Easy homemade citrus and rosemary kombucha packed with Vitamin C!
I can’t help wishing it was summer so berries would be in season. They are my favorite way to flavor kombucha. Easy and delicious and my kombucha always turns out fizzy. Plus, they’re grown in my neck of the woods so I have easy access to incredibly fresh berries. But back to reality, it’s mid January and we are far from berry season in Wisconsin.
Enter citrus! I’ve never really been big into citrus fruits, so quite honestly I did not even realize they are in season this time of year. I actually went to the store to pick up some pomegranates for kombucha but they were in pretty rough shape.
Grapefruits were on sale and looking quite vibrant so in my cart they went. As it turns out, I REALLY like grapefruit. Where have they been all my life? I am sure I had them when I was a picky little kid and didn’t like them, so I wrote them off. I wanted to balance out the citrus with something earthy and had rosemary leftover from my champagne and kombucha cocktails, so I figured why not? Turns out, it was a good call!
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For our Citrus Rosemary Kombucha, you’ll need
- 64oz unflavored finished kombucha
- 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- juice from one ruby red grapefruit
- zest of one lemon
- glass jar big enough to hold everything
- tight weave cloth or coffee filter to cover jar
- rubber band
First, juice the grapefruit and zest the lemon. I actually used a vegetable peeler for the lemon zest. Carefully peel with light pressure as to not get any of the pith. The white pith part is bitter and will affect your final product. I like the bigger pieces because they are easier to filter out before bottling.
Place the grapefruit juice, lemon zest and rosemary sprigs in a glass jar. Pour in the kombucha and stir everything up really well. Cover the jar with a tight weave cloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Let sit at room temperature for 72 hours. It’s perfectly normal for a thin SCOBY to form at the top of the jar during this time. It’s an indicator of a healthy kombucha. However, if you don’t see a SCOBY form, there is nothing to worry about.
After 72 hours, mix it up again and strain. You can drink it now or bottle it if you prefer a fizzy kombucha. I used these swing top bottles and did a second fermentation (2F) for 10 days.* It’s winter here in Wisconsin which slows everything down. You may see fizz in just a few days, all depends on your kombucha and environment.
That is all there is to it. I hope it brightens up your winter (or summer, depending on where you live)!
*I ALWAYS recommend putting glass containers in a box or plastic bin in case of explosion (during the 2F). Not only will an explosion make a huge mess, but could seriously injure someone if they are nearby. Please heed this warning.
Homemade Citrus and Rosemary Kombucha
Homemade kombucha flavored with citrus fruits and rosemary.
- 64 oz unflavored finished kombucha
- 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- Juice from one ruby red grapefruit
- Zest of one lemon
Juice the grapefruit
Zest the lemon
Add grapefruit juice, lemon zest and rosemary into a large glass jar
Pour the kombucha into the glass jar
Mix up all ingredients really well
Cover top of jar with a tight weave cloth or coffee filter and secure with rubberband
Let sit at room temperate for 72 hours
After 72 hours, stir up everything again
Strain and enjoy
For a fizzy kombucha, bottle after straining and keep at room temperature for an additional 5-7 days before transferring to the refrigerator
This looks so delicious! The flavors sound almost savory because of the rosemary, but I know the citrus will help bump up the sweetness a bit. Very excited to try this at home! Thank you for sharing
I also use citrus in my Kombucha. adding the whole orange segments and a bit of peel. The rosemary addition sounds good I will try it. My favourite kombucha version is to use blackcurrant and apple tea bags. Have also used other fruit flavour tea bags as well as chamomile.
Ooooh the black currant and apple tea bags sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Alana and Matt!
I have seen the addition of flavorings two ways: either like your recipe where it sits in open air for up to 72 hours, is strained, then bottled or adding flavors and directly bottling. Can you describe what happens or why you recommend air circulation for 72 hours prior to bottling? I did this with strawberry and ginger and loved it, however, I tried it with strawberry and peach. With this method, the peaches molded after 48 hours and I had to throw out the whole batch. I made your recipe yesterday and am waiting with bated breath. The rosemary keeps poking out of the top of the brew, and I’m so nervous it will mold! I’m so excited to try the final product, I snuck a sip yesterday and it was out of this world- I’m not even a big grapefruit fan!
Any info you can provide on what is going on during this process and how to avoid mold would be much appreciated 🙂
Hi Christine – Great question! We do it both ways too. We use this infusion method when we want to make big batches of one flavor or when we don’t want the flavoring to sit in the kombucha too long. We’ve never had one grow mold though. I wonder if it had something to do with the flavoring ingredients? Perhaps they had some sort of “bad” mold to start with that went unnoticed? I can’t be sure what went wrong.
You could definitely do this recipe in individual bottles too…just divide the recipe out based on the size of your bottles. Happy brewing!
Hi Alana, a follow-up question – I am new at making flavoured kombucha: when you add the kombucha to the rosemary etc., has it already done a first fermentation? And are you reserving the scoby and some liquid to start another batch? Not fully sure on the process yet! Thank you 🙂
Hi Jen! Yes, your finished kombucha has already gone through the first fermentation (F1). And yes, you are reserving the SCOBY and starter liquid for your next batch. You know what you’re doing! 🙂 Feel free to reach out with any other questions.
Love the look of this recipe, can’t wait to give it a try.
Matt & Alana
Hope you love it as much as we do!
I just encountered my first kombucha explosion, so your warning is important haha! Luckily no one was hurt, but it created a big annoying mess in our cabinet. From now on I’ll be putting the bottles in a bin during second fermentation!
I’m excited to add rosemary to my next batch and wanted to see your method for incorporating. Glad it’s as easy as just throwing in a couple sprigs!
Matt & Alana
Oh no! Glad no one was hurt but agree, the mess can be crazy! Rosemary is so, so good in kombucha. We look forward to bottling a bunch every fall as rosemary doesn’t winter very well here in Wisconsin. 🙂 Enjoy!