Rosehip Honey Kefir Soda

Here’s one of my favourite water kefir recipes. It makes a beautiful fizzy red soda! I love that it can be made with local honey. I also look forward to the day when I’m more sorted our with my herb and flower gardens and can use home-grown rosehips and hibiscus flowers in the recipe.

Rosehip Honey Kefir Soda

1/2 cup raw honey
5 rosehip hibiscus teabags
1/2 cup water kefir grains
1/2 a lemon

*Mix the honey with warm water to dissolve. (Avoid using really hot water, which will kill the enzymes in your honey!)
*Put the honey water in a large jar with more cold water to make a total of about 2 litres. (NB: use filtered water if you are unsure of your water supply. Treated or polluted water can contain chemicals that inhibit healthy growth of the kefir culture.)
*Add lemon half, teabags and kefir grains to the jar and stir gently.
*Cover the jar to keep out bugs and dust, and put it in a warm place for 2 days. The hot water cupboard works well.
*After 2 days, squeeze the lemon half into the liquid, then strain and bottle the beverage. Use sturdy bottles with lids that seal tightly.
*Put the bottles back in a warm place for 2 or 3 days longer before transferring them to the fridge to chill for drinking.
*Open carefully in case a lot of carbonation has built up in the bottle! This drink looks extra lovely served with a wedge of lemon and a few borage or pineapple sage flowers floating on top.

I use our spare water kefir grains to make this drink, and throw them out after I strain it. I do this because the grains do not thrive best in honey and might be damaged. We want to keep our propagating water kefir colony as robust and healthy as possible, so I don’t risk using them for experimental brews!

13 Responses to “Rosehip Honey Kefir Soda”

  1. Pip says:

    You must have read my mind! I meant to check with you today what recipe you were using for this soda as I just had a go with an ad lib version. It looks like you use more honey than I do, but I find that mine is sweet enough with 1/3cup honey. Enjoyed catching up today!

  2. Bridget says:

    Sounds delicious! Just out of interest, do you know what variety of rose produce the best hips for culinary use?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I bought a pineapple sage plant earlier this year (or maybe late last year) and intended to add it to water kefir as well! Every time I thought of it, my mouth would water. Only thing is I never got around to it, and the grains have since been added to the compost heap as they got sick of waiting for me to let them do their thing… Anyway, sounds nice.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Hi All and thanks for you comments.
    @Pip: I think I prefer it with about 1/3 of a cup of honey as well, but Kevin likes it better with 1/2 a cup or even a bit more. Just a matter of taste, I guess. I probably should have mentioned this in the recipe.
    @Bridget: Sorry I don’t have the answer to your question about the best kind of rosehips for culinary use. I’ll need to figure this out if I’m ever going to grow them in the garden!
    @Anonymous: Pineapple sage soda sounds lovely. Too bad you didn’t get to try it. We’ve also made nice sodas out of spearmint, spearmint and sage, and lemon balm. I’m looking forward to even more experiments once I get our herb garden sorted out.

  5. risa b says:

    Oh, very nice. I make mostly switchels, sometimes with a bit of beet juice for a similar color. And of course lots of mint tea in jars left out in the sun.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hello Rebecca,

    I just bought some kefir grains and a komboucha mushroom to make tea. Have you ever made komboucha? I’m trying to figure out whether it is ready or not. The “mushroom” I bought was very thick, but mine only has a thin layer on top. Not sure what to do.
    Also do you know where in the states to get kefir grains? I paid a lot for just a little bit.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Hi Eileen,
    The only way to tell if your kombucha is ready is by tasting it. If it tastes pleasantly sour, then it’s ready. The thickness of the new mushroom can vary widely from batch to batch, so that’s nothing to worry about and no indication of whether or not it’s ready to drink.
    I’m not sure where in the US you can get kefir grains, but it shouldn’t matter if you only got a little bit. They will reproduce pretty quickly in appropriate conditions if they are healthy and you will soon enough have more than you need!
    Good luck with your new cultures!

  8. Lu cien says:

    I am making a brew from lemonjuice of 3 lemons, a mixture od ti tree honey and macadamia nut honey and 2 litres of water, and I am using Milk Kefir. I am keeping this brew seperate to my ongoing milk kefir, as I too am a bit concerned about the affect it may have on the grains. Last time I tried it was only with a couple of grains which took a week and seemed to turn out hollow at the end – like their clear sap had leeched out, so I disposed of the grains. This time it has been a handful of Kefir and I will try subsequent brews. No (physical)loss though as in milk our grains take about a week to double in size. Always emotional loss when I kill / dispose of kefir lol. As long as the line continues though…. hehe

  9. hellaD says:

    Wow this looks great, I am still trying to get ahold of water kefir grains. We used to live in NZ and another NZ blogger passed on your website to me. I love your farmlet, looks like a beautiful spot. I am tweeting this recipe! YUM

  10. Susan says:

    Raw honey kills all bacteria, good and bad. I verified this with Dr. Mercola’s website recently. I used to use it to sweeten milk kefir when I made a smoothie and had to stop, because the good bacteria is why I was drinking it. Some other sites say to never brew honey with the cultures because it will kill them or their effectiveness on what you are trying to get out of it. Just food for thought, and something to research.

  11. Susan says:

    PS I used honey on a bad cut my boy had and a sore in my mouth (tsp at night before bed) and both healed in 2 days. I guess it killed all the bad bacteria.

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hi Susan,
    I guess you would have noticed that I advised against re-using any kefir grains that have been used to culture honey mixtures. Yes, it does knock out the bacteria, so I suppose we shouldn’t drink honey brews too often if we want to be sure we are getting plenty of brobiotics.
    Honey is great, isn’t it. I’ve used it on wounds before with great results — honey with a little bit of garlic juice works really well. . . stinky but effective!

  13. -betsy says:

    Hello all,
    Living in Bavaria (Germany), one of my neighbors introduced me to water kefir. We make it with the grains, half a lemon, and a dried fig (and H2O, of course). One can always add a sweetener later, but we never did.
    Rose hips are usually from the dog roses (Rosa canina), but there are other species that are purposely grown for ingestion. They are extremely high in vitamin C. They grow wild, and are one of the foraged foods that got Europe through the famine after WWII.
    Try to use loose, dried rose hips instead of teabags. Brew them as a tea first, strain, then ferment the kefir as you normally would. Super healthy.