Adding Juice to Kombucha: When, Why, and How Much

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Adding juice to kombucha is a great way to change the flavor or add sweetness. You can use it for a second fermentation recipe or add it to kombucha that’s ready to drink. While some people like to overpower the flavor of the fermented tea, others prefer just a splash of juice.

Why Do People Mix Kombucha With Juice?

There are many reasons why people mix juice and kombucha. The combination of kombucha and juice:

  1. Adds sweetness—kombucha can be too tart for many people, so adding sweetness helps balance the flavor.
  2. Adds flavor—juice is an easy, inexpensive way to add additional flavors to your kombucha.
  3. Increases health benefits—fruits and vegetable juices provide numerous health benefits to complement the probiotics in this fermented tea.

When Should You Add Juice to Kombucha?

Add juice to your kombucha at almost any time—depending on your preference. Add juice:

  • Right before drinking. Mix first or second fermented kombucha with veggie or fruit juice in the serving glass. For the best results and the most health benefits, juice fresh fruits and veggies just before adding them to the kombucha.
  • During the secondary fermentation. Add your choice of juice to each glass bottle. Pour in kombucha after the first fermentation, leaving 1-inch headspace. Seal the bottles, and leave them to ferment for 5-7 days at room temperature out of direct sunlight. This adds additional flavor and fizz.

Avoid adding juice to your homemade kombucha during the first fermentation. Added flavorings or ingredients will interfere with the first fermentation process and could lead to moldy kombucha. Wait to add juice until after the first fermentation. The only ingredients needed for the first fermentation are brewed sweet tea, a SCOBY, and starter liquid.

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How Much Juice Should You Add to Kombucha?

When it comes to adding juice to your kombucha, there’s no set rule. Start with equal parts of brewed kombucha and juice and adjust as needed. Some juices have a strong flavor, so you may choose to add less of those. Other juices are mild, and you may find you need to add more juice to get the fruit flavor you desire. There are no strict rules—follow your taste buds.

Which Juice Flavors Are Best With Kombucha?

Kombucha pairs well with many different flavors. Choose fruits and vegetable flavors you enjoy eating to pair with your homemade kombucha. Juice fresh or frozen fruits and veggies at home, or look for fresh juice at your local grocery store. If you plan to do a second fermentation, you could puree the fruits below instead of juicing them.

Try one or more of the following:

  • Apple juice or apple slices
  • Beet juice
  • Blueberry juice or pieces
  • Carrot juice
  • Cranberries or cranberry juice
  • Grape juice or pieces
  • Grapefruit juice or pieces
  • Orange juice or pieces
  • Pineapple juice or chunks
  • Raspberry juice or pieces

Frozen or fresh fruits and veggies are your best option for juicing. Dried fruits lack moisture and don’t juice or puree well.

If you prefer sweeter kombucha, choose sweet fruits like oranges or pineapples. If you like a strong tart-sweetness, go for cranberry or blueberry. If you enjoy eating a particular fruit, you’ll probably enjoy it in your kombucha.

Combine one or more of the fruits and veggies above. Beet, carrot, and apple juice is a classic combination. Orange juice and cranberry juice make another great combo. The choice is ultimately up to you. Experiment with different juices until you find your favorite kombucha flavor.

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Various fruits and vegetables

Store-Bought vs. Fresh Juice

Fresh juice is best if you’re looking for the most nutritious option. Store-bought juice, on the other hand, is convenient and easily accessible. Pure, unsweetened juice will enhance your kombucha, whether fresh-squeezed at home or purchased at your local grocery store.

Here are a few more things to consider:

Older and has been sitting on the shelfTypically has more nutrients since you can juice it with the skin on
Mess-free—just open the bottle or canHealthier, since most nutrients dissipate a few hours after juicing
May have preservatives or added sugarHas no added sweeteners or ingredients

Stock up on fresh fruits when they’re in season in your area. Chop and freeze them to have fresh-tasting juice year-round. Make sure to thaw frozen fruits and veggies before juicing.

The same goes for store-bought juice. Look for sales in your area and buy a few bottles of your favorite juice. Most packaged juice lasts for months if it’s unopened.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah first tried kombucha in 2015 and she was hooked. Her favorite flavor is ginger, but cranberry comes in a close second. She made her own for many years and loved experimenting with fruit flavors.

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