This homemade sparkling juice is an adaptation of a recipe that my aunt served at a family Thanksgiving that was basically a mix of apple juice, white grape juice, and ginger ale. While it’s probably not a dead match for real Champagne, it does have a more sophisticated taste than a plain sparkling juice. This would be more than welcome at any teetotaler’s New Year’s party.–Jeremy Butler
Homemade Sparkling Juice
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 piece (2 inch) ginger, sliced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup white grape juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 1/2 quarts carbonated water or seltzer
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the water and ginger and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat immediately and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger from the pan. Stir in the sugar, white grape and apple juice concentrates, and lemon juice.
- Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 7 minutes.
- Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Pour the syrup into a clean, heatproof jar and refrigerate until cold, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- To make sparkling juice, mix with seltzer or carbonated water, using 2 to 4 tablespoons syrup per 8 ounces seltzer or carbonated water, or to taste. Make a toast, clink glasses, and enjoy!
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe turned out great! At first, I was skeptical about how it would all come together, but it worked!
The most labor-intensive part of this recipe was peeling the fresh ginger. Although I don’t drink Champagne or sodas, this recipe worked for me. The flavors were not too sweet, yet had a slight kick that made me smile.
During the simple syrup creation phase, the sugar took about seven minutes to completely dissolve. It happened so fast, that one minute I had crystals, the next they were gone and I was removing the saucepan from the heat. I placed the syrup in a pint sized mason jar and had about 1/3 cup remaining in the pan that I placed in a clean, plastic bottle. The syrup in the the mason jar took approximately two and a half hours to chill, but for a more refreshing experience on a warm day, I recommend putting the syrup in the freezer for the same amount of time. After adding four tablespoons of the syrup to eight ounces of seltzer, I had 10 servings.
I love it and plan to serve it at my next family brunch!
While not an exact replacement for Champagne, this drink is delightful. The blend of juices adds a depth of flavor that is surprising and a little bit like Champagne. The syrup is heavy, though, so if you opt for a more intense flavor by adding more syrup, know that the drink doesn’t have the lightness of Champagne.
Using 4 tablespoons per 8 ounces was the most flavorful but the heaviest, you can easily use 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces, it will just be lighter overall. My family enjoyed 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces. If you use that ratio, you will end up with a gallon or about 16 servings.
If possible, this drink is best experienced in a Champagne flute!
This is a tasty mocktail, although it does not taste like Champagne. I used 3 tablespoons of the syrup and that was good.