Imagine drinking nectar from a sacred tree. A crisp, champagne-like, floral flavor fills your mouth. That is the sensation I have when drinking this elderflower Kombucha recipe!
Each taste of elderflower sparks reverence for its subtle citrus notes. The creamy, white umbrels (“umbrella shaped”) hold their own yeast. These elderflower yeast add to the flavor and carbonation of the brew. In case you couldn’t tell by now, I absolutely adore elderflower. And I also love making elderflower Kombucha!
Since the dawn of time, humans have relied on their allies in the plant kingdom to provide nutrients in a living form. But which to eat and which to avoid? We always learn these things through our taste buds.
When summer approaches, the heady aroma of sweet elder flower blossoms fills the air. Since Roman times (27 BC – 1453), the honey-scented blooms have been fermented into a delicately flavored cordial.
Hippocrates expounded on its myriad uses. It was termed “the medicine chest of the common people.” Elder’s usage pre-dates the Stone Age and includes the berries, roots and flowers. It’s even possible to carve the wood into beautiful pipes.
The Sacred Elder Tree
The lore of the elder tree is rich in many cultures around the world, including North America, where it has been considered a sacred tree among the native populations. Ancient peoples thought that the “Mother Elder” spirit inhabited the tree so the removal of its branches was considered bad luck unless they were used to make flutes (listen here) or magic wands.
Elder tree branches, twigs and bouquets were used by witches and created a bridge between this world and the spirit world. Shakespeare referred to the Elder in his Love’s Labour Lost citing the common medieval belief that Judas was hung from the Elder tree.
It is believed that the Cavalry Cross was made from it as well, thus becoming an emblem for suffering and death. However, as the cycles of life invariably move forward, the tree also signifies rebirth, regeneration and new life. Fermentation is, at its heart, this same process of rebirth. Microorganisms break down the substrate into its smaller, easier to absorb nutrients. This generates “new life” from decay.
Elderflower Rediscovered Today
There is a modern resurgence in popularity of this ancient herb. The result is a variety of elderflower sodas, cocktails and Elderflower Kombucha to buy.
In terms of how to take it, steep elderflower in hot water as an herbal tea. This is a traditional home remedy for colds, tonsillitis and a host of other ailments. Some research shows that consumption of elderflower does help regulate blood sugar levels in rats with diabetes. (Click Here for more about Kombucha’s health benefits)
Brew up a thirst quenching batch of elderflower Kombucha today and imbue the sun-kissed flavor of elderflower into your Summer for a delightful treat!
Kombucha flavored with elderflower has a dry, champagne like quality. Bottle aging for a long time helps bring this out.
The recipes below are for a 16oz bottle. Scale up or down depending on your taste preference and bottle size.
Elderflower Kombucha Recipe
Hints of citrus and floral give this elderflower Kombucha recipe a refreshing twist.
- ½ tsp of dried elderflower
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice (THRIVE, AMZ)or orange juice
- ½ tsp of sugar, honey or other sweetener
Elderflower Kombucha Recipe
Escape hot summer days with this cooling blend of cucumber, mint and elderflower reminiscent of elixirs enjoyed in Victorian times.
- 1 tsp of elderflower
- 3 slices of cucumber, finely diced
- 1 sprig of fresh mint or 1/2 tsp dried peppermint
Marla EvansMarch 26, 2022 at 2:21 pm
These recipes sound wonderful, but I’m confused on how to make them…..it sounds like they’re to be added to a second ferment then left for some amount of time. Is that correct? If so, how long would the second ferment usually be (knowing that temperature and other factors can change this).
Carly SmithApril 4, 2022 at 9:43 am
Hello Marla! Great question. Check out our article on flavoring Kombucha for the details: https://www.kombuchakamp.com/how-to-flavor-kombucha-tea
Olivier PomerleauMay 26, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Hi, I am new at brewing kombucha. I have tried to do some cucumber kombucha before each time they turned out to taste like pickles. Does anyone have any tips?
Is the trick is harvesting the kombucha earlier so it is less sour?
Hannah CrumMay 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm
yes! that is always the trick – harvest sooner so that the cucumber doesn’t fully sour – unless you are mixing with vodka for a pickle martini – lol!
PAULA KIRKLINApril 7, 2019 at 11:51 am
I make elderberry tea, dry the flowers for future use, so this is exciting to learn about. Freezing elderberries is also easy for winter use. no prep necessary – find recipes for cough syrups,gummies etc. online!
daleJuly 29, 2018 at 3:19 pm
I’ve experimented with Elderflower Syrup with good results… Used it for 2nd brew in bottle.
KathyOctober 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Elderflowers sounds like a good thing to try.
My daughter has been making kombucha for six months or more. Her last three batches have been jelled, thick. Have you ever run across that before? Do you know what causes it? Every time she cleaned out the container and added fresh ingredients, it jelled. We are stumped. A day ago I gave her one of my scobies and some brewed KT to make a new batch. So far so good.
Hannah CrumOctober 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm
There are many factors that can influence the end product. We’d need more information before we could make a determination. She is welcome to drop us an email with more details for assistance.
DianaJanuary 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm
Does one brew the elder flowers separate, then add to the finished Kombucha? or is it part of the fermentation process?
Hannah CrumFebruary 12, 2013 at 12:05 am
You can brew the elderflowers into a tisane or herbal infusion or add the flowers to your finished KT. We do not recommend adding the elderflowers during primary fermentation.
Susan HJune 6, 2012 at 9:27 am
Also (sorry), is the amount dried or fresh elderflower? I’ve been driving around all day spying lots of fresh and planning to go wildcrafting later, and was delighted to come home and find this post. I love elderflowers!
hannahJune 6, 2012 at 10:01 am
Hi Susan! You can also use fresh elder flowers – they have their own yeast which will help increase the carbonation. Typically you can use less of the fresh than with the dried. Experiment with different quantities until you find the right blend for you =) I amended the post to reflect that the recipes indicated are for a 16oz bottle size. Let us know how they turn out!
Susan HJune 6, 2012 at 9:25 am
I still new to kombucha brewing and bottling, so forgive me if my question seems silly. But are the above flavoring combinations for a single bottle of kombucha? If so, how large a bottle, or does it even matter?
Jackie Dana via FacebookJune 6, 2012 at 8:18 am
elderberries are also excellent