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Step up your game with these kombucha recipes

By Marilou LeBel-Dupuis – on in Food
Kombucha has been around for centuries, but it's like we've just discovered it: it's all the rage and everywhere now. If you love this fizzy drink, have you considered making your own?

Kombucha isn’t that complicated to make but you do need time, space and some resources. Above all, you’ll need to be appreciative that your favourite drink is the result of a slimy mushroom ingesting sugar and excreting probiotics as well as other good things. Joking aside, making your own kombucha is quite rewarding.

The basic kombucha

You’ll need:

  • A glass jar (one gallon);
  • A SCOBY* (that’s your mushroom!);
  • 8 tea bags (unflavoured and non-herbal);
  • A breathable fabric (muslin, coffee filter, tea towel, etc.) and a rubber band;
  • 1 cup of sugar (cane or white);
  • 15 cups of water;
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar.

That’s it for the most basic kombucha you can make. You’ll first bring to a boil your water. Add all your tea and let it steep for up to 10 minutes. Remove your bags, and then add the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Transfer this liquid into your glass jar, and let it cool. Add your SCOBY and your tablespoons of cider vinegar, and cover your jar with the breathable fabric of your choice. Secure it with the rubber band.

You’ll want to put your jar in a warm place away from sunlight—a cupboard should do the trick.

For some, the most difficult step is the following: just wait for your SCOBY to do its magic. This process can anywhere from five to thirty days. After five days, you can taste your preparation with a straw to see if it has obtained the flavour you want. Some like it sour, others prefer a sweeter taste. It’s up to you, really! Anyway, once your liquid tastes good to you, take out your SCOBY and your new baby SCOBY—because yes, your first SCOBY will have given birth to a second one in the process! Put them in a glass jar for your next batch, or give your baby away.

Then, take out at least a cup of your kombucha and keep it in another glass jar. You’ll be able to use it as a starter liquid next time you make some instead of the cider vinegar.

You’re almost ready to drink your creation. Pour the liquid in bottles that have secured caps. Store these bottles at room temperature for up to a week, and then store in your fridge. You can drink them from then on, as the cold will have stopped the fermentation process.

Out of this world kombucha

Now that you know how to make basic kombucha, it’s time to think about stepping up your game. Basically, you’ll use the same steps as before, but you’ll add extra things to your kombucha when you are bottling it. There are so many options! Some of our favourites include the Blueberry Vanilla Dream, Strawberry Basil, Rose Hip and Hibiscus, and Kombucha Lemonade. They’re all easy to do once you’ve made your batch of basic kombucha.

For the extra mile, make Kombucha Coffee. The process differs from the start, but it seems even more rewarding than the regular one. After all, who wouldn’t want to get a caffeinated kombucha boost?

If you’re really into kombucha brewing, consider getting one of the many recipe books on the topic, or wander online for more ideas. Once you’re comfortable, who knows, you might end up creating your own recipes and sharing them online…

 

We hope you appreciated this introduction to kombucha brewing. Have fun making and sharing this fabulous drink!


* To score your SCOBY (Symbiotic Cultures of Bacteria and Yeast), check online, on Facebook or on Craigslist, or even at some specialized grocery stores. One thing is sure, you’ll find a community of Kombucha enthusiasts willing to share their SCOBYs with you no matter where you go.


Cover photo: Klara Avsenik | Unsplash

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Marilou LeBel-Dupuis

Marilou is a B.Ed. graduate who likes to do a lot of things, except teaching in Quebec. Her friends, writing, travelling and blueberry Red Bull make her happy.