Straight out of the bottle, kombucha tends to taste like fizzy apple cider vinegar. Depending on how long you fermented your kombucha, it can be quite sour. However, it is simple to turn your basic kombucha into a delicious sparkling lemonade, or a cranberry spritzer, or cherry cola… the options are endless.
First follow the basic kombucha recipe. Your SCOBY needs the sugar and tea to thrive. Once you’ve poured your kombucha out for bottling (step #7), then you can flavour it.
Here are some basic bottling principles:
- If it is really sour then you can dilute your kombucha with herbal tea, caffeinated tea or fruit juice.
- When bottling you can use alternative sweeteners (like stevia or xylitol) however you won’t end up with a fizzy drink. To increase the fizziness add something that will feed the yeast and bacteria, like sugar or maple syrup.
- If you’re including fresh or dried fruit, chia seeds or other non-liquids then feel free to use a wide mouth jar. However…
- If you are not using a bottle specifically designed to handle the pressure of carbonation (like a pop or beer bottle) then keep a close eye on the carbonation or your jar could explode.
- Feel free to mix your kombucha flavourings to taste. If you want your kombucha to be fizzy, then stick to a ratio of 80% kombucha to 20% flavourings.
Here is a basic recipe for simple syrup flavours that can easily be added to kombucha.
- 3½ cups water
- 1¼ cups of sugar (or honey or the equivalent in other sweeteners)
- Choice of flavouring (6" piece of ginger thinly diced, or 2 vanilla beans split open, or 2 cups of chopped mint)
- Mix in a sauce pan 3½ cups of water, 1¼ cups of sweetener and flavouring of choice.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Strain out the flavouring and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Some popular kombucha flavours:
- Tutti Fruit: Any combination of fresh fruit and juices can be added to your kombucha.
- Citrus-aid: Wash up the skins of lemons, oranges, grapefruit and limes. Slice the fruit and add it directly to the kombucha with sweetener to taste.
- Apple Cinnamon: Add apple juice and a cinnamon stick to your kombucha.
- Vanilla cream soda: Add vanilla syrup along with a few prunes.
- Ginger-aid: Mix with ginger syrup
- Berry-mint: Mix in fresh berries with some mint syrup
- Sparkling Bubble tea: Add 1 tbsp chia seeds per cup of liquid and mix well and allow to gel for at least 2 days.