The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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Page 36 of 100

36  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2018 Mara Marski is The Tasting Panel's Spirits Editor and resident bartender. PHOTO: DUSTIN DOWNING SUMMER MENUS ARE STEEPED IN BOOZY TEA COCKTAILS by Mara Marski W hile not a new trend, kombucha—a slightly bubbly black or green tea fermented with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (often shortened to SCOBY)—has become something of an obsession for those intrigued by its plentiful health benefits. By adding their own alcoholic twist, bartenders have again managed to make a good thing even better by pioneering kombucha-based cocktails. Downtown Los Angeles' Prank Bar, co-founded by longtime barman Dave Whitton, has been an early adapter of the kombucha craze. "The natural carbon dioxide gives kombucha a beautifully light and bubbly taste along with incredible flavor profiles that play well with most spirits," Whitton says. When asked about kombucha's popularity, Whitton attributes it to that aforementioned range of health benefits that often draws people to the drink. "Kombucha aids in digestion, increases mental clarity, functions as a mood booster, and is incredibly rich in probiotics," says Whitton, who is such a proponent of the tea that he actually brews his own at Prank Bar. The restaurant, which is also known for its culinary use of cannabis, has a terpene-infused kombucha menu with flavors that include an energizing mango, ginger, peach, and coconut blend with limonene terpene; the "cross-fizz" made with pineapple, mint, and pinene and limonene terpenes; and the "calmboocha" made with tart cherry, lavender, and linalool. If Whitton is to be believed, this is just the beginning for boozy kombucha drinks. "I think we'll see a lot of inventive thinking with these cocktails, because every- one is always looking to be healthier and kombucha is just starting to find its voice," he says. 'Booch Meets Hooch PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVE & SALT Created by Dave Whitton at Downtown Los Angeles' Prank Bar, the Granny Gripple features housemade pineapple kombucha, reposado tequila, Laird's Applejack, ginger root, and limonene and pinene terpenes. Cooling Down with Kombucha While housemade kombucha works best for Dave Whitton at Prank Bar, there's plenty of alternatives available at retailers for people who aren't ready to SCOBY do-it-themselves. Options range from GT's Living Foods Original Kombucha to Brew Dr. Kombucha's botanical-focused line to Health-Ade's fruit-forward options like Blood Orange-Carrot-Ginger and Pink Lady Apple. If you're looking for your own inventive way to put kombucha behind your bar, here are two tried-and-tested kombucha-based drinks already on menus along the West Coast. PHOTO COURTESY OF PRANK BAR PHOTO COURTESY OF BREW DOCTOR KOMBUCHA The Pelé Palmer Created by Townshend's Distillery Head Distiller Seth O'Malley and Head of Operations Ray Nagler in partnership with the Portland Timbers (Available at the Providence Park Stadium, Portland, OR) ◗ 6 oz. Brew Dr. Mint Lemonade Kombucha ◗ 2 oz. Townshend's Sweet Tea Liqueur ◗ ½ oz. fresh lemon juice ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup Cherry Pomb Created by Noel Baum at Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach, CA ◗ 1 oz. lime juice ◗ ½ oz. cherry syrup ◗ ½ oz. agave ◗ 2 rosemary sprigs ◗ Health-Ade Pomegranate Kombucha Muddle the lime juice, cherry syrup, and agave with one rosemary sprig. Shake then pour in a highball glass over rocks. Fill the rest of the glass with Health-Ade Pomegranate Kombucha and garnish with the additional sprig of rosemary.

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