Kombucha & Living Vinegar Cocktails?!

So I’ve been brewing kombucha for a few weeks now (at my 7th batch!). It’s super fun and actually not as complicated as I thought it would be. Since I started water kefir brewing first, I couldn’t help but to compare the two very similar and increasingly popular probiotic drinks. I thought the use of tea (usually black and/or green tea) in kombucha adds some sophisticated taste to the drink compared to water kefir. This is not to say that water kefir is not great, they actually have a different flavour profile as the bacteria and yeast culture is different.

It’s been a crazy busy week for both my other half and me, so I thought I’d treat ourselves with some nice cocktails on a sunny weeknight! Is there a way to incorporate trendy gut-healthy ingredients in cocktails?

Speaking of gut-friendly ingredients, my friend Allan traded some of his gourmet living vinegar for my cheesecakes (Check out Acid League – they have some pretty innovative products now available at Whole Foods and their website! Also check out my cheesecake biz at The Cheesecake Crafter :). He mentioned that their vinegars are perfect for use in cocktails. And it got me thinking, hmmm, I could use kombucha in cocktails too! Since we don’t usually have any carbonated drinks at home, the fizzy kombucha can be a perfect substitute for club soda as the base for cocktails.

I found a recipe of Strawberry Rosé Vinegar Gin Fizz on the Acid League website, and basically substituted my home-brewed Raspberry Infused Kombucha for seltzer and sugar. I like how when making cocktails you can “just wing it” as it’s all about the fun and your own unique taste! Recipes are there to give you guidance and inspirations (this is all very different in baking). The vinegar not only adds a nice kick to the cocktail but also impart some health benefits as they have living culture, just like my kombucha.

After I made my boozy healthy-ish concoction, I found that the idea of kombucha cocktails have been around for a few years and are actually pretty popular, at least on the internet. Check out these posts from Bonappetit and Food and Wine.

Amazingly enough, vinegar has also become a powerful flavouring agent in the mixology world (check out this Difford’s Guide post to see why). In fact, the idea of mixing vinegar with alcohol has been around for a long time – Switchel, for example, is a classic drink originated in the 17th Century that uses apple cider vinegar, which is now making a comeback. What I like about these kombucha & vinegar cocktails is that they not only add a healthy aspect to fun and exciting drinks and can easily be made into mocktails that still taste great and look just as impressive as their boozy counterparts.

However, keep in mind that moderation is key – alcohol is not gut friendly especially when consumed excessively. Other than the quantity, the type of alcohol also matters (here’s a related post I wrote previously – Is Red Wine Good for Gut Health?). Using gut-friendly ingredients to make cocktails is all for the fun of experimenting. Remember to drink responsibly!

Here’s a little snapshot of my home-fermentation corner!

From my instagram story – @mygutdiary_elaine

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