Horehound Soda

From wild food forager and artist Pascal Baudar

The plant is considered medicinal, mostly for cough. As a kid in Belgium, I remember those horehound candies my mom used to give me when I was sick. You can also make syrup. The flavor profile of the plant is pure bitterness. Quite challenging from a culinary perspective but there are uses – like making sodas.

Servings: 1 quart bottle (1L)

Ingredients

  • Quart bottle (swing-top)
  • Quart (1 L) water
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 2 to 3 gr fresh horehound (3 is more bitter)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (70g) sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 25 – 30g ginger bits (skin on)
  • Wild yeast from the ginger, but you could use champagne or wine yeast

Instructions

Everything is placed in a swing-top bottle. On a daily basis, I’ll open the top briefly to check the pressure by pressing with a hand and releasing slowly. Drink when the carbonation is perfect—it’s usually 4-5 days at room temperature—or you can strain the ingredient in a new bottle and place in the fridge to enjoy after a few days. You may need to leave it at room temperature (after the fridge) for a while for the carbonation to kick-in.

Serve with a fresh horehound sprig and a lemon ring just for looks if you want.