Thursday, July 16, 2009

Drinkwell Soda, Lacto-Fermentation

Live probiotics, worth investigation.

picture photograph image ALT 2009 copyright of sam breach

I was pretty excited, a couple of months ago, when I was wandering around the Farmers' Market with my friend Jen and she stopped to chat with Nigel from Eatwell Farm, whom she knows. Accompanying Nigel on that particular Saturday was his fiance, Lorraine, who started telling us about her work with naturally fermented sodas. As someone who is currently interested in non-alcoholic libations, I was attentive and excited to learn that Lorraine would be selling her creations soon.

The time to try Lorraine's Drinkwell Sodas is now here. You will find her at the back of the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, selling a selection of her sodas. I fell hook, line & sinker for the seasonal grapefruit flavour. I have always loved grapefruit drinks anyway, but this one, with it's muted fruit accents, gentle effervescence and softly tingling aftertaste was incredible. I bought a refillable Kanteen, priced at $20, so that I will be able to keep drinking Lorrain's sodas every Saturday, at $8 for 18 ounces. Alternatively, you can purchase by the cup in smaller amounts. Drinkwell Sodas cannot easily be bottled and sold through stores, they need to be consumed whilst fresh, which is why you will need to go to the source if you want to treat your tastebuds.

When you buy your soda, you can pick up an informational leaflet which will tell you about the lacto-fermentation process used to create the sodas, explaining that these sodas are live, active and containing probiotics which help you maintain healthy intestinal micro flora. At last we have something pure, natural and healthy that is local to boot and tastes really good too. If I were you, I'd give it a shot...

2008picture photograph Thomas keller recipe for Confit Biyaldi the ratatouille recipe used in the movie by Pixar 2007 copyright of sam breach 2006picture photograph Summer Pudding 2006 copyright of sam breach

© 2009 Sam Breach
Drinkwell Soda, Lacto-Fermentation


  • At 17/7/09 11:41, Anonymous Michelle @ said…

    I saw her stand past Saturday and almost stopped! Unfortunately, my arms were entirely weighed down with quarts of blueberries and egg-cartons of apricots; I was making b-line for the veggie valet. But I will now be sure to stop this week! I adore fermented and cultured drinks - kefir, kombucha, you name it - and love the thought of consuming a local product. Thanks for the heads up!

    Also, do you know if I can bring my own canteen or glass jar for her to fill?

  • At 17/7/09 17:00, Blogger Sam said…

    Michelle - I am not sure about the answer to your question - If I go tomorrow I will ask.

  • At 19/7/09 07:09, Anonymous Jane said…

    Sam, do you know how sugary these are? As you know, I'm eating pretty much paleo, but these sound appealing.

  • At 19/7/09 08:59, Blogger Sam said…

    Jane - here's the thing - my very scientific explanation - they start off quite sweet but the probiotic thingies eat up the sugars and turn them into gas (ie fizzy bubbles). Yesterday Lorraine was explaining this to me. Yesterday they weren't officially selling their strawberry drink because it was older and "it wasn't very sweet" but I tried it and it was my favourite so I took a cask of that one. Lorraine doesn't stop the fermentation, so they keep on going and the longer you leave them the less sweet and more sparkling they become. You can have a taste at the stand before committing.

    Michelle - I am so sorry - I totally spaced on asking the question on your behalf - sorry - and I wont be back at the market for a few weeks before I can ask again.

  • At 20/7/09 03:42, Blogger ChrisB said…

    sam I'll look forward to sampling those next time I visit you.

  • At 20/7/09 05:04, Blogger Coffee and Vanilla said…

    That is something new to me, sounds interesting.

  • At 22/7/09 08:56, Blogger Passport Foodie said…


    What a great idea.

    I saw something similar in a Co-Op near me. Hope these catch on.

    Passport Foodie

  • At 23/7/09 19:14, Anonymous Daniela Restrepo said…

    Out of interest, does anyone know if these live/probiotic products "die" if you leave the unrefrigerated for too long?

  • At 24/7/09 13:13, Anonymous Carolyn Jung said…

    How interesting about the probiotics in these sodas. That's reason enough for me to want to try them. But when you mentioned the fresh grapefruit flavor, I was thoroughly sold. I bet it's the epitome of refreshing.

  • At 28/7/09 15:08, Blogger My Farmhouse Kitchen said…

    How I LOVE the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building...we will be heading up from San Luis Obispo soon to visit..and I can't wait to check this out. It looks so good. Thanks for sharing.

    Kindest Regards,

  • At 31/7/09 23:47, Anonymous diva said…

    wow have never really heard of such sodas til now! it kinda looks like lemonade and i would really love to try it. :) probiotic? bring it on! x


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