This homemade fruit kvass with berries, lime, and mint is a gluten free version of a popular Russian fermented probiotic drink. This fermented fruit recipe makes a refreshing, tangy, bubbly drink that you can make right at home. An invigorating and fruity way to get more probiotics in your life!
Recipes for Gut Health
And here we go, the third “gut healthy” recipe! In cased you missed it, I’ve “accidentally” been focusing on gut health specific recipes. It all began with the cheater’s apple kimchi salad, then the detox broccoli salad, now this fruit kvass. I have about 3 more to round up in the next week or so. Sound good? Cool. Cause your gut will thank you. At least I hope!
Now, let’s focus in on this bubbly fermented fruit drink right here.
Confession. I may have developed a slight kombucha addiction. I LOVE that it’s a probiotic, but I don’t love paying upwards of $5 a bottle for it.
Aaaand since we’re relying on one income right now, I thought making it at home would be the responsible thing to do, am I right? But kombucha can feel intimidating to make. Although, it really just takes patience. Just see my original “how to make a scoby” recipe post from way back when!
Anyway, we’re trying to keep things SIMPLE these days, so that’s where fruit kvass comes in.
So, what is kvass?
A little background to get you more excited about this fruit kvass, because it’s going to be your new go-to healthy, refreshing summer drink. You can put a bottle of it in the fridge next to the turmeric ginger lemonade, mmm k?
Kvass is a fermented beverage that originated in Russia, typically made from rye bread. I kid you not, there are actual kvass trucks! Russians line up in the summer for their probiotic drinks, kinda like our version of the ice cream truck. Pretty sure the kvass truck will never replace the ice cream truck here, LOL!
This version is made using 3 kinds of fresh berries (yes, more berry love), plus lemon, mint, and raw honey.
Sounds delicious already! And even though it’s grain free, it’s still got all the GOOD probiotic qualities. It ferments on the counter for about 5 days in an air-tight glass container. You’ll have to shake it a few times to prevent mold, but that’s IT!
Once the fruit looks cooked, strain and pour yourself a tall glass of kvass. I’ve even got the kiwi hooked!
Benefit of probiotic drinks like fruit kvass
Now I’m going to nerd out on you, because I want y’all to know how nutritious fermented foods are. Well, fermented probiotic drinks specifically, mmm k?
The probiotics in kvass populate your gut with healthy bacteria, improving intestinal tract health and crowding out all those bad microbes. And you know how much I hate those bad microbes! After what I’ve been through with my digestive issues, I’m seriously ALL about getting in my probiotic drinks!
Another added bonus, probiotics stimulate and enhance the immune system. Goodbye Summer cold! Hold on, ‘cause there’s even MORE! Fruit kvass is high in antioxidants. You remember all those berries and the lemon? They’re ready to fight free radicals (Oxidative Stress) and boost your immune system. Ya, what’s not to love about it?
Helpful Brewing Tips
- The berries release their pigments which gives the kvass an orange/pink-red color. The color of kvass will change depending on what type of you fruit .
- When you start to see bubbles (usually after 1 day of sealing) release the lid and let a little air out so it won’t get over carbonated. If you don’t see any bubbles, just keep it sealed until the 2nd day.
- Using a starter culture (like the kombucha juice) along with the sugar helps to speed up the fermentation process and give the kvass a little in more flavor pizazz (aka palatability).
Seriously, this drink is AMAZING! It’s slightly sweet, slightly acidic, a little bubbly (aka fermented fizzy goodness), and has some powerful health benefits! So go make it! The hardest thing will be waiting for it to ferment. Yes, first world problems.
Other gut health drink recipes to try:Print
Homemade Fruit Kvass with Mint
- Total Time: 10 minute
- Yield: 4 1x
This homemade Fruit kvass with blackberry lime and mint is a gluten free version of a popular Russian fermented drink. Loaded with probiotics, it’s a refreshing, tangy, bubbly drink that you can make right at home.
- Quart size mason jars
- 1 ½ – 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (use less if you have culture starter)
- 4 cups purified water
- Half a lime, sliced
- 4 mint leaves
- Optional but recommended for quick fermentation–> ¼ cup or less kombucha or brine from previous fermented source (i.e or kefir water). You can also use a whey, probiotic, or culture starter. (Culture started, Source and tips)
- Clean and sterilize the mason jars.
- Divide the ingredients into 2 quart size mason jars, or one larger mason jar. Add mint leaves last, 2 in each Jar.
- Cover with purified water and shake it up to mix the honey, mint, and berries together.
- Seal jar with lid let it sit on the counter for 2-7 days. I let it sit for 5 days.
- When you start to see bubbles (usually after 1 day) release the lid and let a little air out so it won’t get over carbonated. If you don’t see any bubbles, just keep it sealed until the 2nd day.
- When your fruit looks cooked and your brew is bubbly, open lid and strain out the fruit. Place liquid in a seal proof bottle. This is your kvass.
- Leave the fruit kvass liquid sealed in an airtight bottle on the counter for another 1-3 days to build up more carbonation, or just feel free to go ahead and keep in fridge.
- Add more mint leaves and/or berries before serving, if desired. it in the fridge and enjoy!
The longer it ferments, the less sweet it gets. Taste kvass after 2-3 days on counter.
If you are using a culture starter, you cut the salt in half or not use at all.
- Prep Time: 3 to 7 days
- Category: drink
- Method: fermentation
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 30
- Sugar: Fermentation reduces sugar content so less than 4 g
- Sodium: 292.7 mg
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Have you tried making fermented probiotic drinks? Now that you know how to make kvass, there are no excuses! Well, dare I ask that you join me in this little “gut healthy” recipe venture? Haha, too many questions, I know!
Cheers to rebooting that immune system!
Placed in an air tight mason jar, but mold seemed to grow or os that part of the kvass process?. I used frozen berries and let them thaw before adding the water, honey, etc. I did have berries float to the top and that’s where the mold like substance grew.
Did you pat them dry with paper towel before adding them to the mixture? To remove extra moisture? Could just be that batch. Not sure I’ve tried it with frozen berries before.
If I don’t have raw honey, can I use sugar instead?
Sure! Or try maple syrup!
Is kefir water the whey from kefir milk?
Actually, Water Kefir is made with sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water. Water kefir also requires a starter culture, like kombucha. You can use a Kefir Starter Culture like kefir grains. Does that make sense?
Yes, what about the whey from milk kefir?
As a starter? That should work but taste might be a little less tart
Do you add the lime slices or squeeze for just the juice? It doesn’t state in the recipe.
Either really! But maybe try just the lime slices first and after it’s done fermenting you can adjust taste. Does that make sense?
Hi! Looking forward to trying this out. I wondered if there is anything you can do with the leftover fruit once strained? Seems like a shame to just throw it out, wondered if you’d found any good uses!
sure! It’s a bit tangy but you could freeze and use in smoothies or blend with yogurt for dessert.
I think this looks fantastic, and would like to give it a try. In your opinion, do you think I could use the “hooch” from my sourdough starter for the fermentation? I don’t have any whey on hand, but I have lots of sourdough starter. Sadly, it’s very cold right now, so I will try frozen fruit. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Lenna ! I think that might work! It might alter the taste a little bit, but worth a shot!
I see some fruit kvasses say to pour a little bit into your water everyday. So do you prefer straight up or added to water? And how much do you drink a day?
I think it tastes great with a little sparkling water!
A Magical Life
I tried this with some brine from homemade sour kraut as the starter and it did not work out. It was kind of skunky. I’m going to try again with kombucha as the starter instead and will report back.
Oh no! That’s not good. Yes, the sauerkraut juice would be good for a veggie kvass. I”ll update that in notes. The kombucha brine works best or a whey/yogurt probiotic
Hi, I made this a few times and each time I have really enjoyed it (the honey and mint plus the strawberry and lime is a great combo) but I am wondering if there is a way to increase the amount of carbonation and “fizziness.” My process lately has been to let the berries ferment for about 3 days, strain the fruit, and then let it sit in the fridge for a day or two to build up carbonation. Would it be better if I let it sit at room temp after straining or leave the fruit in while it is in the fridge?
Sure! I would leave it out at room temp for 1-2 more days. See if that helps. Check it (burp it) after the 3rd day to see there is an increase in carbonations/fermentation. Does that make sense?
And that’s 3 days at room temp (then release and burp it) then let it sit for 1-3 more days or until desired carbonation. I think I let mine sit for 5 days at room temp.
I created a fruit kvass with frozen berries and a vegan starter culture. Day three and I just tasted it – delicious! Wondering if I can use the berries and some liquid for starter on a second batch. What do you think?
Hi Shelly! Glad the fruit kvass worked out well! I haven’t tried making another batch from it, but worth a shot! Keep me posted.
Just started peach kvass with fresh peaches! I can’t wait for it to finish, someone in a fermentation group I’m in recommended adding vanilla powder (at the end?) to it for a peaches and cream bubbly drink. I don’t currently have any but if I love this peach kvass I will definitely look in to getting some vanilla powder!
BTW is the protein powder whey? That helps with fermentation.
I have no idea! I hadn’t even considered that, but you’re right! It sounded to me like she was using regular baking vanilla powder. I had a bit of it at one point and didn’t understand how to use it well.
I’m not a kombucha fan but thought I’d give this a try since it’s all ingredients that I normally like. After three days, a tiny bit of mold was starting to develop on top but it disappeared when I shook the bottle. I decided that was probably a sign to strain & refrigerate it. It’s slightly fizzy, slightly vinegar”y” but actually not bad. I’m wondering how much you should drink for the health benefits. Is it ok to mix it with other things or does that negate the health benefits?
I used the same kind of berries except mine had strawberries too. Is that bad? Because mine didn’t look orange it was dark red. Also, do I have to use the kombucha? Also, is the lime and salt supposed to be added in with the berries, or what is the point of using those two things?
I used the same kind of berries except mine had strawberries too, except mine was frozen and I waited for them to thaw. Is that bad? Because mine didn’t look orange it was dark red. Also, do I have to use the kombucha? Also, is the lime and salt supposed to be added in with the berries, or what is the point of using those two things?
HI madison! I just updated the brewing tips in post! But here ther are here. 🙂
The berries release their pigments which gives the kvass an orange/pink-red color. The color of kvass will change depending on what type of you fruit . Since you used frozen berries, the colors might be a little different. I haven’t tried it with frozen berries before. So keep me posted!
Using a starter culture (like the kombucha juice) along with the sugar helps to speed up the fermentation process and give the kvass a little in more flavor pizazz (aka palatability). You could also try the liquid portion (top) of yogurt. You know when the yogurt settles after opening and the liquid is left on top? That culture. Worth a shot!
I’m excited to try this recipe! Question…for the “starter”…just get a bottle of store bought kombucha and use? How much? Do I need to make sure I’m using the mother from the kombucha?
yep! I would buy any original flavor and then add just the juice to the kvass. It’s the probiotic starter. It also works well with sauerkraut juice or kimchi juice but that wouldn’t be good in a fruit kvass haha.
Where can I buy some flip top bottles shaped like that?
I actually buy a brand of olive oil that comes in this type of bottle. I save them and then wash them for these types of recipes. 😉 Go check the olive oil and vinegar aisle at your grocer. I bet you could find one!
I have never made kvass without rye bread and raisins, seems interesting. But wouldn’t it be missing part of the tangy, fermented taste that the bread gives it? The bread is a big part of the taste and feel of the drink, otherwise it seems great and i might try this out.
Looks so good! I love Kombucha too. Is the mint necessary? Not a fan of mint.
Thanks for this!
You can leave it out no prob. I just like the combo and it’s refreshing.
Hi Lindsay, I made a quart of raspberry and a quart of blueberry. Think I want it a touch sweeter, so will add a little more honey. Added frozen berries without a problem. Used raw clover honey. Thanks.
Glad it worked! And yes, honey totally can even out the taste. Good choice!
HI! Thank you for sharing! I tried it, but am nit sure what it’s supposed to taste like. It came out fruity, a little bitter like beer, smells like beer also. Not very sweet. Is that what it’s supposed to taste like? There are some more fruit sediment. Do I strain these out with a coffee filter? Thanks!
It should taste a little like kombucha and a little bitter, but it depends on the type of honey. Did you let if breathe a bit each day? You can strain the fruit or keep. either way! If it’s too bitter, I would add a touch more honey. Let me know if that helps!
Hi LIndsay! I added a little bit more honey. It tasted so much better. Loved it! Thanks!
Wonderful! So glad it worked out!
Hi Lindsay. I have made beet kvass. Can’t say I loved it, but I knew it was good for me. Make kombucha which I drink every day. It has changed my gut health for the better, so looking forward to trying fruit kvass. I have lots of frozen berries. May make a batch with some thawed berries and another batch with frozen. Will post results.
Thanks so much for this recipe. I was watching a Dr. Axe video and found out that Kvass is recommended above Kombucha for its higher probiotics content. I am addicted to Kombucha and have made it many times but the Kvass looks much easier and definitely faster to ferment. I am so excited to try this. Love your blog.
We are big fans of Dr Axe! And I used to make my own kombucha all the time too. This is way easier. Different but still good! let me know if you have any questions Tonita!
This looks so good!! Is the sea salt absolutely necessary? I’m asking because my sister just told me about kvass and how she “tweaked” the recipe she found to make it even simpler. She makes hers in a quart-sized jar, adding approx one cup of cut up fruit, 1 T. honey, and water to the top of the jar. Is the addition of the sea salt what makes it a probiotic? Or, is it the honey? Thanks, in advance, for your help.
The salt isn’t necessary but it does help speed up the fermentation. Will you be using a culture starter like the Kombucha mentioned? Happy to help!
No, I won’t be using a culture starter. I have another question, I hope you don’t mind. My sister made me three quarts (her recipe, mentioned above), using only the leftover rinds/pulp of juiced oranges. One of the jars has about a half an inch, or more, of a cloudy “goop” – for lack of a better term – on the bottom of the jar; kind of what the mother looks like in ACV. Has this jar gone bad?
Is there black on it? Or just a goop that’s clear/white?
No black on it; just the cloudy looking goop.
That’s probably just the culture, it should be ok! Did you taste it? feel free to email me as well.
My blackberries sunk to the bottom and bubbles aren’t really forming although I did let out some air and there is definitely pressure building in there. Safe to try?
Definitely taste and see if it’s fermenting. Did you add a cultured starter? Like kombucha?
I did! In fact, after I let the air out, bubbles really started forming. Besides it being cloudy on the bottom of the jar, it looks pretty good!
A probiotic capsule will work? Obviously taking the powder out of it first!
Yes! Sorry forgot to mention that. No capsule ?
HOMEMADE FRUIT KVASS, Looks very attractive and safe I enjoyed, thanks for sharing the recipe
Will it develop alcohol?
Not really . It’s not fermented long enough. Kind of like kimchi, it’s just cultured. Does that make sense?
If I don’t have any of the starters is there more of a chance it will go bad in the process? Will it not taste as good since it will have to sit longer?
Do you have any kombucha or even the liquid (clear) from yogurt sitting on top? It won’t effect it that much, just wont be fizzy and will take longer to ferment. Does that make sense?
I love kombucha but have been too intimidated to try making it. This sounds easy and yummy. What do you mean by “sealprof bottle”? Do you need to let air out more than once? I enjoy many of your recipes, especially the roasted red pepper and shrimp soup. Thanks. Jenny
Just means it has a top. I used mason jars and then just checked the taste and let air out after a few days. If I wanted it more fizzy, I left it longer on counter after the first taste, Does that make sense? Thanks Jenny!
Homemade Fruit kvass drink that gonna create a huge buzz in coming days indeed!
Homemade Fruit kvass with berries, lime, and mint is a fermented drink that gonna create a huge buzz in coming days indeed!
Such a yummy, natural way to get more probiotics! Perfect to sip on all summer long!
You know it! 😉
Katie - Healthy Seasonal Recipes
I can’t wait to try this!
This kvass screams summer!!
I just recently got into drinking kombucha. I definitely need to try making this at home! It looks so refreshing!!
yes! I think you’ll love this Laurie!
We love kombucha and have many scoby just waiting for us to make our next batch. We have also dabbled in ginger beer and really liked it. Looking forward to this fruity flavor. And you’re totally right… the hardest part is waiting for it to be ready!
Oh I love making kombucha!! Ginger beer is on my list! Fun
Just wondering if you could use frozen berries or do they have to be fresh?
I think so! But you might want to thaw them out first. LEt me know if you try it!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
Brother. I don’t know about Russian stuff right now… and it’s even orange-ish. LOL! Really though – I actually love Russian food. And I love kombucha. Basically, I need this.
Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
I always enjoy learning about new foods, especially in different cultures! This looks beautiful and SO refreshing 🙂
This looks so refreshing! So how important is the purified water? We usually get our water from a local spring-will that work?
I think that should be fine. Keep me posted on if you do try!
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
I started brewing kombucha at home last February because it IS expensive! So why not, right? I looove it and it is SOO easy. This Kvass? New to me, but it will be happening as soon as local berries are ready! Delicious and thaaank you for sharing Linds! xo
We need a kvass making date. Just sayin.. bring the berries!
Cassie Thuvan Tran
I have never tried a Kvass before, but this looks super refreshing! Absolutely LOVE how beautiful the color is. Looks like a sweet and tasty watermelon juice!