Not a week goes by without a new superfood promising all manner of health benefits. Don’t worry I’m not about to announce gin as the latest cure-all, although it certainly has a positive effect on me!
Inevitably, these superfoods; kale, matcha, quinoa (Noble Spirits produce a quinoa vodka) eventually make their way to cocktail bar.
I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and have a go at making gin and kombucha cocktails.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha begins life as a sugary tea, before being fermented with the aid of a “SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) which is similar to ‘mother’ used to make vinegar. It’s earthy, tasty and a little vinegary. It is a teensy bit alcoholic and slightly effervescent.
Why use Kombucha?
While I’m sceptical about the health benefits of kombucha (there is no scientific evidence to support the claims) the slight vinegar flavour reminded me a little of shrubs, which have grown in popularity in cocktail making.
What are Shrubs?
Shrubs are vinegar-based syrups flavoured with herbs or fruit and are also known as drinking vinegar. If you are interested in trying Shrubs, head over to Only Bitters, Wellstead Shrubs and Currong Comestibles. Alternatively try making them yourself.
For testing purposes I used just one gin, Fords.
Kombucha Gin & Tonic
I saw this recipe and as a new recruit to the tonic syrup cause, thought it might be a good place to start.
60ml Fords Gin
90-120ml Mojo Organic Original Kombucha
Mix gin and tonic syrup together over ice. Add kombucha. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Verdict: Perfect alternative to a G&T! Very refreshing.
Hibiscus Kombucha and Gin
I used Remedy Kombucha Hibiscus Kiss for this one.
45ml Fords gin
Simple syrup to taste
Pour gin into a glass, add Remedy Kombucha Hibiscus Kiss and add ice.
Verdict: This kombucha is flavoured with fresh hibiscus flower, ginger and vanilla and had a very bold, sharp flavour. My taste-tester felt it was too sour, but I think Kombucha fans would enjoy this one. I added a little simple syrup to taste but would like to try an alternative fruit flavour for comparison.
There is nothing a little St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur can’t do to add a lift to a cocktail. It’s one of my favourite ingredients, but be aware, a little goes a long way. This cocktail is a kombucha riff on the Can-Can Martini. I was interested to see if it would work.
30ml Fords gin
60ml Kombucha Organic Original
A splash of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.