Fermentation is a word you’ve probably heard thrown around, but do you really know what it means? The process of fermentation is when microorganisms like bacteria and yeast break down carbohydrates like sugar into alcohol or organic acids.
Sounds pretty tasty, right? Maybe not with that description but, if you think about it, you’ll realize that fermentation is already happening all around you – even in your own body!
Your digestive tract is full of bacteria (good and bad) that break down food, so you can absorb the energy and the nutrients. Fermentation boosts digestion and fermented foods offer probiotic benefits as well – kombucha is one of them.
What’s the Deal with Kombucha?
One of the most popular fermented drinks out there is kombucha. The name might be a little strange, but the taste of this fizzy fermented beverage is out of this world. Not only is it unlike anything you’ve tried before, but it is positively packed with health benefits.
Kombucha is a concoction made from black tea, sugar, and a healthy dose of bacteria. This ancient recipe dates back more than 2,000 years in China where kombucha was consumed as a natural remedy for everything from arthritis to cancer. Today, this bubbly drink helps fight acne, boosts energy levels, repairs hypertension, reduces headaches, and relieves constipation.
Though the main ingredients in kombucha are tea and sugar, you also need a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast or a SCOBY. The bacteria in the SCOBY consume the sugar and, through the process of fermentation, turn the tea into a slightly sour but delightfully fizzy drink that is both delicious and low in calories. You can enjoy kombucha alone, flavor it, or use it to make other tasty beverages!
How to Make Kombucha Mocktails
A tall glass of chilled kombucha is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a long day, but sometimes you may find yourself craving something a little extra. When you need a drink that will slake your thirst and satisfy your cravings without busting your diet or going overboard with strange ingredients, try some of these tasty kombucha mocktails!
1. Cranberry Ginger Kombucha Fizz
Fill four high ball glasses with ice and set them aside. Peel and slice an inch of fresh ginger then muddle it in the bottom of a pitcher. Pour in ½ cup of cranberry juice and 24 ounces of chilled kombucha then stir gently to combine. Strain the liquid into the four glasses and top each with a few fresh cranberries.
2. Blackberry Kombucha Mock Mojitos
Cut two limes into wedges and squeeze them into a small pitcher. Divide the squeezed lime wedges among four glasses and add two to three frozen blackberries and a few fresh mint leaves to each then muddle with a spoon. Fill the glasses with crushed ice and top them off with kombucha to serve.
3. Sweet Citrus Kombucha Chiller
Cut one ruby red grapefruit, two navel oranges, and one lime into halves then squeeze the fresh juice into a pitcher. Stir in ½ cup of ginger beer and 16 ounces of kombucha. Sweeten with liquid stevia extract (or your preferred sweetener) then serve over ice. Garnish each glass with an orange wedge.
4. Strawberry Kombucha Lemonade
Throw a cup of frozen strawberries into a blender with 2 cups of water and a cup of kombucha. Squeeze two lemons into the blender then blend until smooth. Add ice to thicken, if desired, and sweeten with liquid stevia extract to taste. Pour into sugar-rimmed glasses and serve with a lemon wedge.
5. Strawberry Mango Kombucha Mimosas
Divide 1 cup of frozen chopped mango and 1 cup of frozen sliced strawberries among four to six glasses. Combine 1 ½ cups of orange mango juice with 24 ounces of chilled kombucha in a pitcher and stir well. Pour the orange mango kombucha into the glasses and serve immediately.
6. Blueberry Chia Kombucha Refresher
Fill a couple of glasses with crushed ice and fresh blueberries. Squeeze a lemon wedge into each glass then fill the glass with kombucha (try it with flavored kombucha). Add a sprinkle of chia seeds and garnish each glass with a lemon wedge to serve.
When it comes to making your own kombucha mocktails, don’t be afraid to get creative. Throw together some frozen fruit, fresh herbs, and your favorite juice then top it off with chilled kombucha over ice and you’re sure to have a hit!