The flavors of this season are quite possibly one of my favorite things in the world. Autumn brings with it so much variety to the table and the palate. Rosemary may be a herb that is hardy year round, however, fall starts a season when these types of hardy herbs are put to much greater use. I just brought my cute little rosemary topiary back inside for the winter. It keeps growing nice little sprigs that I trim off to hold the shape of my topiary. Leaving me with plenty of rosemary to utilize. I decided to pare up rosemary with some pear juice to create a new flavor for homemade water kefir. Or as some like to call it, a healthy homemade version of ‘soda’.
While kefir is nothing like soda at all, it does become effervescent in nature. There are times when I find I just want some ‘fizz’ in my drink. Really what I want is a beverage that is not only refreshing but will give my body some amazing nutrition. Water kefir is quite rich in probiotic content, much more so than kombucha. Water kefir is one way I get probiotics into my kiddos. I recommend giving it a try if you haven’t yet.
I created this recipe originally for my homemade water kefir, however, I think it would be a great flavor combo to add to soda water or seltzer and make a ‘spritzer’. In this case, use approximately 1 -2 ounces pear juice per large glass and about 1-2 tsp. bruised rosemary leaves. You could also make a rosemary simple syrup if you don’t want to have pieces of rosemary leaf in your drink. This rosemary simple syrup could be made substituted with honey, OR use all pear juice and infuse the juice with the rosemary. This makes a pear rosemary syrup that is much easier to add to your second ferment of water kefir, club soda or seltzer. The syrup keeps one week in the refrigerator.
I truly enjoy making my beverages fun and tasty. In working with my clients, one of the first suggestions I make is to steer away from sodas, juices, and any store-bought sugary drinks. I tell people to drink 1/2 their weight in ounces of water per day, however, I realize many people balk at the thought of plain ole water. No worries to those of you who feel that way! You can drink healthful beverages and still stay hydrated. Though keep in mind pure water should take a place in your beverage lineup daily!
- Water kefir
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Pear juice
- When you are ready to second ferment your water kefir, you can flavor it one of two ways:
- First, I brew my water kefir in a 3-liter anaerobic vessel, then strain out the grains.
- At this point, it can either be placed back into my 3-liter jar and add the flavor, OR poured into individual bottles.
- If using the individual bottles, keep in mind, the rosemary sprigs have to eventually come back out of the bottle. (For the sake of the photo, I put a rather large sprig into my bottle and that was very difficult to get back out, just FYI.)
- For 3 liters: use several more mature sprigs of rosemary (gently bruise a few of the leaves) and about 5 ounces of pear juice or several pieces of dried pear.
- For 12-16 ounce bottles: Use one small sprig of rosemary (leaves removed and gently bruised a bit) and 1-ounce of pear juice or one hunk of dried pear chopped well.
- Do a secondary ferment for 24-48 hours, depending on the ambient temperature in your home.
- To serve: pour the kefir through a strainer into a glass and serve.
- The rosemary adds a nice subtle flavor and does not overpower the drink.
- Even when the rosemary had been in my bottles for about a week, it still was not an overpowering flavor. Very subtle and unique with the pear, even my kids liked it.
Are you new to brewing kombucha or water kefir? You can purchase water kefir grains, Kombucha scobies, and kits from Kombucha Kamp. To learn how to brew water kefir, check out this post; Water Kefir: Anaerobic Method.
Also, check out my post on How To Second Ferment or Flavor Kombucha to learn how to flavor either kombucha or water kefir. This Fermented Beverages post includes loads of links to recipes for other awesome flavors of kombucha and water kefir, as well as beet kvass and hard cider.
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