Kombucha is the Curveball Cocktail Mixer We Never Knew We Needed

Booze with health benefits? We're listening.

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Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that’s made by adding yeast and a culture of bacteria to a mixture of black or green tea, sugar, and additional flavorings or fruit juice.

Fun fact: alongside the probiotics, bubbles, and sweet-and-sour flavor, another result of fermentation is the production of alcohol. So whether you're making it at home or buying a bottled version, your kombucha is naturally a teensy bit boozy.

Speaking of booze, kombucha tea has been rising in the ranks of the top trendy drink mixers of late. Why? Because bartenders and cocktail aficionados alike are looking to add innovative flavor profiles and intriguing, unconventional ingredients to their cocktail menus, and kombucha hits the nail on the head. Thanks to its fruit-forward tangy taste, slight sweetness, and effervescence, it's a born natural for mixing into cocktails.

In addition to the its funky-fizzy flavor, however, kombucha’s health benefits are increasingly appealing to cocktail drinkers in our current wellness-obsessed culture. Many consumers are looking to limit their sugar intake, and kombucha provides a healthier alternative to mega-sweet bar staples like soda, fruit juice, and tonic. In addition, it’s rich in probiotics, B vitamins, and antioxidants. We can’t promise kombucha will help you avoid a hangover, but all of the above are hyped for their ability to assist the body in recovering from alcohol consumption.

What flavors pair well with kombucha?

Generally speaking, thanks to its tart flavor, kombucha tastes best when blended into sour drinks. But for expert intel on flavor combinations for kombucha cocktails, we checked in with Erin Donnelly, the Regional Sales Manager for Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha.

“We've found that dry and spicy flavors, such as the fresh ginger and pepperberry in our Living Ginger kombucha, lend themselves well to a traditional mule or a smoky mescal margarita,” she says.

In addition, botanical flavor profiles like lavender, chamomile, rose petal, and basil-scented kombucha pair perfectly with gin. You can also mix these styles of kombucha into mimosas made with a dry prosecco. Berry-flavored ‘booch is a flexible dance partner that blends equally well with all the staples, from tequila to whiskey to vodka.

When mixing, be sure to add your kombucha last to preserve the carbonation. For delicious kombucha cocktail ideas, check out Real Simple’s recipes here. Cheers!

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