Monday, June 3, 2013

Cranberry-Ginger Kombucha

What timing—two frosty batches of kombucha were ready just a this heatwave set in. This fermented cranberry-ginger tonic takes the sting out of those 90°F muggy evenings. Kombucha is a very healthy, probiotic beverage that is rich in essential enzymes and vitamins that benefit our digestive systems with each sip. But mostly I just like the way it tastes—mildly sweet and tart with a slight fizz. I keep a regular rotation going so that I can harvest a fresh batch every two weeks. Kombucha finds its origins in Asia, although my Brooklyn-born batch tastes just as good.

At first fermentation I feed it with a solution of caffeinated balck tea and sugar. As you can see in the picture below, it looks a bit like the brain from sci-fi creature from another planet. As the scoby reach maturity it starts to form tendrils and separates into layers—the newest scoby forms at the top. It ferments is a cool dark place for two to three weeks.

At second fermentation I carefully strain the liquid into a clean jar add a solution of cranberry, ginger and sugar. I allow it to ferment for two of three more days until carbonates then chill it over night in the fridge. This week I’m going to try flavoring it with watermelon and cucumber.

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