Photo from Adobe Stock/Irina Fischer
Kefir is a fermentation using a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). In this case, a water-grain kefir breaks down the sugars in the solution, converting it into a dry, sour, slightly alcoholic (less than 1 per cent alcohol by volume, or ABV) beverage. You can buy these grains from good health-food stores. This recipe is courtesy of Vicky Simmington, one of the founders of the Grow symposium. Because the fermentation takes time, you’ll need to start this recipe about one week before you want to drink it.
Makes 1.5 litres (51 fl oz/6 cups)
- 75 g (2 3/4 oz) cane sugar
- 1.5 litres (51 fl oz/6 cups) boiling water
- strawberry tops from 250 g (9 oz) strawberries (approx. 1 punnet)
- 3 tablespoons water kefir grains
- 1 lemon, halved
- 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) apple juice (see Note)
- Combine the sugar and boiling water, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the strawberry tops, kefir grains and lemon halves. Transfer to a sterilised glass jar, cover with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and leave it to sit for 2-3 days, tasting as you go to achieve your desired sourness.
- Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and pour into a sterilised glass bottle with the apple juice, then seal. This will give it a second fermentation and produce mild carbonation. After a couple more days, refrigerate the kefir, as this will stop the fermentation process. Stored in the fridge, it will keep for up to 1 month.
Note: Store-bought apple juice is best, as it has been pasteurised.
For another day:
- Drink the kefir by itself. It’s a delicious alternative to kombucha.
- Enjoy it for breakfast. Add some strawberry kefir to your breakfast smoothie.
- Fancify your G and T. Try half tonic, half kefir for a drier, delicious G and T.
Also from All Day Cocktails:
Recipes excerpted with permission from All Day Cocktails: Low (and No) Alcohol Magic by Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar. Hardie Grant, August 2019, RRP $24.99 Hardcover.