Find the most important etiquette rules on how to serve and drink Kefir and tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

how to serve and drink kefir

What Kefir etiquette is

Kefir etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and drink Kefir. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Kefir etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect Kefir’s etiquette rules to properly drink and enjoy it.

What you should know about Kefir

Kefir is a milk-based drink. It was originally from the North Caucasus region, before becoming mainstream in Russia.

Kefir is made by adding kefir grains to raw milk. The milk can be from cows, sheep, or goats. Once mixed with milk, Kefir grains ferment the milk and keep growing. 

The resulting drink is white in color. Its texture is slightly more dense than milk. Its flavor is acidic, with salty, bitter, and sweet notes.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Kefir

1) How to store Kefir

After mixing Kefir grains with milk, you can keep Kefir out of the fridge for 1 or 2 days. 

However, it is best to store Kefir in the fridge. Unopened, it can last for 2 to 3 weeks. After opening it, you should consume it within 3 to 5 days.

Do not store Kefir in the freezer.

2) How to clean Kefir

You do not need to wash Kefir. Serve it as it is.

3) How to cook Kefir

Kefir can be used as an ingredient in many preparations.

You can use it to make sourdough bread. In Russia and in Eastern Europe it is common to add it to soups. Such as borscht or okroshka. It is common to use Kefir to make sauces or salad dressings.

Kefir can often replace milk. Mix it with cereal. Use it to prepare milkshakes, smoothies, or even ice cream. 

4) How to serve & present Kefir

Kefir is appropriate on many occasions. You can serve it for breakfast. For a mid-morning or afternoon break. Or even after a meal, before dessert or coffee.

Kefir is most appropriate on informal occasions. It is quite uncommon to serve it at formal gatherings.

Serve Kefir at room temperature or slightly chilled. Take it out of the fridge between 5 and 30 minutes before serving.  

Present Kefir in a jug. Alternatively, you can serve it in individual glasses. Use tumblers or glasses for milkshakes. Serve clean glasses with Kefir, do not reuse glasses.

If the texture of Kefir is very dense, you can present it with individual spoons.

5) Food and beverages to pair Kefir with

Kefir goes well with cereals or granola.

You can pair it with honey, fruit jams, or fruit sauces. It goes well with nuts and many fresh and dry fruits. It is especially good with berries. Strawberries. Raspberries. Blueberries.

In soups or dressings, Kefir goes well with most vegetables. Treat it as a more acidic substitute for milk or yogurt.

It is not common to serve Kefir with alcoholic drinks. However, some like to mix it in cocktails.

6) How to drink Kefir

Drink Kefir as you would drink a milkshake. Take small sips and follow general glass etiquette

It is perfectly acceptable to use a teaspoon. While it is not polite to use a straw. 

Kefir etiquette: the worst mistakes

Avoid the worst Kefir etiquette mistakes. 

  • 8/10. Serving spoiled Kefir.
  • 5/10. Drinking Kefir with a straw.

Additional information for properly serving Kefir

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Kefir contains 46 calories per 100 ml. One serving of an individual cup is usually 250 ml and contains 115 calories.

How to buy the best Kefir

A crucial factor in Kefir etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Kefir is available all year round. 

Choose the best

To buy the best industrial Kefir, check the label. Avoid products with additional ingredients or flavor enhancers.

Alternatively, you can make your own Kefir. Buy Kefir grains and add them to the fresh, raw milk of your choice.

Alternatives to Kefir

Substitutes for Kefir depend on the use you plan to make.

Alternatives can be milk, thin yogurt, Ayran, or buttermilk.


  • Microbiological, technological, and therapeutic properties of kefir: