch style bottles (see image below) and then set it in the fermentation cupboard.  After 4 days, it wasn’t carbonated, but I let it sit through the weekend (a total of 6 days I believe) and then refrigerated it.  When I opened it, it was perfectly fizzy and pleasantly tart. yum.

Non-Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream

6 medjool dates, soaked in water
1 cup cashew pieces, soaked in water for 1 hour
1/2 Tbs coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the ice cream, I blended the cashews in a blender with some of the soaking water from the dates, gradually adding more water as the mixture became smoother.  Then I added the vanilla, salt, and dates, and I kept adding water until there were 4 cups of goodness.  Then I threw the whole thing in the ice cream maker and voila…  Ice cream floats!

I used hibiscus flowers from Honey Bee Market, a grocer in mexicantown that sells all manner of latino stock grocery items.  The birth of my hibiscus tea love affair began at Pilar’s Tamales in Ann Arbor, an amazing business (food cart and shop) run by a woman named Sylvia who makes inspired tamales and traditional El Salvadorean food.  Her hibiscus tea is sweet, citrusy, and tart, and I was hoping to capture that same essence in the soda.  Mostly, I made the hibiscus soda because my friend Hannah requested/suggested it.  Any requests and/or flavor ideas are always appreciated!!! I’m a firm believer that just about anything can be made into soda, or ice cream, or both.  bring it.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

oh this looks AMAZING you are quite the ice cream float genius. if you need a certified quality control agent, i’m your gal.
ideas for future… ice cream: something with prunes! something with peanut butter! rhubarb!!!!! i would love to help with the process!!!!!!

Comment by gwen

Um, Blair, why did I not know about this blog? Also, you’d best be bringing some delicious fermented drinks to my next party!

Comment by Mary

I’m glad you found the blog, in spite of my shyness:)

I’m eventually going to have a birthday party in detroit next month, cultured soda floats will be the centerpiece, would you consider making the trek??

I’ll keep you posted once I start making plans.


Comment by suddenlysauer

yumyumyumyumyumyumyum … we really do need to hang out more!! Teach me oh wise one, teach me!!!

Comment by Angela

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