By Whole and Wellthy
(Sally Powis Campbell and Mia Shettler)
It's that time of year. A time for celebrations & health kicks. Let's balance those out, shall we?
At Whole + Wellthy, we like to put some (or a lot) of thought into what we eat & drink. Now even though you can often follow along in our quest to create healthy & delicious food & beverages (thank you instagram stories!), we truly believe life is all about balance!
If you've been following our Whole + Wellthy adventures as of late, you'll have seen our Market Collective launch, where we shared with the world our serious love for mason jars. As foodie fate would have it, we were table neighbours with TrueBuch (buch being another healthy obsession of ours). This summer we got creative making mocktails & cocktails with kombucha, but with the holiday buzz, we got to thinking... how do we combine our fave gut feeding drink with holiday seasonal flavours to warm the heart & soul? So we've whipped up some fun cocktails featuring local ingredients, highlighting all the flavours of kombucha that TrueBuch has to offer, along with a few of our other local friends like Light Cellar, Eau Claire Distillery, and Drizzle Honey!
We're serving our kombucha cocktails in mason jars, for more than one reason! First off, they're so trendy! No longer are they destined for canning. Second, they're cheap -- at less than a dollar a piece at places like Canadian Tire and Superstore. Third, they reduce toxic load, being made of glass rather than those cheap (and, eh hem, tacky) red plastic cups! Fourth, you can personalize the jars, adding your friends' names on them with a paint pen that you can pick up from a crafting store like Michaels for $5.
Kombucha is taking the world by storm! But what exactly is it? Kombucha is a lightly effervescent fermented beverage made of tea and sugar that is fermented with a scoby, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast responsible for initiating the fermentation process when combined with sugar. We at Whole + Wellthy don't need an excuse to pop a bottle, morning noon or night (kombucha that is!), but when it comes to New Year's celebrations, here's a few reasons why you should consider boochin' up your beverage:
ENERGY: most kombucha is made with black tea which contains small amounts of iron, and b-vitamins that can energize the body. It may give that extra kick you need to make it to the countdown...
GUT HEALTH: with the myriad of meals and potlucks and cocktail parties you've found yourself at over the holiday season, or perhaps some antibiotics you found yourself on with the post-holiday crash, your gut can use a boost. Kombucha is a fermented beverage containing probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria needed for digestion, gut health, and proper nutrient absorption.
DETOXIFICATION: alcohol takes a toll on your liver, and over the holidays we know how hard it can be to turn down a glass or two or wine (or the harder stuff), especially when everyone is indulging. So how could you ease your exposure to a toxin like alcohol? Kombucha's antioxidant activity may help protect against disease from oxidative stress (stress over the holidays ... bring on the antioxidants).
RECOVERY: The day after your NYE celebrations are a time to build that immunity! Because kombucha contains live probiotic cultures, it helps the gut repopulate with good bacteria and starve harmful pathogens that cause digestive upset, inflammation and gut problems.
Bring on the cocktails!
Chai One On
Cardamom... cinnamon... ginger.... we're warmed just thinking of these seasonal spices that make up the internationally loved chai tea. While it's served cold, this cocktail is so warming & well balanced. Take the time to close your eyes, lift the mason jar up to your nose, and tap into your sense of smell before even imbibing in this kombu cocktail. Then tap into your taste, rolling it around your tongue, feeling the texture of effervescence as you taste the flavours that perfectly marry on the palate.
2 oz Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear Equineox Vodka
1/2 bottle TrueBuch Vanilla Chai Kombucha
Garnish with light cellar true cinnamon powder and vanilla bean powder
In a chilled tumbler, add prickly pear vodka and vanilla chai kombucha (add more or less than suggested volume depending on strength preference).
Want it on ice, add a couple ice cubes and garnish before serving.
The Hippie Mama Mule
Up in our neck of the woods, this drink has made an appearance at more than a few dinner parties & block parties! It's a serious conversation piece, from the questions about what bourbon is all about, to the use of buch instead of ginger beer (gutsy move, friends, but so worth it for the taste buds & belly!), to the use of essential oils (did you know citrus oils have been found to have mood boosting properties?). For this drink you can serve in a chilled copper mug for tradition purposes. You'll also always find a couple of those in our freezers.
2 oz Maker's Mark Bourbon
1/2 355 ml bottle TrueBuch Ginger Kombucha
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 pkg stevia
1 drop DoTERRA lime essential oil
Juice a lime.
Add stevia, bourbon, and essential oil, mix with a spoon.
Pour kombucha over ice.
Garnish with a lime
Sure you can start the NYE night off with sparkling wine. Orrrrr let's get some sparkling sangria on the go. Because sangria isn't just for sipping under the summer sun friends! Sangria is a great way to use up all those random half-drank bottles of wine from the Christmas holiday festivities. As a general rule, when making red sangria, you want to look for something that’s fruity with low tannins. But truly, use your leftovers if you have some! Try this recipe out, & use any fruit and fresh or frozen berries you like.
1 bottle of wine
1/4 cup Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin
2 355ml bottles of TrueBuch Blueberry Rooibos Kombucha
1/4 cup Drizzle Honey (raw, local honey)
Combine all ingredients in a large jug or pitcher. Optional to store in fridge depending on temperature preference.
Allow to sit for at least 4 hours before serving.
Most commercial margaritas use a ton of refined sugar; this kombucha margarita is slightly sweetened from the kombucha and a pinch of stevia or honey, if desired. We like to add a surprises to our food to get the taste buds and curiosity firing, so we've added some cayenne to the rim.
1/2 355 mL bottle of TrueBuch Mojito Mint Kombucha
2 oz tequila
2 oz fresh lime juice (about 1-2 limes)
Light Cellar Sea Salt (or any sea salt)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
On a small plate, blend sea salt with 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper to coat the rim of the mason jar. Run a lime wedge along the rim of the glass and dip in the salt mixture.
Shake all the ingredients except the kombucha with ice in a cocktail shaker until the exterior frosts.
Add the komchua and give a quick stir.
Strain into a glass over rocks, or into a cocktail glass without ice. Garnish with a slice of lime, if desired.
Friends, we have you covered for New Year's Day. With an ingredient & directions list that are each 1 item long. You got this.
1 bottle of TrueBuch The Cure Kombucha (available exclusively at the beloved Kensington-based elixir bar, Wild&Raw)
You gotta drink this one neat. Your head & tum will thank you (& TrueBuch).
XO Happy New Year YYC (& Beyond)!
Love your friends @wholistichealthyyc + @the_wellth