With the holiday season coming around, you’re likely getting ready for some serious eating and drinking! Of course, it’s normal to enjoy ourselves during the holiday season- but too much of a good thing can sometimes take its toll upon our health. If you're looking for an alternative to an alcoholic drink this year, sparkling kombucha could be a great call. You can buy this stuff in the stores, but it can be more fun to make it yourself. Before we get into all that- what exactly is kombucha?
What is Kombucha?
It’s a kind of fermented tea packed with probiotics and antioxidants that are beneficial for the body. The tea has been associated with a wide array of health benefits. Some versions of kombucha are produced using green tea, so it’s believed that these strains can help to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. During the fermentation process, a substance called acetic acid is produced. The substance can kill off harmful microorganisms.
How to make sparkling kombucha
To make kombucha, you’ll need to start with some tea! Generally speaking, green tea, black tea, white tea or oolong tea are the best types to use. Then you’ll need to buy a ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’,( also known as a ‘SCOBY’). As well as teabags, you’ll need hot boiled water and some sugar. You’ll also need a large container made of glass- an over-sized jar will do. ( A 2-liter jar is ideal if you want to make a large batch of kombucha). From here, you can follow these simple steps:
1 . Make up your tea in the glass jar and then add 200g grams of sugar. (These measurements are based on using a 2litre jar, for a 1litre batch, add 100 grams of sugar).
- Stir in the sugar until it’s completely dissolved into the water.
- Next, you’ll need to leave the tea to brew for around 40-45mins and then you can take the tea bags out.
- Cool the tea to about room temperature and then put the SCOBY inside. Now you’ll need to cover the top of the jar with some cloth. Ensure that you tie a string around the edges to fix the cloth in place. At this stage, you’ll be leaving the kombucha to ferment, so ensure that it’s in a warm place.
- Leave your mixture for 4-5 days, after this point; you can taste it to see if it’s ready. You’re looking for a slightly sharp and fruity taste at this stage.
- Strain the liquid into bottles, seal the bottles and put them in the fridge. After another day or so the kombucha should be sparkling!
Kombucha is a delicious alternative for those trying to cut back on the alcohol during the holiday season. We all have phases where we have a bit too much wine and want something a little healthier! However, if you or anyone you know have been struggling with alcohol, further help may be advisable. Thankfully there is some intensive outpatient rehab program out there to help those in need. Once you’ve got your kombucha sussed, why not try your hand at some fermented food recipes. Happy holidays!