This Candy Cane Kombucha recipe is festive, fun, and super easy! The perfect brew for serving at the holidays (or for using all those leftover candy canes!)
As we deck our houses, trees, and dinner tables with Christmas festivity, don’t forget about your fermentation station! That’s right, friends, Christmas kombucha is happening, and it’s everything you could want this time of year.
It’s easy to make (because who wants to spend all December slaving over their brews?).
And it’s refreshingly minty (a nice change from all the heavy food you’re eating this time of year).
And it reduces food waste (no throwing away old candy canes this year!).
There are two main fermentation phases when making homemade kombucha:
- First Fermentation: This is when you transform sweet tea into kombucha (see our guide to homemade kombucha here).
- Second Fermentation: This is when you carbonate the kombucha by adding flavor and sugars (like candy canes!) and bottling it.
In order to make this Candy Cane Kombucha, you will need to have completed the first fermentation and have some kombucha that’s ready to be carbonated!
Candy Cane Kombucha Ingredients
- Kombucha: You have brewed your kombucha in the first fermentation and are ready to flavor it (first fermentation instructions here). I used green tea kombucha here (which is why it’s so light-colored), but you’re free to use black or green tea.
- Peppermint Candy Canes: Sometimes simple is best, so we’re using plain ole holiday candy canes to flavor this kombucha! Over the fermentation period they will dissolve, with the sugars feeding the kombucha and the mint flavor giving this kombucha a refreshing twist!
- Optional Extra: Are you a mint chocolate lover? Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao nibs) in with the candy canes.
How to make this candy cane kombucha
Making kombucha with candy is super easy. The process goes something like this:
- Bottle: Evenly distribute kombucha into fermentation bottles, leaving 1 to 2 inches free at the top. Drop pieces of candy cane into the bottles, then seal shut.
- Ferment: For 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like.
- Enjoy: Chill in the fridge before serving, optionally straining out any ooglies or fibers.
- ½ gallon kombucha from a first fermentation (this is not store bought kombucha, 1.9 L)
- 2 candy canes
- Optional: 1 to 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao nibs)
- Bottle: Evenly distribute kombucha into fermentation bottles*, leaving 1 to 2 inches free at the top. Break candy canes into pieces (about an inch long), then drop pieces into the bottles. Optionally add cocoa. Seal shut.
- Ferment: Place in a dark, room temperature area for 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like. This process will go faster in warmer climates, and slower in cooler climates.
- Enjoy: Chill in the fridge before serving, optionally straining before serving. Can be stored in the fridge, tightly sealed, for several weeks.
*If this is your first time brewing, it may be helpful to use a plastic water bottle as a gauge. Fill a disposable plastic bottle with kombucha (leaving 2 inches empty at the top). When this bottle becomes rock hard, you’ll know the glass bottle are also ready. This will help you gauge how quickly kombucha brews in your climate and will prevent bottle explosions.
For a fresh mint flavor, try using fresh mint leaves like we do in this Mojito Kombucha!
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Serving Size:1 cup (depends on fermentation length)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 12mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g