It mixes way better than you might think.
Okay, we hear you—kombucha cocktails? Before you roll your eyes too hard, we, your resident cocktail experts, are going to extol the virtues of the fizzy fermented drink.
A popular, lightly fermented tea that is beverage of choice for hipsters, health nuts, and DIY-ers everywhere, kombucha is tangy, a little fizzy, and, when made right, delicious. (We’re all about the brand Health-Ade, available nationally, which has a pleasant sweet-tart flavor that’s not too aggressively funky. For this article we’re sticking to their classic kombucha, but the ginger-lemon and Cayenne? Yum.)
What’s more, kombucha has so many characteristics that translate well to cocktails: acid (since it’s quite tart), a little sugar, a little fizz, and that slight hint of fermented funk. Just add booze and you’ve got some mighty tasty cocktails. Here are three to try.
Easy: ‘Bucha Mule
Most drinkers are familiar with the Moscow Mule, a vodka-lime-ginger beer concoction often served in friendly copper mugs. Here, we’re taking one fizzy, strongly-flavored beverage, kombucha, and swapping it in for another, the ginger beer. Using freshly cut ginger as the garnish brings the ginger flavor back in with no muddling required.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of vodka, 2 ounces of kombucha, 1/2 an ounce of lime juice, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with 1 ounce of club soda, stir briefly, and garnish with a fresh thin slice of ginger.
Intermediate: Gin, Campari, Kombucha
Light, slightly fizzy kombucha can stand up to some powerful flavors, like the one-two bitter punch of Campari and gin. The ‘buch evens out the alcohol and adds a bright, fizzy character. Super easy to drink.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine 1 ounce of gin (use a good London Dry like Beefeater), 1 ounce of Campari, and 3 ounces of kombucha. Give a quick stir and add 2 ounces of club soda. Garnish with orange slices.
Advanced: Kombucha, Whiskey, Mint
Here’s our kombucha-fied take on a lighter whiskey sour; the drink’s sweet-tart character backs up the lemon juice and bourbon, while a big sprig of mint makes for a lovely aromatic garnish.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon, 2 ounces of kombucha, 1/2 an ounce of lemon juice, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a big sprig of mint.