I personally love Golden Milk, and I have since the moment I laid eyes on it a few years back in the book A Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme. I am lucky enough to live in a place where I can get fresh turmeric root and ginger at my local grocery store (and in the fall I can get both grown locally these days (for a price)! What a world.) So for me, this particular kombucha recipe was bound to happen. If you’re not familiar with Golden Milk, it’s a soothing beverage, usually made by infusing nut milk with ginger, turmeric and a touch of honey. I drink it warm when I have a moment to relax and savor. If you are familiar with Golden Milk and you’re judging me so hard right now for my trendy trend, I do not heed thee, because this is delicious.
I initially started consuming turmeric years ago when I heard some rumors it would help with inflammation. Following a serious bike accident (link nsfw), a subsequent surgery, and what I now believe was over-medication, I was left with a lot of health issues. Among those were a lot of creaks and cracks that hadn’t been there before. My joints hurt. Doing push-ups made my wrists ache. Squats were a joke with my super tight knees and painful hip joints. I was officially inflamed.
Studies on the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are interesting but not conclusive. There are mice and rat studies that indicate some benefits (including potential anti-carcinogenic benefits), but as we humans are not rats, I recommend paying attention to how you feel when you consume turmeric, and using that information as your guide and standard. I definitely do feel better when I regularly consume turmeric in drinkable form, and I also love the way it tastes, so both the golden milk and the golden booch are regular parts of my kitchen ritual. I always include a little freshly crushed black pepper because piperine was shown in at least one study to help active curcumin (the element of turmeric that makes it yellow and is thought to provide the anti-inflammatory benefit) and it tastes good that way, so why not?
Keep in mind that there are no studies om what happens to the active ingredients during kombucha fermentation. As with all ferments (and especially with sugary ones like kombucha) if you’re drinking it for health, make sure the thing you wanted to improve is actually improved from drinking it. Although, if you love the way it tastes, I count that a great reason to keep drinking it!
Ginger Turmeric Kombucha Recipe (aka Golden Booch)
I like to flavor this kombucha directly with the ingredients (as opposed to juicing them or making a simple syrup of them, for instance. Because none of the flavoring elements are naturally sugary, I make this with kombucha that is sweeter than I like to drink it and I add some “fresh” sugar to get those yeast reactivated so they make me some nice fizz.
If fresh turmeric and/or ginger are tough to come by where you live, you can sub powdered, although you’ll have to play with the ratio a bit. I’d start with a tablespoon of each and work from there. The flavor will be slightly different than with fresh (especially if you sub powdered ginger).
If you’re new to making kombucha, start with my Kombucha Guide first, then come back here when your first batch is ready to flavor!
If you want good fizz, a carbonation safe, fizz-trapping bottle. If you don’t care about fizz, a 1/2 gallon mason jar will do the trick nicely.
Ingredients per 1/2 gallon (64 oz/ 1.9 L) vessel
3 inches (7.5 cm) fresh turmeric, well rinsed in cool water
6 inches (15 cm) fresh ginger, well rinsed in cool water
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (a big pinch will do)
6.5-7 cups finished, but still sweet kombucha (see headnote)
1/2 tsp cane sugar (two pinches will do for you metric folks)
How to Make Golden Kombucha
Julienne or finely chop turmeric and ginger. Remove any extra flaky bits of skin or dirty, unappealing bits but there’s no need to peel. You’ll get plenty of surface area exposed through chopping.
Place ginger, turmeric, black pepper and sugar (if using) in your vessel. Pour in the kombucha, filling to roughly 3 inches from the rim/lid. The space in the vessel will help with fizz.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you’ve used a plastic bottle, you can wait until the plastic has become rigid. That tells you it’s carbonated.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before opening. Always open in the sink with caution. I like to put a plastic ziplock bag over the top of the bottle and place the whole shebang in a clean bowl in case the fizz explodes. That way, the kombucha will rain down into the bowl and you won’t have wasted any of the good stuff.
Putting partially filled bottles in the fridge after consuming some will generally mean you get a fresh round of fizz, so don’t think you can just crack it after it’s been in the fridge, partially full, for a while.
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