How to Make Things to Drink

Here’s something that often gets left out of discussions of how to cook: how to make things to drink.

Here’s why homemade beverages are important.

if you think about it, you’ll notice that a huge chunk of the processed foods industry consists of beverages someone has constructed for you: soda pop, RTD tea (that is, ready-to-drink tea in a bottle or can), energy drinks, flavored coffee and processed coffee powders, cocoa mix, instant powders like Crystal Light for adults and Kool-Aid for kids, juice and juice blends in bottles, cartons and concentrates, punch, chocolate milk — even beer and wine. And even bottled water.

While there are some excellent products made with simple ingredients that make lovely treats or practical items for occasional use, most of this stuff is junk. Junk that we spend billions of dollars a year on. Junk that makes us and our kids sick.

For me, part of eating really good food all the time is part of drinking really good stuff all the time, too. There is so much bad to be said about sodas and juice blends laden with liver-blasting high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and chemical colors, flavors and preservatives, I just don’t have space for them in my life. When I also consider how big and powerful the corporations behind them are — well, frankly, they’re kinda creepy.

In these pages you’ll find everything I’ve learned about how to make beverages at home, from the basics of how to make coffee and how to make tea starting from the basic plant products of these simple beverages, to how to make soft drinks and cultured dairy products,

How to make coffee

How to make Jamaican ginger beer

How to make lemonade

How to make tea


Jamaican Ginger Beer

Jamaican ginger beer is traditionally served at outdoor gatherings. This is great for a summer party or cookout. I’ve provided quantities for making a single gallon, and also for a big ol’ 5-gallon batch for …

Fresh lemonade

Homemade Lemonade

Homemade lemonade is a wonderful treat. After I sampled this incredibly easy and natural soft drink, I was able to taste just how yucky the commercial stuff is. Lemonade in a can? Tinny. Lemonade from …

iced tea

Homemade Iced Tea

If you’re used to buying ready-to-drink (RTD) or instant iced tea, you’ll be amazed at the difference in freshness and flavor once you learn how to make iced tea at home. You might call it …


Cole Slaw

The first time I ever tried to make my own cole slaw it was crisp, balanced, fresh – and wrong. What was missing? A certain je ne sais quoi: a refreshing, bracing note that was herbal yet …


How to Make Tea

Learn how to make tea at home. It’s not hard to do, and the rewards are great. If you’re used to buying ready-to-drink (RTD) or instant teas, you’ll be amazed at the difference in freshness …

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