Today I’m bottling flavored kombucha for this weekend’s Hall Family Camp-Out in the gorge. Flavored kombucha is an easy (and crowd-pleasing) way to add variety to your basic kombucha recipe. For my special Family Camp-Out ‘bucha I’m using a combination of two techniques. The first is bottle fermentation (or secondary fermentation) – which results in an especially fizzy brew. (I explain the details in Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha.) The second is adding flavors. There’s no need to combine the two techniques. Adding your favorite juice alone produces a flavorful, fizzy, and refreshing brew.
Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits are delicious additions to kombucha tea. So is fruit juice. Among my favorites are frozen strawberries and raspberries, dried elderberries and incan berries, and juices of cranberry and blueberry. Flavored kombucha is also a great way to use-up the liquid from canned fruits like peaches, pears, or pineapple. Furthermore, if you enjoy the sweet hot of fresh ginger juice, it is an especially health promoting addition.
To make flavored kombucha use your you usual kombucha recipeor follow the 5-Step Kombucha Recipe, but only proceed to step 4. (In this step the tea is fully cultured and ready to drink.) Instead of proceeding to step 5 of the recipe (or bottling according to your recipe) proceed with these instructions for flavoring and bottling your kombucha.
Flavored Kombucha Recipe:
Remove the mother and the baby kombucha mushroom from the brew. Use a funnel and pint-sized jars with tightly fitting lids (or pint-sized flip top bottles).
To make fruit flavored kombucha add to each jar: two tablespoons fruit juice, or 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen fruit (whole, sliced, or crushed); or one tablespoon unsulphured, unsweetened dried fruit. To make ginger-honey flavored kombucha use freshly grated organic ginger root. For each pint combine one tablespoon of the grated ginger with one tablespoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of water. Stir until combined. Strain the mixture into one pint-sized jar.
Fill the jars to the top with kombucha. Place a sheet of wax paper under each lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from contacting the lid.) Cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator.
To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to serving. Flavored kombucha is especially prone to developing strands of culture in the bottle. Be sure to strain the tea just before serving.