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.
Elderberry Kombucha Soda
Delicious elderberry kombucha soda combines the immune boosting benefits of elderberry with the enzymes and probiotics in kombucha for a delicious and health promoting drink.
- 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?