Getting Creative with Kombucha – Metta Murdaya

25 Jan

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to not only eat healthier, but to drink healthier. No, this isn’t something that means adding fresh fruits to the martini or drinking more bloody marys, justifying its health benefits to lycopene-laden tomato juice. I suppose one could, but I’m talking about kicking out the soda and upping my intake of homemade Kombucha. For those of you not familiar with this health tonic that’s been known to do everything from curb the munchies, improve your digestion and immune system, give you more energy, and even help with migranes, check out this article. Or for a more scientific breakdown of Kombucha, see this. I’ve offered some untraditional ways to gourmet-ify this tangy treat, and I have a few more to add.

For beginners: Mix with any of the following (or mix it up!) You can add this to Kombucha from the store or from a homeade batch. Just make sure you don’t mix the mixers below in the brewing container with the scoby! Mix with Kombucha in a separate container.

To sweeten the drink and make it fruity, add one or a blend of the following:
– Apple, Cranberry, White Grape juice

To keep the flavor but add a twist, add to the Kombucha:
– Coconut Water (yes, believe it!) to make it milder and a little more round, plus it has great electrolytes!
– Sliced Ginger: To give it a heaty, spicy, exotic touch. Cinnamon – never tried personally, but I hear it’s good.

For a little more gourmet flavor, mix 1/2 to 2/3 container (or glass) of Kombucha with:
– Chamomile Tea sweetened with Elderflower Syrup. (Ikea has a nice, cheap one that’s tasty): Makes it ‘pretty’ tasting. Sounds odd, but the light floral notes and sweetness will make you smile, really!
– Chai tea & sugar:  Makes it spicy and aromatic, but still oh so delicious!
-Lemonade + Tea: Kind of like a super-healthy Arnold Palmer with a fizzy tang. Refreshing, indeed!

Where to get Kombucha? If you’re not a home brewer, get some at Whole Foods, most health food stores, and many a supermarket in the natural drinks section. The pros of making it at home is the cost is 6 tea bags and a cup of sugar for a gallon of brew, whereas at the store, a 12oz bottle can cost upwards of $4.99. But most people just don’t drink that much Kombucha in a week, the store-bought are great for convenience and variety. 2 brands I like:

Synergy – One of the best known brands. Pulls no punches, this Kombucha is pretty flavorful and tangy. Maybe too tangy for home-brewers, like it’s ‘overdone,’ but you’ll feel the effects. I when I get the muchies, a swig of this powerful stuff will curb that craving. Lots of good flavors too.
Kombucha Wonder Drink – blended with green tea, this is a milder tasting Kombucha. It’s smoother/easier to drink, might be a good  Kombucha for those who want a more palate-friendly version.

There are many other brands out there, Carpe Diem, Honest Kombucha (from Honest Tea,) Katalyst, etc… I say experiment and compare! I’m still experimenting with my own batch; right now, I’m playing with maple syrup to add to the mix somehow… Of course, I still love Kombucha straight, and drink some everyday, but this is great when you have a large batch and want to have some variety – especially great for guests! Talk about a conversation beverage…

Anyone have any suggestions too? Let’s get creative!

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