We ran the numbers—kombucha is ready for its hot girl summer.
By: Laura Robinson
The snow is melting and the sun is shining. At long last, park season is upon us. The perfect addition to any picnic basket? Hard kombucha. A fermented drink consisting of sugar, yeast and black tea, it often gets a rap as the hippie’s elixir. Sure, it’s a yogi staple loved for its health benefits, but brewers are jumping in on the action and mixing the carbonated thirst quencher with everything from cider, beer and vodka to create a more mischievous version. The NEXT Libation Test Kitchens have put a selection of spiked kombuchas under rigorous QA assessments.
Bursting with perfectly ripened pineapple and pops of citrus from the gin, this groovy can is a one-way ticket to the tropics. The hops and botanicals give it a slightly spicy profile making for a one-of-a-kind taste. Cue: Play That Funky Music.
Your childhood soda fountain mix is all grown up with this beer and booch collab. The kombucha mellows out the hops of the IPA while the sweetness of the beer honeys the funk of the kombucha. It makes for light sipping perfect for a summer’s day—a beautiful marriage indeed.
The cider takes the mainstage in this wobbly pop, making it the perfect entry beverage for kombucha virgins. With the delicate aroma of Ontario Honeycrisp apples, it’s a bright and fruity mix best enjoyed under the sun.
The ginger and lime notes are a nod to the ever-popular Moscow Mule, but the apple in the cider and the tartness of the kombucha make it an original take. Also comes in ruby-hued blueberry hibiscus and a soon-to-be-launched mango passionfruit.
A highly enjoyable iced tea infused with vodka, kombucha and lingering notes of lavender, it’s the lightest beveragino on the list. If Twisted Tea went on a cleanse and took a yoga class, you’d get this satisfying sip.
The ginger turmeric is refreshingly lemony in this sunny brew that’s one-part light beer, one-part zesty booch. It’s not your mother’s radler—it’s your fun aunt’s, who backpacks through Southeast Asia and describes herself as “kooky.” Bottoms up!