Homemade Soda Book Review and All-Natural Root Beer Recipe

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I?m excited to share a review of our latest selection: . Since getting a   almost two years ago, I have made countless syrups like  and . This time I was eager to try something totally different: my childhood favourite, homemade root beer. I?ve shared the recipe below.

Homemade Root Beer Recipe

The appeal of Homemade Soda is there are 200 recipes just for soda in this book, plus a history of soda and even some recipes using soda. It?s very unique with most of what is on the pages I could have never dreamed up on my own. The recipes made up the bulk of the book and it?s divided into 8 categories (fruit sodas and fizzy juices, sparkling waters, root beers and cola brews, herbal and healing waters sparkling teas and coffees, shrubs and switchels, cream sodas and floats).

There is a huge variety within these categories, ranging from old favourites like Very Cherry Cola and Plain Delicious Cream Soda to modern flavours like Pomegranate Punch and Lightly Salty Caramel Seltzer. This book clearly outlines the three ways to make soda: to mix syrup with bottled seltzer, to carbonate with a soda siphon, and to brew the old-fashioned way with yeast. Each recipe is followed by a description of how to prepare the final beverage using some or all of the soda-making methods.

Homemade Soda Book Root Beer recipe

For my review I decided to start simple and make 2 syrups to mix with seltzer.

Recipe # 1 was Celrtzer: a celery seed syrup base that was described by the author as ?ever so slightly bitter and not too sweet. It is one of the most refreshing of soft drinks.? I wanted to try something completely new and that description really grabbed me along with the story behind it: ?Dr. Brown?s Cel-Ray was first manufactured in 1869 in Brooklyn, New York. It was originally dibbed as a ?tonic,? through it is unlikely that the sodas was ever therapeutic or that there was a Dr. Brown. Celery sodas are flavoured with celery seed, sugar, and salt, and they are identified most closely with Jewish deli food??

Celrtzer Recipe from Homemade Soda Book

Sounds yummy, right? Well, it wasn?t. It was terrible. It made the house smell awful which was my first clue. Then when I tasted it mixed with soda it reminded me of the celery salt rim on a Cesar or Bloody Mary, with a slightly sweet, salty and utterly stale flavour. I poured it down the sink and got to work on another recipe from the book, a more well-known classic, root beer.

How to make Root Beer from sassafras and sarsaparilla

Homemade Soda has five recipes for root beer which really caught my eye as it was my favourite soda as a kid. Have you ever wondered what the flavour is in root beer? Or why it?s called root beer? Well those little mysteries are unraveled for us: root beer is made of a complex combination of different roots. Supposedly root beer was originally invented by Charles Hires, a pharmacist who made many tonics from various roots and teas for health reasons. He made version that was sold with the promise of purifying the blood and making cheeks rosy.

How to Make Homemade Root Beer Recipe

The primary flavour that you will recognize in root beer is sassafras but many other roots come into play to make the famous beverage like sarsaparilla, birch, wintergreen, licorice and burdock. In learning that root beer is just a combination of different roots, I was inspired to try my own version with ingredients found across the recipes that I thought would taste good together. I?ve made it twice now and I really like the flavour. Here is my .

Natural Root Beer in a mason jar glass

I like that I can add as much or as little syrup as I want and control the sweetness. Particularly when making a root beer float which I have now done more times than I should!

Homemade Root Beer Float

It was a fun book to try out and I?m certainly not finished yet. I want to next try and brew some ginger ale and make some bubbling herb infusions from all that?s being harvested in the . There is one recipe with mint, basil, and rosemary that sounds intriguing?but perhaps I should start with a few fruitier selections before adventuring into the unknown again.


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Hi there Garden Therapy readers! I?m Hanna from  and I?d like to share a recycling project with you. I?m a huge fan of killing multiple birds with one stone, and this DIY project is no exception. I had a pile of jars and glass bottles that I wanted to put to better use and a dire need for vases, so I created some simple jar and bottle vases with glass and ceramic paint.

 hand painted vase DIY project


  • Glass jars and/or bottles
  • Glass and/or ceramica paint (made for painting on glass or ceramic dishes)
  • Smaller paintbrushes
  • Water for rinsing the brushes
  • Tape


First of all, clean your jars and bottles removing all labels. I do this by letting them sit in hot water for a few hours until the labels start to come off. Then I wash the surface and dry them. In order for the paint to stick properly to the glass, it is good to clean it with pure alcohol before painting.

 how to paint a bottle vase

We used two different types of techniques to create our vases.

1. You can draw on your jar or bottle freehand, which gives you endless possibilities to create something unique. My friend Anneliis is good at drawing, so she opted for the the freehand method and created a spiral surface, starting from the center of the bottle and working her way around the bottle adding more spirals next to each other.

2. Or, you can use a more foolproof method of taping. I?m bad at drawing, so I chose a simpler method for creating my abstract pattern. The bottle was created by taping long strips of tape along the bottle in different angles, and then painting the uncovered areas in differerent colors. After the paint has dried, remove the tape.

taped jar vase project tutorial

Here I created two triangles inside each other on one side and one triangle on the other side of the jar with tape and painted the insides of the triangles.

 DIY bottle vase painting project


After the vases have dried for 24 hours, you probably have to bake them in the oven. Be careful to read the instructions that come with the paint and follow them by the letter. If you did, you can enjoy your new lovely vases. I?m holding my graduation flowers in mine.


A special thanks to the amazingly talented Hanna from  and her pal, Anneliis, for creating this fabulous tutorial for us all. Check out Hanna?s website for more creative projects and you?ll also see her mad sewing skills.

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