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How to Flavor Kombucha

Use what you have at home for kombucha

What’s the secret ingredient to my most delicious kombucha brews?

Ripe fruit flavors and inspired combinations! Selecting the best fruits, fruit mixtures, and flattering herbs and spices is a creative part of the brewing process.

Throughout my years of experience, I’ve had clear flavor winners as well as duds. Read on for guidance on selecting the best fruit to flavor your kombucha at home.

Rules

How much fruit should be added to kombucha? Exact measurements vary among fruit. Consider how a super juicy peach would fare in fermentation versus an apple. The best rule of thumb is to use your judgment and past experiences but stick to no more two (2) tablespoons per bottle. If you like it lighter, try one tablespoon next time, and make sure you keep notes so you can make adjustments to your personal tastes. 

Mastering the art of kombucha flavoring comes with experience… the more variations you try, the better your kombucha will taste.

A fair warning: Do not add much more than two tablespoons per bottle. Too much fruit in your bottle versus your kombucha tea could offset your pressure and cause bottle explosions. Check out my thoughts and flavor inspirations, and be sure to follow me on social media, where I regularly share personal recipes!

Recipes

There are many excellent recipe books on the market which provide recipes to follow. However, you don’t need to buy a book to learn how to get the flavors you desire. Just ask yourself a few questions to start guiding your personalized flavoring process.

What flavors have I bought that I like?

Do you like a particular store brand? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! When I started brewing kombucha, I sought out my favorite store brands for inspiration. At the top of the list was GT’s Gingerade, with its ingredient label, including GT’s own kombucha (made with a mix of black and green tea, and kiwi juice) and fresh-pressed ginger juice. 

I tried a few thinly-sliced pieces of fresh ginger and a squirt of honey in place of pressing juice for cost efficiency. This resulted in a ginger-spicy brew, which was good but evened out better with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on the next attempt. I settled on the following for my go-to version in honor of one of my favorite store brands:

GT’s Gingerade Booch Witch Copycat Recipe, per 12 ounce bottle

  • Two tablespoons of fresh ginger, cut into match-stick pieces
  • One teaspoon local honey
  • One teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Another favorite retail brew is Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple, which adds organic juice from Pink Lady apples into the second fermentation.  

When I started messing around at home with this one, I used some very thinly sliced Ida Reds from Beloit, Wisconsin’s Apple Hut. Slices of apples are regularly found in my brews, so this simple recipe is perfect whenever I’m short on time or inspiration. I add hibiscus to balance the flavor and help lower blood pressure.

Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple Booch Witch Copycat Recipe, per 12 ounce bottle

  • Two tablespoons of fresh apple, sliced very thin
  • 1-3 dried hibiscus petals
Lots of pomegranates!
I found a good deal on pomegranates!

Suggestions to Get Rid of Stuff!

You should also work with fruits and produce your household regularly has on hand. To begin, and to keep your costs low, start by asking yourself versions of the following questions below. Then consider my suggested recipe responses 😀

  • Does someone always in your household like to have bananas around? 
    • Try Strawberry Blonde:
      • Two teaspoons, thawed frozen strawberries
      • Two teaspoons, sliced fresh banana 
  • Do you eat lots of apples, like me? 
    • Try Apple Refresher:
      • One tablespoon crisp apple, sliced thin
      • Three leaves fresh mint
      • One squirt of local honey
  • Do your kids eat a lot of oranges? 
    • Try Vitamin C Booch:
      • Two tablespoons, fresh orange; Segments sliced
      • One teaspoon pineapple juice
      • One sprig, fresh cilantro
  • Do you have a bunch of strawberries frozen from a local market? 
    • You might like Summertime in a Bottle:
      • One tablespoon, strawberries
      • One sprig, lemon verbena
  • Do you have extra watermelon from a picnic? 
    • Try this brew inspired by Watermelon Wonder
      • One tablespoon, diced watermelon 
      • One squished cherry, or thawed frozen cherry
      • Juice of one half of a kiwi
  • Spot a good sale on frozen mango at the store? 
    • Give Fruit Punch a shot:
      • Two tablespoons, thawed frozen mango
      • One teaspoon, pineapple juice or fruit
      • One teaspoon, fresh orange; sliced

As you get more confident with your brews, your chutzpah may grow, and you’ll want to try something unique to you. My advice? Do it.

My most cherished personal brews have been experimental. Be sure to visit my related blog, which discusses herbs and more complex recipes that might inspire you, too.

Best wishes in your brews, friends!

More from The Booch Witch:

The integrity of kombucha and why reading labels matters

Why reading the label matters

Your favorite kombucha brands may be watered down. Kombucha Brewers International released a Code of Practice. The code distinguishes between the following

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