Learn how to make your own cranberry kombucha with orange and fresh cranberries for a winter-flavored kombucha great for daily drinking, making cocktails, or gifting for the holidays.
- About Cranberry Kombucha
- How to Make Cranberry Kombucha
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Cranberry Kombucha
Flavoring your homemade kombucha is the best part of making it yourself. Other than the fact that it costs pennies to make vs. the price you pay at the store.
This recipe for cranberry kombucha is a nice fall/winter flavor that uses seasonal fruits to give your kombucha a holiday kick. It's a great Christmas kombucha and I'm even bottling them for homemade gifts.
To make Cranberry Orange Kombucha, you'll need to make a batch of kombucha. Then when you are bottling the kombucha, you will add the cooled cranberry-orange mixture.
This cranberry-orange mixture is slightly tangy, so I like to brew the kombucha for less time (which makes your kombucha less tart). My standard is 3-4 weeks, but I will usually do just about 2-3 weeks for this flavor. It's up to you, and you are always welcome to add extra sweetener.
I love adding this fall and winter flavor to my rotation of kombucha flavors, and it's also a great way to use up holiday meal ingredients you might've bought too much of.
[I have even made this using leftover cranberry sauce! Scroll down to read more on that]
So pull out the oranges and cranberries and make this tasty, winter-flavored kombucha that'll become one of your new favorite Christmas kombucha flavors.
Water: Pretty self-explanatory, but I prefer to use filtered water.
Cranberries: Fresh, whole cranberries are what you'll use for this cranberry kombucha. They can also be frozen. Do not use dried cranberries.
Cranberry Juice: Use 100% juice without added sugar. I typically buy a cranberry juice blend because it is more budget-friendly, but any kind of cranberry juice will be delicious in this recipe. Note that just cranberry juice will be less sweet than a cranberry juice blend (which typically has apple juice which has a sweeter taste)
Orange Juice: For the orange juice, I like the juice oranges instead of using store-bought orange juice, only because I think the juice is sweeter. Store-bought orange juice will work perfectly fine.
Honey: For sweetener, I use honey. Any kind of honey will work. If you want to make this vegan, use an equal amount of granulated sugar or maple syrup. I prefer granulated sugar because the maple syrup has a stronger flavor that competes with the cranberry and orange flavors.
Kombucha: To make your own cranberry kombucha, you'll need plain or unflavored kombucha. I brew my own so I can decide on the flavor I want when I'm bottling. When you brew kombucha, you do not flavor it until you are bottling. (See this post for more on how to brew your own kombucha). You can also buy unflavored or plain kombucha to flavor it yourself.
Cost of Recipe
- water 1/2 cup: $0
- cranberries 1/2 cup: $0.42
- cranberry juice 1/2 cup: $0.39
- orange juice 1 1/4 cup from 2 oranges: $0.98
- honey 3 tablespoons: $0.84
- kombucha 14 cups (home-brewed): $0.54
TOTAL COST: $3.17 or $0.23/serving (Based on San Diego Sprouts 2021)
Note this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Cranberry Kombucha
Making your own cranberry kombucha isn't hard at all. It's similar to making homemade cranberry sauce that you add to plain kombucha. Here are detailed instructions on how to do it:
- Add fresh cranberries and water to a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
- Pour in cranberry juice, orange juice, and honey. Stir.
- Simmer until the mixture reduces by about half.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Transfer to a measuring cup.
- Add cooled mixture into kombucha-filled bottles.
- Set aside for 24-36 hours at room temperature for a second ferment.
Then transfer to the fridge. Or skip and transfer directly to the fridge.
How to Make Cranberry Kombucha using leftover cranberry sauce
- Stir or blend together 1/2 cup of leftover cranberry sauce with 1 cup orange juice, cranberry juice, or apple juice.
- Use 1/4 cup (2 ounces) mixture to flavor 1 3/4 cup (12 ounces) kombucha.
- Set aside at room temperature for 24-36 hours for a second ferment or refrigerate immediately.
*This cranberry-orange mixture is slightly tangy, so I like to brew the kombucha for less time (which makes your kombucha less tart). My standard is 3-4 weeks, but I will usually brew it for just about 2-3 weeks for this flavor. It's up to you, and you are always welcome to add extra sweetener.
*Kombucha is already relatively tart so adding the cranberry-orange mixture will help it to be slightly sweeter. If you taste the mixture and it is extra tart, I recommend adding a little more honey or granulated sugar before adding it to the kombucha. Otherwise, your finished cranberry kombucha will be too tart.
*You can strain the mixture before adding it to the kombucha or not. If you do not strain the cranberries out, there will be pieces of cranberries in the finished kombucha. Some people might find that the cranberry pieces give an undesirable texture to your kombucha. Feel free to strain before or after bottling if this is an issue for you.
*If you decide to strain the mixture before adding to the kombucha, strain through a fine-mesh sieve and press out as much juice as possible from the cranberries.
Honey: You can use regular granulated sugar in place of the honey, or maple syrup could work but that flavor might be too strong for the cranberry-orange mixture. I prefer granulated sugar for a vegan alternative.
Orange: If you do not love orange flavors, you can omit the orange and substitute it with apple juice or additional cranberry juice.
How to Make Allergy Friendly
This is naturally vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free. To make vegan, replace the honey with granulated sugar or maple syrup.
How to Fix a Mistake
Not sweet enough: Add extra honey or sugar to the mixture. Make sure to stir well until completely combined.
Too sweet: Use less of the mixture for flavoring the kombucha. Instead of using 1/4 cup (2 ounces) per 12 ounces of kombucha, try using 1/8 cup for 12 ounces of kombucha. The natural tartness of the unflavored kombucha will balance the sweetness of the cranberry-orange mixture.
Make Ahead Ideas
Cranberry kombucha has to be made in advance because you want the kombucha to mix with the cranberry-orange mixture to flavor it. Plus, allowing the flavored kombucha to sit an extra day or two at room temperature gives you that delightful fizziness in kombucha.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can strain the cranberry mixture before adding it to the kombucha or not.
If you don't strain the cranberries out, there will be pieces of cranberries in the finished kombucha. Some people might find that the cranberry pieces give an undesirable texture to your kombucha.
Feel free to strain before or after bottling if this is an issue for you.
If you decide to strain the mixture before adding to the kombucha, strain through a fine-mesh sieve to press out as much juice as possible from the cranberries.
Yes, you can omit the orange juice and use an equal amount of apple juice or cranberry juice in its place.
Yes, you can use cranberry sauce to make cranberry kombucha. Be sure to use homemade cranberry sauce for the best flavor. To make using cranberry sauce, stir or blend together 1/2 cup cranberry sauce and 1 cup of cranberry, apple, or orange juice. Use 1/4 cup of the mixture to flavor about 12 ounces of kombucha.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that is beneficial for promoting positive gut health. Cranberries have antibacterial properties that help prevent UTIs as well as antioxidants to fight diseases in the body. Oranges are also full of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
What to Serve with Cranberry Orange Kombucha
If you're looking to make your own kombucha at home and need some ideas for Christmas kombucha flavors or a flavor that will get you in the holiday spirit, this cranberry orange kombucha is a delicious choice.
MORE KOMBUCHA RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Apple Cinnamon Ginger Kombucha
- Ginger Berryade Kombucha
- Kombucha Moscow Mule
- Strawberry Kombucha Sangria
- How to Make Kombucha
Cranberry Orange Kombucha
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
- 1 1/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 14 cups kombucha
- Add the water and cranberries to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add the cranberry juice, orange juice, and honey. Stir well and simmer until the mixture reduces by about half. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Add the mixture to kombucha. You can set aside at room temperature for 24-36 hours for a second ferment or refrigerate immediately. Enjoy!
- Stir or blend together 1/2 cup cranberry sauce and 1 cup of cranberry juice, orange juice, or apple juice.
- Use 1/4 cup mixture per 12 ounces of kombucha.
This post was originally published on November 30, 2016. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
Cranberry Kombucha Nutrition Facts
*Note: kombucha nutrition facts are difficult to calculate at home because the sugar is broken down and fermented. However, the fermentation rate is different based on multiple factors that are hard to determine. These nutrition facts listed are a general estimation.
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