Cherry season always has a way of making summer seem just a little more special. Making cherry water kefir, slightly sweet, slightly bubbly and full of probiotics is a great way to use summer’s bounty.
If you have kids in the house it is always a fun event to watch those irresistible juicy cherries disappear when they haven’t seen a cherry since last summer. I like to snag a bowl or two to create a few seasonal recipes and cherry water kefir is usually on the list.
It’s simple to make. Plus, it makes a great replacement for sodas and sweet fruit juices. It also contains a burst of minerals and a fair amount of probiotics. In fact, homemade probiotic sodas like this one are an easy way to get fermented foods into your kids.
Making Cherry Water Kefir
After you’ve made basic water kefir a few times, it’s fun to experiment with new flavors. You can flavor your basic brew with sweetened herbal teas, fruit juices or fruits like cherries.
Cherry water kefir relies on a process called secondary fermentation. That is, after you brew your initial batch, you can strain and store the tibicos grains, and ferment the water kefir a second time.
For the secondary fermentation, you’ll want to use flip-top bottles. That’s because these bottles will capture the carbon dioxide that builds up during fermentation. As a result, your cherry water kefir will be naturally fizzy and bubbly.
- When the cherries float it’s a good sign that your homemade soda is ready.
- Cream of Tartar and Sea Salt add minerals and flavor. They also help support the bacteria in the water kefir. You can omit them, if you like.
- To get the cherries out of the bottle, shake the bottles vigorously, or consider brewing in mason jars with tight-fitting lids.
- Open the bottles over the sink. Water kefir sodas can behave unpredictably and may foam when you open them.
Cherry Water Kefir
For the Cherry Water Kefir
- 1 cup sweet cherries pitted and halved
- 4 cups water kefir
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Drop the cherries evenly into two (16-oz) flip top bottles.
- Whisk the brewed water kefir with sea salt and cream of tartar in large pitcher, and then pour it into the bottles over the cherries. Allow it to culture at room temperature 1 to 3 days.
- Transfer to the fridge where it will keep for 2 weeks. Strain and serve chilled over ice.