Cucumber + Lemon Balm + Lime Soda (Ginger Bug)


It’s the balm, yo!

This ginger bug soda is delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day, but it might be even better as a mixer with my cucumber vodka and a touch of lemon balm syrup.

This recipe just deals with making the ginger bug soda. Once you make this soda, the cucumber vodka, and the lemon balm syrup, you’ll have all you need for the cocktail.

If you’re not familiar with ginger bug sodas, first you will need an active ginger bug starter culture. Assuming that part of equation is taken care of, let’s proceed.

This recipe calls for lemon balm. Like mint, it is running wild in my garden now. But, if you’re growing one of the many other members of the mint family, by all means, substitute it out.

You will need:


  • 2/3 lb. cucumbers (300g); peeled, sliced, and ends removed
  • ~60g lemon balm, stems removed
  • 3.75 cups filtered or distilled water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1-2 limes (or lemons)
  • 1/4 cup ginger bug starter culture


1.) Prepare the cucumber as directed.

2.) In the saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cucumbers, and lemon balm leaves. Set heat to high and cover.

3.) Once boiling, give a good stir, replace cover, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes. (This liquid is the wort.) Then remove the wort from heat and keep covered. Allow to cool.

4.) Once at room temperature, remove the cucumbers and balm from the wort. Now extract the lime juice and add it to the wort.

5.) In the flip-top bottle, first add the strained ginger bug liquid. Then add the wort until you’ve reached the neck of the bottle. (There may be a slight excess of wort.)

6.) Cap the bottle and allow to stand at room temperature for about three days (or until you see ample bottle activity). Store in the fridge overnight then serve any time.

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