Two recipes that are staples in our kitchen, especially at this time of year, are kombucha and elderberry syrup. Kombucha is a great source of beneficial bacteria, enzymes and vitamins while elderberry is a traditional remedy to ward off illness.
Combine the two and you get a delicious, fizzy and immune-boosting “soda” that is delicious and easy to make.
What is Kombucha?
If you’ve never made it or tried it before, Kombucha is a traditional fermented tea that contains enzymes, probiotics and vitamins. Though it is brewed with a sweetened tea, the sugar ferments out in the process of making enzymes and probiotics, leaving a finished product with minimal sugar.
Here is a tutorial on getting started with making Kombucha and I ordered all of my supplies from Kombucha Kamp. If you aren’t a fan of the DIY version, pre-made kombucha is now available in most grocery stores and even some big box and discount stores.
Benefits of Elderberry?
Elderberries are a traditional remedy for colds and flu. Elderberry syrups, tinctures and capsules are popping up even in regular grocery stores.
I prefer to make my own elderberry syrup with dried elderberries so I can make sure I use quality ingredients. Here is my original elderberry syrup recipe.
What to do:
When I combined Elderberry Syrup and Kombucha Soda it made a perfectly carbonated and slightly sweet drink that was a great way to get the benefits of elderberry and kombucha in one drink. There are two ways to make elderberry kombucha:
- Simple Version: Use pre-made elderberry syrup and homemade kombucha. The elderberry syrup served as the sugar source for a second ferment which creates carbonation (see this recipe for instructions on why and how to do a secondary ferment) and all you have to do is pour the elderberry syrup into the kombucha. You can also just add 1 teaspoon of elderberry syrup to a glass of pre-carbonated homemade or pre-made kombucha and drink immediately.
- Basic Version: If you don’t already have elderberry syrup on hand, a simpler secondary ferment could be made by simply adding 1 tablespoon of dried elderberries with 1 tsp of raw, organic sugar (it will ferment out) to a 32 ounce mason jar of homemade (or store bought) kombucha. Cap this tightly with an airtight lid and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days until desired carbonation is reached and then leave in the fridge until drinking.
- For the simple recipe, combine 1 tablespoon of pre-made elderberry syrup with a 32 ounce jar of kombucha. If the kombucha is already carbonated from a secondary ferment, this can be consumed immediately. If not and you want the carbonation, cap the jar tightly with an airtight lid and leave on the counter for 2-3 days before transferring to the fridge.
- For a more basic recipe: If you don't have elderberry syrup on hand but can find some dried elderberries, just add 1 tablespoon of dried elderberries and 1 tsp of organic sugar to 32 ounces of brewed kombucha. Cap tightly and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to the fridge to store. Strain the elderberries out before drinking.
- Enjoy 8 ounces per day.
Ever used elderberries or tried Kombucha? What did you think?