Fermented Fruit Kvass

You are looking at a close-up photo of a 1-day old kvass. I’m guessing that 99% of you are thinking: “Errh, KVASS … what!? Is that another new and complicated health trend?!?” Well, it is not complicated, not new and not a trend – yet anyway. But it is very healthy. If you have tried or heard of the fermented tea, kombucha, this is kind of similar, although a hundred times easier to make.

Kvass is a russian fermented beverage traditionally made with beets, whey and rye bread. This simplified fruit version is whey- and grain free, and still packed with nutritious probiotic enzymes and amazing natural bubbles. Personally I think fruit Kvass tastes somewhat like a healthy version of apple cider, but maybe I’m the only one making that connection? It has a fruity flavor with a slight hint of vinegar, honey and fizzy bubbles that teases your tongue. It is a good alternative to a soft drink, an evening cocktail or a healthy morning shot. You can vary the flavors and fruit as you like, but to help you out we have compiled a list of suggestions after the recipe.

It is a very easy recipe with few ingredients and short preparation time (yes, 48 hours is actually short, for being a fermented beverage). So this is perfect if you want to try fermenting for the first time. As with kombucha, this is something that not everyone will love immediately. I did, but David had to try it a few times to get used to it. Now we both enjoy it (although me still more than him)

I have learned this fermented beverage technique from the inspiring author and whole food pioneer Rebecca Wood. She has written a handful of books about healthy food and grains. I have just ordered: ‘The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia’. Can’t wait until it arrives!

If you like this recipe you probably also love kombucha, which we have a recipe for in our upcoming cookbook.

Fermented Fruit Kvass (Fermenting technique from Rebecca Wood)
1 large glass jar

Make sure to always use organic ripe fruit when fermenting.

1/4 of a large glass jar of mixed organic ripe fruit (we used fresh peaches and blackberries)
1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled
pure water to almost fill the jar (you get best result with filtered or mineral water)

Place fruit, honey and ginger in the jar. Add water to fill up the jar, except the top inch. You’ll need that extra space to allow pressure to build. Tightly close the jar. Place in room temperature for 2-3 days, give it a shake twice a day to prevent bacteria from forming on the surface. After 24 hours you can see fermentation bubbles. Taste your brew every day to see when it is ready, it depends on the room temperature and sugar content. It should taste sweet and tangy and the fruit look ‘cooked’. Strain the brew and drink as it is or store in the fridge for up to a week.

If you have any problems with the fermenting process, you could add whey or yeast as a starter, it could depend on the water or the honey you use. I use (scandinavian) tap water or filtered tap water.

The natural alcohol level in homemade Kvass is very very low, about 0.05%-1.0%, which means that children can drink it too.

Other Kvass Combinations
cherry, raspberry, cardamom
apple, raisins, cinnamon
lemon, dried apricots, ginger
mango, chai spices
beet, apple, lemon balm
nectarine, camomile
blackberry, peaces, vanilla bean
dried prunes, lemon, ginger

Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Ps. We were so amazed by your fantastic love and wedding stories on our previous post. Thank you so much for sharing! If you haven’t read them. Check out last weeks post and scroll down to the comment section.


  • Richard Raucina
    As a winemaker, I would describe this as carbonic maceration. Rather than a lactic acid ferment, by sealing this tightly you create a Co2 rich environment same as used in new wine releases. Little information out there about this outside of grapes!
  • LOVE that you created this variation... I wish someone in the comments would post their results! I'm going to go try this, but using frozen fruit as it's the winter now and nothing is in season... I realize this might not work out but worth a shot. Hopefully I'll remember to come back and share my results or even tag on insta with a couple nice photos. Thanks! Ryan
  • Colleen
    So enjoyed so far have only made combucha. Definitely trying this
  • MJ
    Is there a vegan (whey-free) way of making this?
  • Trisha
    Hi, Thanks you for the great ideas. To cover my kombucha, milk kefir and yogurt jars while fermenting I use an unbleached coffee filter held on with a covered elastic ponytail holder which works great! I am surprised to see your suggestion for covering tightly with a lid. Does the flow of air make a difference and Would the coffee filter work? Thanks
  • Tabata
    I followed the exact recipe but after 48 hours I hardly have any bubbles at all. Does the container have to be airtight? TIA
  • Try this version, the classic one. So good! http://cuceesprouts.com/2015/08/kvass
  • Lynne
    I would like to serve a beverage like this at an event in October. Does anyone know if I can make it with the fruits available now and freeze it, to thaw and serve later? Or do I just prep and freeze the fruit and make it later?
  • M
    I dont know if this was already discussed, but can I use regular honey instead of raw, and can I skip the ginger? If I did a Mango Kvass, can I use the peels in it?
  • Camila Tanaka Hess
    Thanks for the recipe! I'd like to try making it with dried prunes. How much prunes should I use?
  • Lin
    thank you for your recipes for Kvaas, I will try them this week. Ive recently made beet and carrot Kvaas and was looking for a fruit ferment. I was wondering though, can I use Stevia as a sweetner? Not that I am apposed to honey, I just thought I would try it. Im going to use blue berries and cheeries. Thanks Lin
  • Amanda
    Hello, Great recipe. Thank you for sharing. Could you use a body ecoclgy starter culture in this? Thanks heaps Amanda
  • Didi
    I made this with apples, lime and cardamom. Unfortunately I didn't peel the lime, I will do that next time, cause it turned out a little bitter. I didn't think the fermenting process was working, until I wanted to throw it away after a couple of days and it turned out that it dit work! I'm so happy! It's a super exiting thing to do. I'm drinking some with coconutwater now, it makes the flavour a little less in your face. I really don't like to drink lemonade, but I like to drink other things than water in the summer. This is perfect!
  • Great DIY recipe for fermented fruit kvass. Fruit kvass is one of my favorite drinks since it is packed with nutrients, probiotics and has no added sugar. In a pinch, I love the 100% organic raw beet kvass from EATProbiotics as well. Theirs is packed with probiotics and nutrients and great as a quick shot in the morning!
  • jb
    Nice, but I've always heard to add a cup of whey to it to make a nice probiotic drink that ferments nicely.
  • Ugo G.
    Tried this a couple time so far. Tasty, tangy, and lovely. I prefer this drink fermented for 4-5 days (room temp around 22°C) But i wonder what to do with the fruits. Straight out i dont find them tasty of appealing. ANy cues ?
  • Jacque
    Can I use frozen fruit or berries to get variety? This sounds wonderful, I've already started apple and blueberry and can't wait to try it. Fruit and berries are very seasonal here and except for a couple of months a year often come from South and Central American countries and are certainly not organic. In the summer I freeze as much as I can. It would be great if I could use my frozen harvest. Jacque
  • Jane
    Sounds yum, can't wait to make it. I have 3 questions tho.... 1.I would have thought you wouldn't need to add a sugar, ie honey, because the fruit has plenty of it's own sugar to feed the bacteria. 2.You recommend storing for up to one week. I thought ferments last months in the fridge? 3. You recommend adding yeast. Yeast is a fungus and would actually harm the ferment I would have thought. The rye bread used by others would be sourdough (no yeast) and that's what acts as the sugar.
  • Pat Boley
    Thanks, just tried mine and you are right about the play in the mouth. Wow it was amazing. Can't wait o try some other flavor combinations.
  • Michyusa
    Hi! Thanks for this post...have you ever tried using coconut water instead of filtered water? I'm wondering if it would still work.
    • jb
      Mead should be ~25% honey though
  • Shalene
    I've made sourdough and my own yogurt, and I've loved the results with both. Now I want to try this. Sounds delicious! Just so I understand how this process works though, where is the bacteria coming from that's necessary for the fermentation process? The absence of a starter has me a bit confused, and because the kvass is closed off to air, it's not pulling bacteria from the environment. Is it simply a chemical reaction between the sugars in the fruit and the honey? Tanks again for a lovely post! Your site is always inspiring!
    • Hi Shalene! The unpasteurized honey will kickstart the process. Good luck with the recipe /Luise
  • Flora Sandy
    I was wondering- what if you use pasteurized honey? will it still be alright?
    • Hi Flora, you get the best result when using pure water and unpasteurized honey when fermenting. If using tap water or pasteurized honey you need to add a starter, such as yeast or whey. Good luck /Luise
  • Girl
    It's actually Ukrainian and made from bread
  • Thanks for the great recipe! I've had beet kvass before and it was terrible...I think this will be much tastier. What happens if you don't have any unpasteurized honey? Will it not ferment correctly? Thanks!
  • Irina
    This definitely caught my attention! I'm from Ukraine but live in New York. Due to the large immigrant population, some ethnic grocery stores sell 2-liter bottles of kvass, but it is not the same as the stuff sold at street stands that I remember (that tasted more like something between beer and hard cider, and the bottled stuff tastes like... sweet, bready soda). Anyway, I don't trust the bottled stuff to be close to the real thing, the sweetness is unpleasant, and I am dubious of the probiotics, but my father drinks it all the time, so I am very happy to have found such a simple and healthy alternative! Have you ever tried a shot of raspberry liquor in a glass of apple cider? It's delicious. So I'm going to try to ferment apples and raspberries! Thanks again for the great idea!!
  • I just made the apple/cinnamon kvass. It fermented for 3 days on my countertop and although I did see some very very small bubbles, it had no bubbles when I served it! Is it supposed to have bubbles? Here is what I did: - Sliced an apple and put in a clean glass jar. - Added a stick of cinnamon to the jar. - Filled with water until the fruit was covered, leaving about 1 inch of air at the top. - Put the lid on top and left on the counter. - Shook the jar 3 times per day for 3 days. - Tasted on the 3rd day, which tasted like apple juice, so I put in the refrigerator. - Poured and drank it 3 days later. Mine also only tasted sort of like an apple cider. It didn't taste... special, I suppose! I expected this to be a very interesting drink, but it just wasn't. It's not bad! Just not amazing! Did I miss something?
    • Hi Jessica. It seems like you missed to add honey, which is essential for getting the fermentation started. If you try that next time you will start seeing some bubbles. Good luck!

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