Strawberry Basil Kombucha

Kombucha is a naturally-fermented probiotic drink, filled with health benefits. Make a Strawberry Basil flavor at home!

Strawberry Basil Homemade Kombucha

Drinking kombucha every day is a habit I picked up while I was writing my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks. Although I don’t brew as many probiotic beverages as I did while developing recipes for the cookbook, I still brew kombucha regularly. I almost always have a freshly bottled batch in the refrigerator. I tend to start brewing a new batch before I run out of inventory so that I have a continual stock. I couldn’t possibly go a single day without my favorite afternoon pick-me-up!

Quick note: If you’re new to kombucha and want to learn about its health benefits or how to make it at home, read my post on How to Make Homemade Kombucha.

Along with spunky spring produce, there has been an onslaught of plump and juicy ripe strawberries at my local grocery store. I picked up a huge case of strawberries a couple of weeks ago and used them in all sorts of recipes, from overnight oatmeal to salad to simple syrup. Unsure of what to do with the remaining berries, I remembered I had a batch of ‘bucha that was ready to be bottled.

Strawberry Basil Kombucha

The obvious solution to my berry conundrum was to use them to flavor my kombucha for secondary fermentation. Because I love fruit and herbs together, I included basil in on the action (probably one of the best decisions I ever did make), and I ended up bottling 2 gallons of Strawberry Basil Kombucha. This is a winning flavor combination and makes for a fizzy, tasty treat!

Looking to put a little pip in your step? Kombucha’s your jam!

For more tricks and tips on kombucha brewing (and for tasty recipes for all sorts of probiotic beverages) check out my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks!

Strawberry Basil Homemade Kombucha

Strawberry Basil Kombucha

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 16-ounce bottles of kombucha (2 gallons)
Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 1-2/3 gallons homemade kombucha*
  • 2 cups heaping ripe strawberries chopped
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces fresh basil chopped (1 cup)

Instructions

  1. Brew a batch of homemade kombucha. When it's ready to be bottled for secondary fermentation (after 7 to 10 days of brewing), follow instructions below.
  2. Add the strawberries, sugar, water and basil to a saucepan and bring to a full boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, mash the strawberries with a fork and allow mixture to cool to room temperature (to speed up this process, pour the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate).
  4. In a large glass pitcher, combine half of the strawberry-basil mixture (including the pulp) and half of the kombucha. Stir well.
  5. Pour the strawberry-basil kombucha into 16-ounce glass flip cap bottles ¾ of the way up. Distribute the strawberry and basil pulp between the bottles.
  6. Repeat for the remaining half of the kombucha and strawberry-basil mixture.
  7. Seal flip cap bottles and leave in a warm, dark place for 2 to 4 days for secondary fermentation. Refrigerate all of the bottles to chill before drinking (refrigeration also slows the fermentation).
  8. When ready to drink, point the bottle away from your face and carefully open, as gasses will have built and the kombucha will be fizzy.
  9. Using a small fine strainer, strain the kombucha into a glass and discard the pulp.
  10. A kombucha a day keeps the doctor away!

Recipe Notes

*Brew a 2-gallon batch of kombucha and save some of the liquid (about 1/3 gallon) with your SCOBY for starting your next batch. In order to keep this recipe raw, skip the heating process. Instead, blend 2 cups of water with 2 cups of strawberries, then mix together with chopped basil, sugar, and kombucha prior to bottling.

Useful Kombucha Brewing Tools:

2-Gallon Glass Jug (for brewing)

Cheesecloth (for covering your kombucha while it is brewing)

Floating thermometer (to be sure you’re brewing in the correct temperature range)

Large glass pitcher (for transferring liquid from the jug into the glass bottles)

16-ounce glass flip cap bottles (for safely bottling and storing)

Small Fine Strainer (for straining after secondary fermentation prior to drinking)

Strawberry Basil Homemade Kombucha

Try these other tasty flavors:

Grapefruit Rosemary Kombucha

Apple Ginger Kombucha

Lavender Kombucha

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Comments

  1. Baby June

    I can’t be the only one who read that as “kabocha”. 🙂 I’ve never tried it, but it sounds so refreshing and unique. Another thing on the to-make list!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Haha! I think a lot of people could easily see “kabocha.” I wonder if kabocha squash would make good beverages…hmm… 😉 Definitely give kombucha a shot if you see it at your local grocery store. It’s an acquired taste, but once you get used to it, it’s truly marvelous and it’s SO great for you! 😀 Have a fun weekend.

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Oh yes, it’s so refreshing! You folks in TX need to have an ample supply of tasty drinks to quench your thirst from all that heat 😉 Have a great weekend, Georgia!

      Reply
  2. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    You know, I was rinsing strawberries in my sink the other day and the smell of my basil plant hit me in the face at the same time and the smell of the two together was amazing! I can imagine it makes for a delicious kombucha. I need to get brewin’ ASAP!!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I love it when that happens! Getting a whiff of fresh ingredients and having the sense of smell inspire your recipes is so cool. I need to grow some herbage in my home and see what happens to my food cravings. All good things, no doubt 🙂

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so happy to hear it, Katya! Brewing kombucha is so easy. It’s also a fun project and it’s way less expensive than buying kombucha from the store! Let me know if you try out the home brewing!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      It’s definitely a different drink. When you first try it, it tastes yeasty/vinegary/lemony. It can be a little offputting at first, but store-bought brands do carry some really palatable flavors! I’d say give it a shot next time you spot it in the grocery store. If you don’t like it the first time, definitely give it another chance. Let me know if you end up trying kombucha or start brewing it!

      Reply
  3. Allison @ Clean Wellness

    I’m very interested to try brewing my own kombucha! I really love a brand from Toronto called, Tonica kombucha, but it gets ratherrrrr pricey if I make a habit of it. Great flavour combo! I love the glass too.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      YES! I’m so happy to hear you’re interested in home brewing! It really is a cinch. And it’s so much fun to pick and choose your flavors before bottling it. I’m not going to lie, I love store-bought kombucha, but making it at home is so much fun and you can whip out any flavor you please. Let me know once you start brewing and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieghaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! Do it! You’re right in the heart of hippyville there in Breck! All the cool kids are doing it! 😉 I actually didn’t find kombucha in the grocery store in Breck, but I did find it in a liquor store on that main street. Can’t remember the name of it, but anyhoo, next time you see kombucha, you snag that shit, girly!

      Reply
  4. Joanne

    My pep needs some serious kombucha step in it! I havent had it in FOREVER. Way too long. Must make up for lost time and this sounds like the perfect way to get on it. Love my strawberries paired with herbs.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Yeeeeeah! Pep it up, sister! Given all them strawberries I’ve been seeing on Eats Well with Others, I think you’d love this ‘bucha!

      Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      You would looooooooooooooove it! I feel like I need to drive my booty on up there with a case of ‘bucha to give to you and Taylor. Or give you a SCOBY or two. This is totally your jam 🙂

      Reply
  5. Gina Eldridge

    How do you get your kombucha to be so bubbly? I’ve tried putting some in a bottle with ginger and letting it sit and it still doesn’t look as bubbly as yours.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I’ve never had bottled kombucha explode, but I’ve heard it can. It could just be the result of very active (and happy) probiotics and perhaps needs less time for the secondary fermentation. Thanks for dropping in, Dan.

      Reply
  6. Holly

    Just curious…do you think most of the sugar is eaten up during second fermentation? I’ve heard that a higher sugar content increases the carbonation, but I don’t want a high sugar drink. Any thoughts on that?

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Holly,

      Absolutely! During fermentation, the probiotics and yeast consume sugar in order to survive and reproduce. In this way, you’re left with a drink that tastes sweet but actually has a low sugar content. You definitely need to add sugar (whether it be natural sugar from fruit or cane sugar) for secondary fermentation in order to get a fizzy beverage. The amount of residual sugar depends upon how much sugar you add and how long you allow the batch to ferment for the second time. There are fancy instruments that measure the amount of sugar if you want to be diligent about knowing the exact amount of resulting sugar. But to summarize, yes, you need to add some form of sugar for secondary fermentation, and you’ll definitely end up with less sugar that what you started with 🙂 Happy brewing!

      Reply
  7. Fiona

    Your Kombucha looks sooooo fizzy. My Kombucha is lacking fizz do I need to add extra sugar as well as the strawberries and what recommended time frame for the second ferment?

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      I find adding the fruit pulp to the individual bottles for secondary fermentation is what makes it fizzy. A little extra sugar couldn’t hurt, too! I recommend 3 to 7 days for secondary fermentation, depending on the amount of sugar you add – 5 days is a pretty great amount of time!

      Reply
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