Dragon fruit: We are so fascinated by you! You make us see just how vibrant, plentiful and nourishing the plant world is. And how many gifts it holds for us, kombucha brewers and drinkers. The fruit itself has a barely-there taste: Think kiwi mixed with melon, but less sweet. Because it lacks that punch of flavor, it becomes a great supporting ingredient. And those little black seeds add a visual interest that is really fun!
Tea Base: Sencha tea, loose-leaf + Assam, tea, loose-leaf (equal parts) Second ferment ingredients (per 36 oz bottle): The meat of 1/2 dragon fruit; 2 ripe strawberries; 1 tbsp of lime juice; 1 tbsp of lavender syrup.
Process: Brew your kombucha to your usual tart/sweet preference; in colder weather, we recommend wrapping your vessel in a towel, to keep it nice and warm, and placing it in the darkest corner of your kitchen, on top of a paper towel. Or, you can invest in a seeding mat. For this batch, we used Maeda Sencha loose-leaf tea, which is our current favorite, and the organic assam from Two Leaves. You can use loose-leaf assam if you like. The blend of the two teas creates a really wonderful canvas for flavoring.
To make the lavender syrup (for 2 cups): Combine two cups of water, 2 cups of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds in a saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and continue stirring until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes. Remove lavender blossoms and allow syrup to cool. Pour into an airtight container and keep refrigerated.
What’s great about having this syrup around, is if you ever need to add lavender flavor to a batch, you just pour a bit of the syrup in there. And because it’s extra sweet, it will add a burst of fizz to your second ferment!
In a bowl, mash up your dragon fruit and strawberry, incorporating them well. Add lime juice and lavender syrup, and mix. Add 2 tbsp of the mashed fruits to each 12 oz bottle, pour in your kombucha, and seal bottle well. Set aside at room temperature for a minimum of four days. Once you refrigerate, let the bottle sit in the fridge for a full day before opening. If you can wait longer, even better! We've found that the longer a bottle sits in the fridge, the fizzier and more flavorful its contents will get.
If you're just starting on your brewing journey, be sure to be sure to check out our kit, scobies and come to one of our workshops!