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Discover the secrets of Kombucha Cocktails

Kombucha Cocktails

Indulge in the delicious combination of Kombucha and gin or rum

WHO knew you could mix Kombucha with alcohol to create delicious cocktails?

I didn’t, but at the 2023 Taste Bundaberg Festival, I discovered an exciting collaboration between The Deli, Bundaberg Ferments, Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing, and Bundaberg Rum.

Together, they introduced festival-goers to Kombucha cocktails, which really caught my attention, so naturally, I had to chat with Mark Rabbitt from Bundaberg Ferments to find out more.

Here’s the scoop he gave me.

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Refresh yourself with Kombucha mixers

Kombucha - man showing bottles

Mark Rabbitt from Bundaberg Ferments chats about Kombucha Cocktails.

It’s no surprise that drinking alcohol has been a part of social gatherings for eons, but what do you do if you’re like Mark and don’t imbibe?

Well, he has the perfect solution for you! Enter Kombucha, a fermented tea, which has been gaining popularity for its health-promoting benefits.

When combined with spirits, Kombucha creates a refreshing and complex drink that will tantalize your taste buds.

Mark said if you’re going to drink alcohol, why not do it with Kombucha?

“It’s a great way to prevent hangovers because of the electrolytes it contains. It’s also full of B vitamins. For those who partake in alcohol, I’m all for them trying it with Kombucha!”

 

Kombucha

Fermented raw Kombucha tea with different flavourings. Photo: Shutterstock.

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Kombucha: The perfect addition to your healthy lifestyle

Mark stopped drinking alcohol close to 10 years ago, soon after he and his wife Jess became the proud parents of twins, a boy and a girl.

“When it came time to introduce solids, Jess felt there were more options than bread crusts and cow’s milk for the kids. So she discovered how we used to eat traditionally, and that set us on the path of fuelling our bodies using traditional methods, including ferments.

“Jess spearheaded the change to a healthier lifestyle. Her focus dramatically changed to caring for them; she instinctively wanted to find better things and products for them.

“I didn’t really want to follow her down this path of health, but there was no stopping her. She was a new mum, so she went full-on and I jumped on the bandwagon.

“She was buying all the groceries, but that got me doing research about health and wellness and I ended up going into nutritional ketosis.

“That path led me to Kombucha. I still wanted to drink something that wasn’t just water. Kombucha I could drink and stay in nutritional ketosis.

“Skip forward 10 years… a recent study out of the University of Sydney showed Kombucha helps lower blood sugars; interestingly, the study was using the same culture that we’re using today.”

Sip low-sugar Kombucha and enjoy the perfect balance of sweet and tart

“Kombucha is fermented tea, so we get green tea and oolong tea that’s all certified organic because we are doing this for the health benefits, as well as making a delicious drink,” Mark said.

“First, we make a brew of tea and put a lot of sugar into it. I’m talking a lot; you taste it and it’s like lolly water; it’s really sweet.

“Then we introduce our culture – a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) – which contains sugar-metabolising microbes that eat away the sugars.

A man places a SCOBY in a glass jar of sweetened black tea to start the fermentation process to make Kombucha. Photo: Shutterstock.

“The microbes consume most of it, but if they consume it all, they’ve got nothing else to consume and they die, so we leave some sugar in.

“We’re sitting around in .6 grams per 100 ml, which is relatively low for what’s out there for Kombucha.

“You look at soft drinks; some can have 10 teaspoons of sugar or more, so comparing our Kombucha with that, we’re extremely low. Even compared to other Kombucha, were still on the low side of things.

“I’d prefer no sugar, but we need to leave a little in there for the microbes to stay alive because we want them to still keep doing what they do.

“The study that I previously mentioned showed even though there’s still a little sugar in Kombucha, it is helping lower blood sugars.”

Mark said throughout their brewing process, he tastes his batches all the time to pinpoint when it switches from being sweet to acidic.

“If it’s too acidic, that’s why some people say Kombucha tastes like vinegar. If we brewed Kombucha all the way and got rid of all the sugar, we would end up with vinegar. But that’s where all the health benefits are involved, so we want that, but it also needs to be just sweet enough to be palatable for people to enjoy. It’s a fine art of where we stop the fermentation process.”

Unlock a holistic approach to health & wellness with Kombucha

“There’s been a lot of research showing that many things from mental clarity to a strong immune system start with the gut, and Kombucha can help with that,” Mark said.

“The health aspects of Kombucha are fascinating topics that I highly recommend looking into.

“While I can share my opinion, there’s so much information out there that I encourage everyone to explore it for themselves and listen to the advice of experts.

“It’s important to consider your individual circumstances and health when deciding if it’s right for you. Kombucha is not a magical cure-all, but a holistic approach to overall health.

“If you have health concerns, it’s crucial to take those into account and seek the advice of your health care professional.”

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Enjoy the unique combos of Australian Kombucha

Four of Bundaberg Ferments’ flavours.

Bundaberg Ferments currently offers five delicious Kombucha flavours.

“We’ve got Kakadu Plum, which is the brand new one. That’s an amazing one. It’s probably my new favourite,” Mark said.

“Kakadu Plums are largely overlooked, I think. It’s a native Australian plum, and we like to include as many native ingredients as we can.”

Did you know that the Kakadu Plum is rumoured to have the highest amount of Vitamin C in any food worldwide? It packs a whopping 7000 mg/100g DW, which is a staggering 100 times more than what you’d find in oranges. That’s some seriously powerful Vitamin C!

“Then we’ve got Bush Fruits, which is used in strawberry gum leaf, another native plant. That has sugar gum leaf, marshmallow roots, hibiscus, banana, and strawberry – it’s a beautiful medley. This was always my favourite and I still love it, but the new Kakadu Plum, it’s kind of got me a bit.

“We also have Pineapple and Ginger, which is our biggest seller; it’s a classic combo for Kombucha especially with ginger. The first Kombucha I had was a lemon and ginger, but I wanted to do something different from the standard lemon and ginger, so we chose pineapple instead of lemon.

“We’ve also got Myrtle Mint, using lemon myrtle, another Australian native plant. I recently discovered it and again, it’s just not used enough, I think. That Kombucha also has peppermint and a bit of spirulina.

“And, we also have Cascara.  The flavour comes across like a sparkling apple, but it’s got no apple in it. It’s the fruit of the coffee tree. So, that little cherry you get on coffee trees, inside that is the bean. We don’t use that. We’re using the flesh of the fruit, so forget about it tasting like coffee. Think of it as an apple cider soft drink; to me, it’s very similar to that.”

Find delicious Kombucha at Bundaberg and Hervey Bay

Kombucha

River Cruz Café & Restaurant in Bundaberg stocks Kombucha.

Looking for some delicious Kombucha? You don’t have to search far and wide if you live in, or are visiting, the Bundaberg or Hervey Bay regions. Bundaberg Ferments’ Kombucha is available across both.

“We have a special focus on refills, so when you find us at the markets, we supply our Kombucha in 750 ml glass bottles that we encourage you to take them home, enjoy every sip, clean them out, and bring them back for a refill.

“You can find us at Shalom Market in Bundaberg, the Urangan Park market at Hervey Bay every Saturday, and the Agnes Water market every second Sunday and every Sunday during school holidays.

“Besides the markets, we collaborate with various shops that offer refills. The Barn Whole Foods on Takalvin Street in Bundaberg and the Windmill Cafe in Bargara are two options. If you are in Moore Park Beach, you can visit our local IGA Supermarket and enjoy the refill station.

“In Hervey Bay, Go Natural Foods is another great spot to get your Kombucha drinks.

“However, not all outlets have refill stations. It’s understandable, as setting up the equipment can be a big expense. That’s why some businesses, like River Cruz Café & Restaurant, opt for offering our Kombucha in convenient 330ml bottles.

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Chilled Kombucha – tastier than ever!

Kombucha

Chilled is best, says Mark.

“Kombucha is a drink that can benefit everyone, but timing is key,” Mark said.

“If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend drinking it super cold, just like you would with beer. The colder, the better! As you get used to the taste, the temperature becomes less important, but I still enjoy my Kombucha ice-cold.

“Some people who are more focused on improving their gut health may prefer room temperature, but that’s more for practical reasons than taste.

“Overall, a nice, cold Kombucha is a delicious healthy treat for most people.”

Try the latest cocktail flavour fad – Kombucha + Gin or Rum

You may have heard about the latest trend in the world of cocktails – Kombucha mixed with gin or rum. And, for those who enjoy alcoholic drinks, it’s a match made in beverage heaven.

When you mix Kombucha with gin or rum, the results can be amazing. The botanicals in gin or the caramel notes in rum complement the natural tartness of Kombucha perfectly, resulting in a smoother, more complex cocktail.

But that’s not all – besides being a tasty treat, this combination also has many health benefits.

Kombucha is known for improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and reducing inflammation. Gin and rum are both made with herbs and spices that have been used as natural remedies for centuries. For example, gin is typically made with juniper berries, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And rum is often made with spices such as cinnamon, which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.

Kombucha-gin and Kombucha-rum cocktails are delicious ways to unwind after a long day and a great way to give your body a little extra love. With so many flavors of Kombucha and types of gin and rum available, the possibilities for experimentation are endless.

Support local at The Deli Bundaberg

 

Sharon Schumacher serves a cocktail made with Pineapple & Ginger Kombucha at The Deli.

The Deli Bundaberg, nestled in the heart of Bundaberg, Queensland, collaborated with Bundaberg Ferments,  Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing, and Bundaberg Rum to create some delightful Kombucha cocktails at this year’s Taste Bundaberg Festival.

I recently had the chance to chat with Hayley Anderson and Ashley Matthews, the brilliant minds behind this awesome idea.

Hayley said they wanted to do something different and showcase the unique flavors of Kalki Moon Gin and Bundaberg Rum, paired with the delicious taste of Bundaberg Ferments’ Kombucha.

So, The Deli team came up with unique cocktail recipes, using only fresh, local fruit and beverages. The cocktails were a true representation of Bundaberg’s finest products.

But The Deli Bundaberg isn’t just about the food and drinks.

Hayley and Ashley are committed to supporting their local community. They employ a team of staff, many of whom have disabilities. The Deli provides them with opportunities not only to earn a wage, but to gain experience in the food and drinks retail industry.

The Deli Bundaberg also offers regular monthly events, and their Facebook and Instagram pages keep customers informed of upcoming events. The team recently opened the Airport Café, which employs more staff and offers a delicious selection of food and drinks. The Deli also caters for Christmas parties and other events, both in-store and at other locations.

The business is a true asset to the area. Their gourmet toasties are to die for, and their commitment to the community is inspiring. If you’re ever in the Bundaberg area, be sure to stop by The Deli and try one of their Kombucha cocktails along with something scrumptious from their menu.

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Discover the new twist on cocktails

Kombucha

Jocelyn chills out with a glass of Kombucha! Photo by Brian Pickering.

Combining Kombucha with gin and rum is a journey of unique taste and health opportunities for everyone.

Mark said they were pleased to have worked with The Deli, Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing, and Bundaberg Rum to introduce people to Kombucha cocktails.

If you love a twist to your cocktails, this collaboration offers the perfect combination. The flavors and ingredients from each provider create a delightful pairing not found anywhere else.

Whether you’re already a fan of Kombucha cocktails or are new to this genre of drinks, these products offer something truly innovative.

To experience it for yourself, head to Bundaberg, Queensland, and try The Deli’s original recipes. You won’t be disappointed!

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Jocelyn travelled to Bundaberg at her own cost and did not receive sponsorships from Bundaberg Ferments, The Deli, Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing, Bundaberg Rum, or Taste Bundaberg for the publishing of this article.

Published 12 September 2023.

Photos by Jocelyn Watts & Shutterstock.

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