Below are some of the kombucha cocktail recipes that have proven popular at on-premise accounts.
Alibeth Vandergrift of Zingerman’s Roadhouse tweaks the flavors of Unity Vibration ginger kombucha with pomegranate, citrus and basil.
2 Basil leaves, muddled in shaker
1 oz. Bols Genever
½ oz. Pomegranate syrup
½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Cointreau
3 to 4 oz. Unity Vibration ginger kombucha
Muddle the basil and add genever, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice and Cointreau. Add 3 to 4 ice cubes and shake well. Strain into coupe and top with ginger kombucha to taste. Garnish with basil sprig.
Kombucha Pimm’s Cup
Bob Peters, head mixologist at the Punch Room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in Charlotte, NC, created this adaptation of the Pimm’s Cup classic. His version is sweetened with apricot and mint to balance the ginger kombucha.
2 oz. Pimm’s
5 oz. Lenny Boy’s Good Ol’ Ginger kombucha
1 oz. Apricot syrup
Juice from one lime wedge
Fresh lavender and mint, to garnish
Mix Pimm’s, kombucha and apricot syrup. Pour over ice in highball. Garnish with lime, lavender and mint.
Madison, WI-based bartender Jeannette Dainty concocts fabulous cocktails featuring NessAlla kombucha as an ingredient. Many of them also feature local spirits and mixers from Wisconsin’s Old Sugar Distillery, Death’s Door Spirits (Washington Island, WI) and Quince & Apple fruit syrups.
1 ½ oz. Citrus vodka
3-4 slices Cucumber
2 slices Fresh lime
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
2 oz. Cava
NessAlla kombucha, juniper rose or raspberry
Muddle the vodka, simple syrup, cucumber and lime. Add chilled cava, and top with NessAlla Raspberry, Blueberry or Juniper Rose Kombucha. Makes 1 serving.
Summer Berry Ginger Sangria
Sangria is really just fruit salad floating in wine, but kombucha cuts the juicy flavors with a refreshing tartness. (Recipe created by Lucy Saunders)
1 750-ml. bottle Sauvignon blanc
1 cup Raspberries
1 cup Sliced strawberries
1 cup Blueberries
½ cup Diced pineapple
2 Limes, washed and thinly sliced, any seeds removed
2 oz. White rum
22 oz. Ginger lemongrass kombucha
1 teaspoon ginger juice
Combine everything in a large punch bowl and chill at least 2 hours before serving. You may also mix in a large mixing bowl and divide evenly among smaller pitchers for table service. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Thanks to the kombucha, this blend is very thirst quenching on a hot day. (Recipe created by Lucy Saunders)
5-6 (cups) Chopped watermelon
4-5 Sprigs mint
3 tbsps. Raw honey
22 oz. Ginger kombucha
6 Thin wedges ripe watermelon
Muddle mint, watermelon and honey in a large 2-quart Cambro or covered container. Place in refrigerator overnight. Strain through a sieve, pressing well to remove pulp. Blend watermelon juice with ginger kombucha. Serve over ice in highball glasses. Garnish each with watermelon wedge. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe created by Lucy Saunders.
1 oz. orange or Meyer lemon simple syrup
2 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
4 oz. Lemongrass or citrus kombucha
1 orange slice
Shake well with 2-3 ice cubes, and pour over ice in highball glasses. Garnish with orange wheel slice. Makes 1 serving.
Madison, WI-based bartender Jeannette Dainty created this recipe.
1 ½ oz. Death’s Door Gin
½ oz. Rhubarb white pepper simple syrup*
Palm full of celery leaves
¼ Tbsp. Bittercube Jamaican #2 Bitters
4 oz. NessAlla juniper rose kombucha
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, simple syrup and bitters. Palm the celery leaves and spank them three or four times with the heel of your opposite hand. Add celery leaves to the shaker. Cover and shake. Pour with ice into a 10-oz. tumbler or Collins glass. Finish with kombucha and garnish with fresh celery, inner stalks with leaves.
*For Rhubarb white pepper simple syrup:
1 cup Water
1 cup Organic cane sugar
2 cups Rhubarb, cut into 1-in. pieces
½ tsp. White peppercorns
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and rhubarb becomes soft—do not allow to boil. Run hot water over a glass jar to warm it, then strain the hot syrup through a fine mesh strainer into the jar. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to a month.
A Kombucha Punch Fit For an MVP
Mixologist Bob Peters of the Punch Room at the Charlotte, NC, Ritz-Carleton Hotel, created a kombucha punch recipe earlier this year in honor of the Carolina Panthers’ most valuable player, Cam Newton. “It was obvious to all of us that he would win the MVP, and because I heard Cam prefers fruit flavors, we decided to create a punch to commemorate the event,” recalls Peters.
The MVP CamBucha Punch is blended with Old Scout Bourbon, Lenny Boy’s CAMbucha—a tropical kombucha made with mango, vanilla, and pineapple, aka the MVP—and garnished with orange slices and fresh violas from the hotel’s rooftop garden. Priced at $85 for a punch bowl to serve six people, the MVP CamBucha was a hit, Peters says.
MVP CamBucha Punch
22 oz. Lenny Boy’s MVP or ginger kombucha
8 oz. Old Scout bourbon
6 oz. Chai tea
4 oz. Fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 oz. Fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 oz. Prosecco or sparking wine
Thin orange slices, fresh viola blossoms to garnish
Combine the ingredients in a punch bowl and garnish with fresh sliced oranges and edible violas or violets. Makes 4 servings.
Lucy Saunders is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, WI, and author of five cookbooks, including Dinner In The Beer Garden.