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Kombucha - the latest drink for your Backyard Bar

Posted by David Collinge on

What??? I bet you thought bartending was all about the alcohol! No, my friend, it’s all about the socializing. Drinking just enhances the belief that you are the most interesting person in the world. But Kombucha - ahh, understand this and they will seek you out for your wisdom and knowledge, long after the party. Drink it, and you’ll remember the party.

Huh? Don’t get it? Read on. First of all, it is pronounced “kom-BOO-cha”, not Kombooka or Kombookie. Now say that a few times and let it roll off your tongue - you want it to sound sexy and mysterious, not like a botched attempt to say "pardon me" in Japanese.

Second, as soon as you mention it, you’ll be met with puzzled faces - some not wanting to think they have no idea what you are talking about, and others wanting to know what you are talking about. So now it’s time to take the party spotlight!

Kombucha is a fermented tea that originated in Manchuria (Northeast China) over 2000 years ago, and was later imported to Japan. In the early 1930’s it became known in Western Europe, and was only introduced to North America in the mid-1990’s. So why should you care, and why in the world would you be drinking tea at a party - unless it’s a Tea Party?

 Well, I’ll give you five reasons.

First, if you like Belgian beer, especially Flanders Red e.g. Rodenbach), you will love Kombucha. It’s sweet and tart, slightly fizzy, refreshing, and satisfying. It doesn’t taste like tea, honest. It does taste like Belgian beer - seriously.

Second reason - Kombucha is fast becoming a really popular craft brewing industry, similar to what beer went through in the past 20 years, and cider in the past 10. That means it is trendy, which means mentioning it at a party makes you a trend-setter, and drinking it a party makes you desirable. Got it?

Moving on to number three - it’s a pro-biotic, meaning it’s alive and kicking, good for the intestinal tract and all that. You know, like the Activia ads on TV. People love that - makes them think you are a health god.

Number four. Craft brewers are introducing all kinds of different ingredients into Kombucha, like mango, peach, ginger, blueberry, lemon, passionfruit, lemongrass, and yes, sriracha… So it can appeal to all kinds of tastes, like coolers and cocktails currently do. Ahh, a bonus, there are numerous recipes for cocktails that have Kombucha as the main ingredient (see below). So it belongs in a Backyard Bar, right?

Finally, number five. If you drink it, you won’t just think you are the most interesting person at the party, you will be - because you have this profound knowledge of a mysterious beverage from the depths of time, you will have introduced your guests to a new and exciting drink, and because you won’t be a slobbering mess later in the evening. 

I see you nodding your head, but you’re still skeptical. So try some today, and if you like it, stock it in your Backyard Bar, and drink it at your next party. A few different flavours would be good. If you are adventurous, brew some yourself and see what creating your own specialty feels like!


Kombucha Cocktails

 First, some basics in blending. Complimentary flavours will elevate your concoctions to the status of masterpieces. For instance, take gin. It has a piney (juniper) aroma and flavor, and goes well with citrus and light mixers. So it makes sense that it would go well with a green Kombucha, which is light, floral, and citrusy. On the other hand, most aged whiskies are smokey and dark, a seemingly perfect match for a black Kombucha, which has more oxidized, roasted flavours. Finally, take a look at rum. It’s versatile enough to be spiced up, or complimented with fruit flavors and syrups. That gives it a wide range of possible Kombucha varieties to mix.

Note that these rules are not hard and fast, but if you want to experiment with your own creations, it helps to give you the right foundation to start your mixing.

On to the recipes:

Kombucha Mimosa





Wake up on the healthy side!

  • 4 oz Sparkling wine
  • 4 oz Jasmine or Citrus Kombucha
  • 4 oz Orange Juice
  • Garnish with an orange wedge


Kombucha Shandy

Very refreshing after exercise (drink water to hydrate first though)

  • 8 oz Ginger or Lemon Kombucha
  • 8 oz light beer
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge


Kombucha Sangria

Make sure you have the ingredients to make another pitcher if you try this!

  • 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc (Sauv Bl has a citrus backbone that will stand up to the other ingredients)
  • 26 or 32 oz Grapefruit, Strawberry, or other fruit-infused Kombucha
  • 4 oz white rum
  • Simple Syrup to taste (1 part white sugar to 1 part boiled water)
  • 1 Orange, 1 lemon, 1 grapefruit, lime peeled, cut up and added to the pitcher.


Hurricane Kombucha

Wait until this Category 5 hits!

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounce lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 ounces orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice (fresh)
  • 4 ounces Citrus Kombucha
  • Simple syrup if needed
  • Garnish with orange and pineapple wedge


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