My kombucha is the best. That is a completely relative and unqualified statement, but this is my blog so I can say what I want on here (sardines are good! I don’t like kidney beans! Some essential oils smell weird!).
But let’s be real. Everybody says my kombucha is the best, and by everybody, I mean everybody that has tried it. Obviously, we already have a lack of scientific sampling here, but let’s keep going like I know what I’m talking about.
(This is fun!)
My original, unflavored kombucha recipe is a light, fruity, airy, delicious and bubbly drink that has been acclaimed by kombucha enthusiasts, kombucha snobs and kombucha experts. Dave Matthews bought 2 gallons (did you know he has a chef that travels with the band and shops at local farms wherever they go? I mean you gotta love the guy).
Make my basic kombucha recipe here, or use your own personal best (which is probably insanely awesome, and way good, and suited exactly to your tastes and The Best Kombucha of YOUR blog!).
Let’s talk flavoring.
Everybody always asks me how long I second ferment, when I’m going to get pregnant again and why do I think it’s safe to co-sleep. Let’s focus on that first point today.
I don’t do second ferments.
Make her eat kidney beans!
I have a little secret to let you in on – I am literally quite lazy. You don’t get this far in life without being a little lazy. Ha! I say that jokingly, but let me explain my philosophy: by being kind of lazy, and wanting to find shortcuts and better ways and focusing only on what is really important, I can get a lot more done in a day or in a week than I would otherwise be able to do. (And if making kombucha is not your thing, you might just want to buy kombucha, and that’s fine, too, or maybe you don’t even want to DRINK the stuff. Skip the rest of the blog and go to the crochet section because now you can make that bobble hat finally!!!)
Second ferments take time, and I have to remember to Do Things and move things around. My personal version of flavoring kombucha is basically foolproof.
- Make plain, original kombucha. Yummy!
- Take the stuff I want my kombucha to taste like (strawberries, or cinnamon sticks, or whatever), and put them in a jar.
- Pour the plain, original kombucha in to the jar and close the lid.
- Place in the fridge and forget about it for three weeks or whatever, and drink it cold.
How easy is that? It’s stupid easy. The reason I leave it for at least three weeks is because I was always flavoring my kombuchas for three or four days, like I saw People Online doing. Then one day I packed a jar with strawberries and filled it with bucha, put it in the fridge and forgot it was there for three weeks. When I pulled it out and strained it, it was LITERALLY THE BEST kombucha I had EVER had in my life and I was Totally Freaking OUT!
Forget about strawberry soda or strawberry lemonade – this is lightyears better! Fill a half-gallon jar halfway or more with fresh or frozen strawberries, whole or cut, stems or not. The more surface you expose, the more juicy flavor can come out of the berries. If you remove the stems, use them to make scrap vinegar. Cover with kombucha and refrigerate for three weeks; strain out strawberries and serve. Use fermented strawberries for salad, add to smoothies, eat them plain or compost them.
I could drink enough of this to make me sick, it’s that good. Make Strawberry Kombucha. In one 8-ounce serving, add 1 drop of Vitality Jade Lemon oil*.
Strawberry Lavender Sunshine
Who needs lavender lemonade when you have this! Make Strawberry Sunshine, and add 1 drop of Vitality Lavender oil*.
Cream of Vanilla Chai Spice
Creamy and delicious, the vanilla adds a smooth flavor. Put whole or ground cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, grated nutmeg, black pepper and a vanilla bean in a half-gallon jar or carboy. I use a lot of cinnamon, and a little less of everything else. Full disclosure, I have NEVER measured it. Pour in kombucha and let sit for three weeks or more before straining.
Berry Sunshine Kombucha
Bursts of summer … I use bags of frozen berries to make this in the dead of winter. Fill a half-gallon jar halfway with mixed whole or crushed berries, 1/2 cup lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/8 cup pure vanilla extract or the scrapings of a vanilla bean. Fill jar with unflavored kombucha and let steep for three weeks in the refrigerator before straining and serving.
Ginger and Wild Pear
Pungent – refreshing – and soothing for the belly. A true tonic! I LOVE this one. Dice up wild pears (let’s be real, any pear from the store will do, but we used wild ones hence the name), and fill a half-gallon jar halfway. Add five to ten drops of Vitality Ginger oil*, and fill the jar with plain kombucha. Let steep three weeks before serving!
Cream of Mulled Cider
This ranks as my fall favorite. I adore. It’s the first flavored kombucha I ever made! Dice apples (various flavors, but really, use what you’ve got. Gala is nice and sweet. Red might have too much tannin), and fill a half-gallon jar halfway. Add cinnamon sticks, orange peel, five drops Vitality Orange oil*, whole or ground star anise, clove, nutmeg and ground allspice. Add one vanilla bean with the seeds scraped out and stirred in, or 1/8 cup vanilla extract or a lesser amount of two-fold extract or a strong store-bought extract.
And now you know my secret – I never second ferment my kombucha. Ever! Too lazy!!!!
*Where to buy Vitality Essential Oils:
I only ingest essential oils from Young Living. As you know, essential oils are a popular food flavoring throughout the food industry, in products ranging from La Croix drinks to medication to candies. Synthetic versions are now being used to reduce the cost of adding flavorings to foods in many cases, but essential oils have been our flavorings for generations!
Vitality Oils are a line of cooking and ingesting oils from Young Living that have been labeled and approved by the FDA as a supplement for internal use. The oils are the same, i.e. the oil in a Vitality bottle of Lavender from Young Living is the same as the oil in a regular bottle of Lavender from Young Living, but the Vitality Label makes them FDA-approved for ingesting! Awesome!
You can buy a few Vitality Oils here by going through as a Retail Customer, or click Wholesale to buy a 50% discounted bundle of oils that includes five of my favorite vitality oils, plus six other oils and a free diffuser!