Looking for simple ways to reduce your alcohol consumption (without feeling like you’re missing out on tasty beverages and opportunities to socialize)? Today’s guest post from Drew Williams is a must-read! Drew is the co-founder of BOOCHFEST and creator of the International Kombucha Festival, as well as many other kombucha events and competitions.
Did you make a resolution at the beginning of the year? If so, how’s that going?
According to Inc., the number one resolution is to eat healthier, while drinking less alcohol ranks at number nine. Those of us who jumped on the Dry January challenge experienced the benefits of going alcohol-free firsthand. Improved overall health, better sleep, increased energy, a stronger immune system and healthy weight loss are just some of the advantages that can come from cutting back on alcohol.
Most people would tackle improved health and alcohol consumption separately, but a hot new trend is changing that. Enter kombucha, the cocktail/mocktail delight that not only keeps us cool and refreshed — and helps boost gut health at the same time!
The Ultimate Thirst Quencher
When we seek out the summer sunshine, we tend to also look for something we can sip on while we’re sitting outdoors. After all, who doesn’t love a nice, cold drink on a warm summer’s day? Beer, rum and Coke on ice, homemade lemonade or passion fruit kombucha are go-to drinks for all kinds of summer gatherings, but the question is why? What really makes certain drinks so refreshing? Is it the cold, the ice, the bubbles, or the subconscious image of an oasis in a scorching desert?
According to scientific studies, acidity is one of the main reasons we chose beverages such as lemonade to satiate our thirst. Drinks with higher acidity stimulate salivation, providing a sensation of hydration within moments of consuming them. Kombucha is one of these beverages, making it a great alternative to high sugar options.
According to Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma, “Low pH creates a highly acidic environment in which our native bacteria and yeast thrive, but simultaneously inhibits the growth of disruptive foreign & potentially harmful microorganisms.” That’s why Kombucha’s pH is consistently monitored by commercial brewers. An adequate pH will have a positive effect on the SCOBY, thus optimizing the brew’s health for ultimate refreshing properties. (So, you’re not only quenching your thirst, but also improving gut health!)
Temperature is another factor that enhances a drink’s refreshing qualities. When consumed, cold beverages “waken” the body, heightening our overall sense of energy and alertness. Sugar and caffeine, in moderate amounts, are also responsible for boosting levels of energy and reviving the all-too familiar hot, lazy state associated with sweltering summer temperatures.
Soda and beer advertisements almost always include images of people socializing with friends while enjoying their drinks on a warm, sunny day. What they don’t show, however, is the negative effects these types of drinks can have on the body. What advertisers fail to mention is the unhealthy 30+ grams of sugar that may be contained in their products, the dehydrating properties of alcohol, and the excessive caffeine content that produces a “crash” soon after initial consumption.
The great thing about kombucha cocktails is that they are lower in sugar, calories and caffeine than traditional drinks, and can also be made into healthier, alcohol-free mocktails.
Now that we’re ready to take on a new level of refreshment, let’s make some kombucha cocktails and mocktails!
Kombucha Iced Tea Slushy
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ cup frozen peaches
- 2 cups Kombucha
Place lemon juice, honey, frozen peaches andKombucha into a blender. Blend for 30-45 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
To make into a cocktail, add 1 part bourbon to 2 parts slushed iced tea.
- 1 lime, juiced
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp berries
- 2 cups citrus Kombucha
Place lime juice, mint leaves, sugar and berries in the bottom of your glass. With a wooden spoon, mash (muddle) the ingredients for 1 minute. Add ice and top with citrus Kombucha.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy kombucha? Do you like it as is, or do you use it in cocktail/mocktail recipes, too? — Drew