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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 Tools for Brewing Kombucha:

Strawberry Basil Homemade Kombucha

More Kombucha Recipes:

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Shannon

Saturday 20th of March 2021

I used this recipe not long ago for a little extra kombucha in a couple of bottles. It was delicious! I have a kegerator, so I have a 5-gallon batch I'd like to use with this recipe, but I'm not sure how to handle using fresh fruit with the kegerator. (Normally I add juices to the brewed kombucha and it heads straight to the tap, carbonated within a day, so there's nothing to filter out.) I've searched around and found nothing on this, but I've heard you can use a mesh bag to flavor carbonated water with fresh fruit. Any thoughts? Do I need a separate fermenter? Thank you!

Cheryl Franklin

Saturday 11th of July 2020

So, after the second fermentation is complete, do you have to drink the kombucha pretty quickly after that or can you keep it in the fridge in those flip top bottles - should you take the fruit out at that point ? What about canning it with a home aluminum can processor ? Can you can it without it continuing to ferment?

Julia

Sunday 12th of July 2020

Hi Cheryl,

You can keep kombucha in flip cap bottles in the refrigerator for up to 2 months as long as they're tightly sealed. Whether or not you leave the fruit in is up to you, but I leave it in. I wouldn't can it because I'm sure it would react with the materials in the can and you do want a small amount of air to be able to escape. Happy brewing!

Sue

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Quick question, we are a processed sugar free home. Would it be possible to use honey instead of sugar? I know sometimes that throws off certain ferment processes so I thought I would ask. Thanks!

Julia

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Hi Sue,

You can use honey if you purchase a Jun SCOBY, but with a Kombucha SCOBY, you will need to use sugar :D The different types of bacteria in jun versus kombucha feed off of different types of sugar. Hope this helps!

Deryn | Running on Real Food

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

I loooove my homemade kombucha. I just started a few months ago and it's such a nice drink to enjoy everyday, and actually so easy to make when I thought it seemed too difficult before starting. I love the idea of adding basil! Strawberry lemon is one of my favourites. I haven't ventured into herbs yet but this looks perfect. Thanks!

Fiona

Saturday 24th of September 2016

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?

Julia

Monday 26th of September 2016

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!

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