Kombucha is a delicious fermented tea that has recently transitioned from being a health food specialty to a mainstream beverage. With countless purported health benefits and a range of flavors, this trend seems to be here to stay.
The history of kombucha dates long before this latest craze. Many legends surround the invention of kombucha. Some say it was created in 220 BC for the Emperor of China. Others say a Korean doctor made the first brew in 414 AD. It may have been popularized the Genghis Khan, as his armies were known to travel with bottles full of the brew. Wherever it’s true origins, kombucha has been passed from country to country over the years, accumulating health miracle stories along the way. People have reported kombucha bringing about everything from an increased sense of well-being to completely healing diseases.
So what exactly is this ancient healing beverage? The answer is pretty simple: tea, sugar, and a live kombucha culture. Flavorings may vary, but these three ingredients are vital. The kombucha culture is also known as a SCOBY, an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Large jars are filled with brewed black or green tea and the SCOBY. The SCOBY is a mushroom-like disk that slowly ferments the tea. A large amount of sugar is mixed into the tea, but this sucrose is consumed by the SCOBY. As the yeast digests the sugars, it emits a naturally occurring carbon dioxide. After a one to three week fermentation period, the tea is strained from the SCOBY and ready for drinking. The final outcome has a tiny fraction of the amount of sugar originally added. The longer the fermentation process, the more sugar will convert to carbon dioxide. The resulting beverage is a naturally effervescent and slightly sour drink.
For the true kombucha lovers, brewing at home simply makes sense. A SCOBY is fairly easy to come by online and there are countless forums with brewing advice. The community of kombucha brewers is rapidly growing. Most home and commercial brewers add flavor after the brewing process is complete. Fruit juices, herbs, or spices make an unlimited variety of flavor possibilities. We tried out a few different flavorings in TOSSWARE 4oz taster. We tasted a lime juice flavored kombucha, a charcoal enhanced brew, a red berry “booch,” and our personal favorite- a ginger kombucha. The sweetness of ginger cuts the sour aftertaste of kombucha without overpowering the tea.
Kombucha offers a similar satisfying fizz, due to the naturally occurring carbonation during the fermentation process; this makes it a great alternative to sugary sodas. If it can be substituted for soda, then you may be thinking what we’re thinking: mixers! Kombucha is indeed one of the best cocktail mixers. While TOSSWARE works for non-alcoholic drinks, we couldn’t help but give you one of our favorite Kombucha cocktails. This drink takes the best of a mojito and a cosmopolitan and adds a healthy twist. No simple syrup or agave necessary in this cocktail. The kombucha brings enough sweetness and fizz to perfectly complement the watermelon.
TOSSWARE's Watermelon Mint Kombucha Cocktail
Makes two in TOSSWARE's 12oz Tumbler Jr.
Ingredients3 Mint sprigs
7-8 large chunks of watermelon
3 ounces lime juice
3 ounces Vodka
6 ounces Kombucha (any fruit flavor or plain)
Shaker filled with ice
1. Start by muddling watermelon chunks at the bottom of a large shaker.
2. Add fresh squeezed lime juice and vodka.
3. Slap the mint springs against your palm and drop them into the shaker. Mint should never be muddled as this causes it to turn bitter. Slapping mint releases the essential oils without crushing the leaves.
4. Add ice to shaker and give it a 30-second mojito shake.
5. Strain into two 12 oz Tumbler Jr. plastic glasses.
6. Top off the drink with 3 ounces of kombucha in each cup. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and enjoy!
While this cocktail is pretty delicious, TOSSWARE's not just for alcohol. How about sipping a freshly brewed kombucha tea out of TOSSWARE's plastic tumblers? Or try hosting a tasting party with your homemade brews using TOSSWARE's 4oz tasters. Whatever celebration you're planning, TOSSWARE's got you covered.