When we host holiday parties and get-togethers, I always like to make something special to drink: mulled wine and traditional wassail are favorites. Cranberry Mors is nice, and so is Cinnamon Spice Kombucha.
We also like this homemade Cranberry Orange Water Kefir Soda, which is at once tart and slightly sweet with a delicate fizz.
What's Water Kefir?
Water kefir is a cultured drink that is rich in good-for-your-gut beneficial bacteria, and one that is naturally fizzy like a homemade soda. It begins first by culturing the grains in sugar water (don't worry, the sugar's not for you; rather it's food for all those beneficial bacteria), and then mixing the resulting water kefir with fruit juice for flavoring.
In the end, you have a drink that's pleasantly sweet and sour with a natural fizz. Even better? It's also loaded with gut-friendly bacteria just like yogurt or sauerkraut
Cranberry Orange Water Kefir Soda
For the Water Kefir
For the Cranberry Soda
- Juice of 1 orange about ¼ cup
- 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
- Warm the water over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir in the sugar and mineral drops, and continue stirring them into the hot water until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the sugar water from the heat, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Place kefir grains into a jar, pour the sugar water over them. Set the Kefirko's strainer on top of its jar, and top with a loose-fitting lid to allow for limited airflow. Allow the water kefir to culture for 24 hours, then remove the lid and strain the water kefir into a pitcher.
- Whisk the orange and cranberry juices into the water kefir, then pour evenly into swing-top bottles. Seal the bottles, and allow the kefir to culture for 2-3 days at room temperature, keeping in mind that the cooler your kitchen is, the longer it will take to culture and the warmer your kitchen is the shorter it will take to culture.
- Serve right away or transfer to the fridge. Take care when opening the bottles as the fermentation process creates carbon dioxide which may cause the water kefir to fizz and foam.