I’m currently a few days into a Whole 30, so I can’t enjoy this drink for a few more weeks. Still, I wanted to share it in time for the 4th because it’s the most perfect summer drink. Throughout fall, winter, and a decent chunk of spring, I am happy to drink nothing but red wine. Once the temperature rises above 75° or so, however, I need something a bit more cooling. I have to be careful with white wine, which tends to be too sweet, and in general hard liquor also often leads to a migraine the next day (especially when it’s not clear).
Enter the kombucha-rita—
What makes this drink especially good for lightweights?
For starters, homemade kombucha has considerably less sugar than most mixers (including soda, juice, and even the innocuous tonic, which is often made with HFCS). Of course, this depends on how long you let your kombucha sit for the first ferment, how much fruit or fruit juice you add to the second ferment, and then how long you allow the second ferment to go before refrigeration. I like my kombucha pretty tart, so I tend to let the first ferment go for at least a week, I only add enough fruit to ensure it gets fizzy, and then I leave the bottles to the second ferment until they’re almost to the fizzing-over point (checking them for pressure every day to make sure they’re not going to explode). On top of that, the addition of sparkling water alongside the kombucha ensures you stay (relatively) hydrated, which is always a good idea for avoiding a hangover when drinking for an extended period of time.
Still, many believe there’s something intrinsic to kombucha itself that makes it a great choice for a mixer. As Eric Childs of Kombucha Brooklyn argues, the gluconic acid in kombucha works to detox the liver in a kind of “reverse-toxmosis.” I’m not versed enough in science to say whether that claim holds water, but I do know that I can enjoy three or four of these in an evening and wake up not feeling like garbage the next day. Regardless of the drink in question (wine, beer, cider, etc.), three or four is the point at which I’m pretty worthless the next day, so at least my own anecdotal evidence seems to support—or at least not go against—Childs’ claims.
Health claims aside, I actually drink they because they taste good! The tartness of the kombucha is perfect with tequila, and the sparkling water is effervescent and wonderful. So, the recipe already!
- 1 – 2 oz silver tequila (From spendy to steal, I recommend: Avion, Tres Agaves, or Monte Alban, which is surprisingly not bad for a $10 tequila)
- 3 oz homemade or store bought kombucha (my favorites are strawberry and lavender blueberry)
- 3 oz sparkling seltzer water (lime, lemon-lime, or unflavored)
- fresh lime juice, to taste
To a half-pint mason jar or old fashioned glass, add ice (this is my favorite ice cube tray, and I promise it’s not at all over-hyped). Pour in your desired amount of tequila (I’m closer to the 1 oz end of the spectrum), plus kombucha, sparkling water, and fresh lime juice. Stir to combine and serve.
I almost feel bad calling it a recipe because it’s so simple! If you’re Whole 30ing, pregnant, or just don’t drink, you can simply leave out the tequila and still have something that’s fun to sip when you’re just tired of water. To change up the flavor you can try different sparkling waters, use lemon instead of lime, or even muddle some fruit or herbs in the glass (as I did with mint and mulberries above) before adding the ice and liquid. Enjoy!