While they can be known to some as a “homely” cocktail, Jam Jar cocktails have had a rise in popularity in restaurants this year. Traditionally made with the last bit of jam in a mason jar, the jam is an easy way to bring sweetness and fruity flavor without buying or making lots of fancy flavoured syrups.
It was as I sat on a patio in New York City, enjoying a jam jar cocktail of my own, that inspiration hit — Jam would be a really great source of simple sugar to use in fermentation for Kombucha.
There are a few important things to keep in mind when using jam as your sugar source. First, you’ll want to make sure there are no preservatives that will halt fermentation. It is best to use a homemade recipe or organic jar. Second, it is important to know how much sugar is in your jam to accurately sweeten your kombucha. Luckily, your kombucha should have a nutrition table that lists the amount of sugar, which you can use to determine how much fermentable sugar will be added to your kombucha base.
Jam Jar Kombucha Concentrate Recipe
- 2 bags of Black or Green tea
- Jam of your choice
- Escarpment Labs SCOBY for Kombucha
- 2L Jar
- Coffee filter
Determine how much sugar is in your jam.
a) To do this look at the ingredient list on the back of the jar.
b) This is also a good time to check if there are any additives that would halt your fermentation like:
- Preservatives such as sodium benzoate
- Acids such as added citric acid and ascorbic acid
2. Brew the tea by boiling 1L of hot water, letting the tea bags steep in the hot water for 5 min.
3. Add the jam. Make sure you use enough so there’s between 50-60g of sugar (Step 1a)
4. Record the pH of the kombucha base.
a) It should be between 4-4.5. If it is not under 4.5 add white vinegar to further acidify until the pH is below 4.5.
b) Be mindful that when using pH strips with an intensely coloured liquid the color can stain the test strip and impact how you read the result.
c) Note that the Escarpment Labs SCOBY is designed to pre-acidify your kombucha properly, so this step is less critical when using the Escarpment Labs SCOBY.
Kickstart your Kombucha
Once established, your SCOBY (a.k.a. kombucha mother) can be reused many times like a sourdough starter. Are you ready to experiment with wild flavours and fresh ingredients?