1. Sunny Collins, the Wellington
Beverage director Chris Keith took inspiration from the French 75 cocktail—a classic gin-champagne sparkler—for this drink, which combines Glendalough wild botanical gin with strawberry-sage kombucha from Vermont-based Aqua ViTea. It’s “super dry with nice bubbles, almost like a brut champagne,” Keith says of the healthful addition. For a finishing touch, he adds muddled strawberry and yellow chartreuse to the libation at the bar of this new Belmont Center spot, an American restaurant (with global flourish) from the brothers behind nearby Il Casale cucina.
75 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-932-1750, thewellingtonbelmont.com.
2. Pombucha Twist, ArtBar
Crunchy Cantabrigians demanded “healthier cocktail options” at this Charles River-side restaurant inside the Royal Sonesta hotel, says food and beverage manager Elena Alves. That’s translated to using kombucha in place of heavy sugar-based syrups to enhance, rather than overpower, fine spirits (plus: probiotics). For her Pombucha Twist, Alves shakes five-year-aged Real McCoy rum with fresh pomegranate and pomegranate kombucha by Health-Ade, a brand that lacks the vinegary quality often associated with the elixir.
40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge, 617-806-4122, artbarcambridge.com.
3. Mood Booster, the Merchant
“Health and alcohol are not mutually exclusive,” says Bryan Ames, bar director at the Merchant, an American brasserie in Downtown Crossing that draws a strong post-work crowd. His enlivening cocktail showcases Bliss Berry kombucha, a fruity “gateway” style by worker-owned Katalyst Kombucha, based in Greenfield. It’s shaken with Ryan & Wood vodka, another local small-batch maker from seaside Gloucester, spruced up with rhubarb bitters, and finished with fresh blueberries.
60 Franklin St., Boston, 617-482-6060, themerchantboston.com.
4. Ocha Martini, Whaling in Oklahoma
Beverage director Colin Mason is starting to reap the benefits of an in-house fermentation program at this South End newcomer, the highly anticipated return from Momofuku alum Tim Maslow. Mason’s gin martini uses aromatic kombucha made from green tea (“ocha” in Japanese) as a stand-in for vermouth. Fermented with Honeycrisp apples and shiso, its umami qualities perfectly complement the kitchen’s American-izakaya-inspired cuisine.
647 Tremont St., Boston, 617-266-4600, whalinginoklahoma.com.
5. SCOBY at Sea, Brassica Kitchen + Café
At this hip day-to-night operation in J.P., house-made kombucha from café GM Sarah Trainer has found its way to the bar. Five-year-old SCOBY, the active bacteria-yeast culture that powers the fermentation process, yields a beet-ginger kombucha that plays well with a homemade citrus-and-seaweed cordial and rum infused with savory herbs such as rosemary. A bit of smoked-sea-salt simple syrup rounds out this spirited drink, as refreshing as a sea breeze.
3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com.
6. Wolf & Mule, City Tap House
One of the top-selling cocktails at the Boston location of this small brewpub brand—which has locations in Philly, Nashville, and elsewhere—is a riff on the Moscow Mule. The vodka is top-shelf Absolut Elyx, soaked with citrus-y hops provided by Seaport neighbor Harpoon Brewery. But instead of ginger beer, this Mule uses ginger kombucha from Urban Farm Fermentory, a Portland, Maine–based maker that works with local and foraged ingredients. A little spice, and it feels nice.
10 Boston Wharf Rd., Boston, 617-904-2748, citytap.com.
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