10 Fermented Drinks to Make at Home

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on March 10, 2014. Enjoy!

It shouldn’t come as news that fermented foods offer numerous health benefits. Essential for good digestion, fermented foods give our bodies necessary probiotics, boost immunity and even improve brain function and mental health. But instead of popping probiotic supplements, why not make fermented foods at home?

In fact, fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation; it’s no wonder that fermented foods have long been a staple of almost every diet around the world.

From sourdough bread to yogurt, there are plenty of fermented foods to choose from, but one of the most fun forms of fermentation to play around with in the kitchen comes in liquid form. You don’t have to spend $6 on a bottle of kombucha when you can make it yourself!

Here’s a guide to some refreshing fermented drinks that you can easily make at home.

1. Kombucha

The process for making kombucha is similar to that of vinegar. Once you have that weird, gelatinous scoby in your hands, the options are endless. Kombucha is essentially fermented tea, — and once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start experimenting by adding in fruits and juices. This step is commonly referred to as the “second fermentation” because it takes place once you put your brewed kombucha into a bottle.

2. Mead

Popular with the Vikings, this fermented honey drink has been around for a long time. Made with yeast, the brewing process is similar to beer, albeit a bit simpler.

3. Kefir

You may recognize kefir as the fermented milk beverage from the dairy section. Popular in Central and Eastern Europe, it’s easy to make at home – as simple as combining kefir grains, which you can find online, and milk.

4. Water Kefir

Kefir can also be incorporated into a water-based drink. All you need to start are kefir grains, and then you can experiment with all kinds of flavors and spices.

5. Kvass

Made from fermented rye bread, kvass is a common Russian beverage. Gather up a few slices of rye bread and start fermenting. You can also create an easy homemade version from beets. It will take about three to seven days for your drink to ferment.

6. Ginger Ale

While ginger ale that you buy at the store certainly isn’t a nutritious fermented drink, the kind you make at home can be. It involves making a ginger bug, which can be used as the base for a variety of homemade sodas. This helps the ginger liquid ferment its way to goodness.

7. Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice

Before you say to yourself “lacto-fermented orange juice doesn’t sound very tasty,” take a moment and envision a bottle of Orangina. But you don’t have to buy the sugary version at the store; you can get that fizz through fermentation instead. All it takes is freshly squeezed orange juice and a little starter culture.

8. Strawberry Limeade

With kombucha as its base, this fruity drink is perfect for the warmer months.

9. Hard Apple Cider

If you can get your hands on fresh apple cider, you can turn it into hard cider. Seriously, it’s as easy as pouring the juice into a glass jar, covering it with cheesecloth and letting natural fermentation do its thing.

10. White Peach Lavender Soda

Here’s a recipe to put on the list for the summer months. In this recipe, champagne yeast does the fermentation work, and it can be the base for many other natural soda combinations — a watermelon mint soda perhaps? You can easily find champagne yeast at any homebrew supply store or online.

Photo Credit: Dan Gold/Unsplash

207 comments

Daniel N
Daniel N16 days ago

Thank you

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Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

ty

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Laura K
Laura K1 months ago

Thanks.

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Kimberly Wallace
Kimberly Wallace1 months ago

Informative. TY!

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Amanda M
Amanda Mcconnel1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda Mcconnel1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Mike R
Mike R1 months ago

ty

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Mike R
Mike R1 months ago

ty

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