Cranberry Kombucha

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If you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to flavor your kombucha, cranberry kombucha is the perfect recipe for you!

Move over, GT Dave.

There’s a new booch in town, and it’s cranberry-flavored!

If you’re not familiar with kombucha, it’s a fermented tea that has been around for centuries.

Traditionally, kombucha was made with green or black tea and sugar, but nowadays, there are many different flavors to choose from, and only your imagination can hold you back!

Cranberry kombucha is made by adding cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to the vessel with some fermented kombucha tea and allowing it to carbonate naturally. This process creates a fizzy, tangy beverage that’s packed with probiotics and antioxidants.

This cranberry kombucha recipe is dedicated to being a little tart.

Cranberry kombucha in two glasses with ice and frozen berries.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Need a SCOBY? I have a super-easy guide to making a SCOBY. New to booch? I’ve got a great guide for beginners on how to make kombucha!

No. 2 –> Adding cranberries to your second fermentation is a great way to give your kombucha an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Not only does cranberry kombucha taste great, but it’s also high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

No. 3 –> Keep everything clean! This is key when fermenting. We only want the yeast and bacteria in our SCOBY and not outside bacteria and yeast.

No. 4 –> Don’t forget to save 1 cup of your starter liquid after the first fermentation for future batches, because like a sourdough starter, your kombucha needs that little kick start with the good yeast and bacteria!

Overhead view of cranberry kombucha in two glasses.

Key Ingredients

Cranberries: Use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe, both will work! Do not use dried cranberries, they won’t! Pick through them to remove any shriveled, dried-out ones, if they’re frozen, it’s a little harder to do, but do attempt to remove any nasty ones.

Orange: This is totally optional but I really love that orange note with my cranberries. I leaned into my delicious homemade cranberry sauce for flavor inspiration on this one!

First Fermentation Kombucha: This is the tea that is produced after the first fermentation of your kombucha, it should be a nice mix of sweet and tart. I have step-by-step directions for the first fermentation if you need!

Photo of labeled cranberry kombucha ingredients.

How To Make Cranberry Kombucha

Prepare:

  1. Thoroughly wash everything! Fermentation relies on the growth of yeast and bacteria, but only the bacteria we want, so it’s important to make sure everything, including your hands, is clean and free of any contaminants. The best way to do this is to wash with hot, soapy water, then rinse. I like to give my bottles and utensils and extra rinse in vinegar, too.

Make The Cranberry Syrup:

  1. Wash a navel orange in hot soapy water, scrubbing well.
  2. Juice the orange – I like to chop mine into 8ths and run it through a citrus juicer if I’m only doing one at a time, otherwise, I’d get out the blender or juicer! Add enough water to the orange juice to equal 1/2 cup.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, the 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice, and 2 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  4. Bring the cranberry mixture to a low boil. Mash the cranberries with a spoon to ensure all have burst. Simmer the syrup until it thickens enough to leave a thin layer on the back of your spoon.
  5. Remove the syrup from the heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Use a spoon or spatula to press the pulp into the sieve to extract as much syrup as possible.
  6. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

Make Cranberry Kombucha

  1. Combine 2-4 tablespoons of syrup per 2 cups of first fermentation kombucha and transfer to a bottle. More puree = more sugar = more flavor = more carbonation, but it can also ferment more quickly, so ensure that you’re supervising the second ferment.
  2. Label your bottle with the contents and the date then set aside in a warm place, away from direct sunlight, to continue with the second ferment for 3-5 days.
  3. Check on your cranberry kombucha starting on day 3 to see if it’s carbonated enough for your liking by turning the bottle upside down and swirling and watching for signs of carbonation, or by slightly cracking the cap to allow some carbonation out.
  4. Once the kombucha has reached your desired carbonation, place it in the fridge to slow the fermenation.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

This recipe makes enough for 1-liter of cranberry orange kombucha – it can easily be scaled up or down depending on available fermentation bottles!

Storage:

Once your kombucha has finished the second fermentation it’s important to transfer the bottles to the fridge. This massively slows fermentation and keeps the flavor of your booch just how it was when you put it in the fridge!

I would recommend drinking your homemade kombucha within 2-3 weeks for the best results. It can last much longer than that, but the flavor may continue to develop more sour notes and inch towards tasting like vinegar.

Red cranberry booch fizzing out of a glass bottle.

Variations + Substitutions

This recipe is just a guide! Feel free to tweak it to suit your tastebuds! Here are some ideas I had to change it up – add the ingredients listed below to the saucepan with the cranberries to infuse their flavor into the flavoring syrup!

  • Plain cranberry kombucha: substitute water for orange juice
  • Cranberry apple kombucha: swap out orange juice for apple juice
  • Cranberry ginger kombucha: add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger to the syrup
  • Cranberry cinnamon kombucha: add a cinnamon stick to the syrup, omit or keep the orange
  • Cranberry lime kombucha: use 1/2 cup of water plus 2 tablespoons lime juice instead of orange juice.
  • Cranberry rosemary kombucha: add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the syurp
  • Cranberry vanilla kombucha: add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, use water instead of orange juice.
Close up of the bubbles in the kombucha.

Helpful Tools + Equipment

There are a couple of things that can help make your booch brew process go more smoothly, and easily.

  • DEDICATED BREW VESSEL WITH A SPIGOT! Pick one that has a stainless steel spout and a large enough volume for your kombucha consuption!
  • Fluid measuring cups. I love my PYREX GLASS MEASURING CUPS for this recipe.
  • A tightly woven cloth, I actually use CHEMEX COFFEE FILTERS. They are a nice, thick, unbleached square filter that I’m able to reuse a few times before replacing!
  • Second fermentation vessels! Many, many people recommend using FLIP-TOP BOTTLES, but I’ve always had luck re-using bottles from store bought bottles, like GTs!

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📖 Printable Recipe

Cranberry kombucha in two glasses with ice and frozen berries.

Cranberry Kombucha Recipe

Allyson Letal
Looking for a delicious and easy way to flavor your kombucha? Cranberry kombucha is the perfect recipe for you! This homebrewed kombucha is flavorful and refreshing.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 49 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups first ferment kombucha
  • 1 large navel orange optional
  • ¾ cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar

Instructions
 

prepare:

  • Thoroughly wash everything! Fermentation relies on the growth of yeast and bacteria, but only the bacteria we want, so it's important to make sure everything, including your hands, is clean and free of any contaminants. The best way to do this is to wash with hot, soapy water, then rinse. I like to give my bottles and utensils and extra rinse in vinegar, too.

make the cranberry syrup:

  • Wash a navel orange in hot soapy water, scrubbing well.
  • Juice the orange. Add enough water to the orange juice to equal 1/2 cup.
  • In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, the 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • Bring the cranberry mixture to a low boil. Mash the cranberries with a spoon to ensure all have burst. Simmer the syrup until it thickens enough to leave a thin layer on the back of your spoon.
  • Remove the syrup from the heat and pass through a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spoon or spatula to press the pulp into the sieve to extract as much syrup as possible.
  • Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

make cranberry kombucha

  • Combine 2-4 tablespoons of syrup per 2 cups of first fermentation kombucha and transfer to a bottle. More puree = more sugar = more flavor = more carbonation, but it can also ferment more quickly, so ensure that you're supervising the second ferment.
  • Label your bottle with the contents and the date then set it aside in a warm place, away from direct sunlight, to continue with the second ferment for 3-5 days.
  • Check on your cranberry kombucha starting on day 3 to see if it's carbonated enough for your liking by turning the bottle upside down and swirling and watching for signs of carbonation, or by slightly cracking the cap to allow some carbonation out. If you're using plastic caps, they will bow out slightly under pressure.
  • Once the kombucha has reached your desired carbonation, place it in the fridge to slow the fermentation.

Notes

variations + substitutions

Add the ingredients listed below to the saucepan with the cranberries to infuse their flavor into the flavoring syrup!
  • Plain cranberry kombucha: substitute water for orange juice
  • Cranberry apple kombucha: swap out orange juice for apple juice
  • Cranberry ginger kombucha: add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger to the syrup
  • Cranberry cinnamon kombucha: add a cinnamon stick to the syrup, omit or keep the orange
  • Cranberry lime kombucha: use 1/2 cup of water plus 2 tablespoons lime juice instead of orange juice.
  • Cranberry rosemary kombucha: add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the syrup
  • Cranberry vanilla kombucha: add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of VANILLA EXTRACT, use water instead of orange juice.

Batch:

This recipe makes enough for 1-liter of cranberry orange kombucha – it can easily be scaled up or down depending on available fermentation bottles!

Storage:

Once your kombucha has finished the second fermentation it's important to transfer the bottles to the fridge. This massively slows fermentation and keeps the flavor of your booch just how it was when you put it in the fridge!
I would recommend drinking your homemade kombucha within 2-3 weeks for the best results. It can last much longer than that, but the flavor may continue to develop more sour notes and inch towards tasting like vinegar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 49kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 0.1mg
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