Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
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 serves 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 elderberry juice (made by boiling 1/4 cup dried elderberries in 2 cups water for 45 minutes and adding more water as needed) and 1 teaspoon 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 put in the refrigerator until drinking.
Elderberry Kombucha Soda Recipe
- 32 oz kombucha premade or homemade
- 1 TBSP elderberry syrup (or 1 TBSP dried elderberries + 1 tsp sugar)
- Recipe using elderberry syrup: Combine 1 Tablespoon 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 refrigerator to store.
- Recipe using dried elderberries: If you don't already have elderberry syrup on hand, a simpler secondary ferment could be made by simply adding 1 Tablespoon of elderberry juice (made by boiling 1/4 cup dried elderberries in 2 cups water for 45 minutes and adding more water as needed) and 1 teaspoon 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 put in the refrigerator until drinking.
- Enjoy 8 ounces per day.
Ever used elderberries or tried kombucha? What did you think?
Discussion (36 Comments)
Everything I’ve read says that you need to cook elderberries before consuming them/their juice. I would not recommend consuming them raw – even fermented! You’re supposed to simmer them for 30-45 minutes to be safe. So I would not add raw berries to my kombucha. Only add cooked elderberry syrup!
I have elderberry crystals that I mix with water to drink. Do you think that after I mix it that I could use it in place of the syrup?!
I am wanting to make elderberry kombucha and I see here that you can make it with elderberry syrup (cooked elderberries) and you can make it with dried elderberries (raw elderberries). Doesn’t the elderberries need to be cooked because they can be toxic if not?
I am wanting to make Elderberry Kombucha. I noticed you say to add the dried elderberries to the kombucha, I don’t need to cook them first? If I do put the dried elderberries in with the kombucha, can they be eaten or do I strain them?
Hello! Would you substitute the sugar for honey if you were making Elderberry Jun?
I am so glad I found this post! I have been making Kombucha at home for years. Recently I made your Elderberry Syrup and, once finished, felt like it was a bit too sweet for me, so I added it to some “a bit to tart” kombucha and it was wonderful. I have since been wondering if the anti-bacterial aspects of both the Elderberry and the honey would have an adverse effect on the kombucha and destroy the good bacteria. Would love your thoughts – I love the idea of combining the two, but don’t want to inadvertently kill off some of the good stuff!
I can’t wait to try this, but the class I took for making kombucha taught us not to combine honey with kombucha because the honey kills off or lessens the effects of the probiotics. I’m going to replace the honey in your elderberry syrup recipie with simple sugar syrup instead when I know it’s going to be used for kombucha.
Rachel, I think the honey would go into the secondary ferment where the SCOBY has been removed. I wouldn’t think it would bother the probiotics.
I just went to a workshop to learn the ins and outs…Came home with my first Scoby”LillyDee”…The best $30 I have spent in a long time…I suggest if there are work shops in your area to go…Love and Light <3
I have a few questions…I have been brewing my own kombucha for over a year now but have yet to be able to get it fizzy. I store my kombucha in mason jars that should be able to produce a tight seal. I typically just add pieces of fruit to it after the first brew or juice fruit and pour that in. Do I need to add additional sugar then too to get it to fizz?
I recently found out that I have a sensitivity to yeast. My naturopath told me not to drink kombucha anymore ;(…at least for a while. I am wondering about the yeast in kombucha though. Could it be a healthier yeast than what they test you for on the blood allergy tests? Maybe I am sensitive to commercial yeast but not this healthy form of yeast. Anyone have any insight into this? Or maybe I was drinking to much kombucha causing the sensitivity??
Not sure on the fizz question as I am new to brewing my kombucha.
As to the yeast question, there are many species of yeast (as anyone who has tried to make alcohol with bread yeast knows) and it is possible that you are not sensitive to the yeast in kombucha. However, if you are working to heal your gut then live foods are generally introduced later and slowly as a damaged gut is ‘open’ and may let even beneficial bacteria out of the gut and into the blood.
I’ve also been making kombucha for a few years, and my second ferment ALWAYS gets fizzy. I add freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, or other juices, and I NEVER add additional sugar. But I bottle in beer bottles with beer caps put on by a bottle capper, so maybe that makes a tighter seal?
I’ve been buying Virgil’s root beer that comes in the lovely brown grolsch bottles–those babies give a great seal for the secondary ferment. From what I’ve read, as great as mason jars are, and I love them, they won’t work for the secondary ferment because they don’t give a tight enough seal.
Is this okay to drink for people who have stomach ulcer?