New Year’s Eve mocktail, anyone?
All right, I’m just getting straight to the point here. Every year in the days following Christmas, I’m totally over it with alcohol. I’m not even much of a drinker but with all of the parties and family gatherings, weekend wine turns into a daily wine or cocktails x2 or x3. It’s also hard to stay hydrated with all of the running around and this is a combination for feeling kind of… yucky.
Enter, this fun twist on a margarita that combines the flavors of blackberry, lime, and jalapeno with kombucha instead of booze. The mocktail that could easily be transformed into a cocktail with the addition of your favorite spirit but is plenty interesting without it.
Spicy kombucha margaritas!
You might remember a previous post on alcohol + mocktail ideas where I talked about new some research and my personal thoughts on how drinking fits into a healthful diet. This topic is especially relevant at the beginning of a new year because #dryjanuary is a thing. If you’re someone who wants to cut back on alcohol, I would highly suggest keeping fun alternatives like this on hand.
What’s the deal with kombucha?
So it’s no secret that I like am totally obsessed with kombucha. I tasted it for the first time YEARS ago but I’ve developed a new appreciation for it lately and I’m not quite sure why. Obviously there’s the health benefits. Kombucha contains live and active cultures (similar to yogurt) and can help strengthen your gut microbiome. Speaking of which… Denver Locals, have you signed up for my upcoming event at Happy Leaf Kombucha yet?
Then of course there’s the refreshing bubbles. The subtle sweetness. The interesting flavor combinations. I could go on and on. It might seem silly, but I think my favorite quality is the fact that it just feels special to drink. Most of the local breweries here have kombucha on tap for a non-alcoholic option that looks almost identical when poured in a beer glass. Some even taste like it too! It’s more exciting than tap water without all of the sugar that comes with sodas and juices.
Related // How to Make Kombucha at Home
I love a good “kombucha happy hour” at the end of a workday when I’m not in the mood for alcohol but want to sip on something while I cook dinner too. You certainly don’t need to mix it with anything but for a special occasion, why not spruce it up a bit? I decided I wanted to do a riff on a margarita where the tequila is optional.
It doesn’t really get any easier, but the result is a beautiful deep purple mocktail with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. Here’s how you make it:
Step 1: Build your “base”
Muddle the juice of a lime with jalapeños and whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. I’ve been crazy about blackberries lately because they are perfectly sweet and juicy, plus the color is insane so I highly recommend. You could also use a different berry, blood oranges, or even pomegranate arils if you’re feeling really ambitious. Also, if adding alcohol to this drink, now is the time!
Step 2: Add the booch
Next add the kombucha. Since I was going for a margarita-like flavor, I used this Health-Ade Jalapeno Kiwi Cucumber flavor and it turned out really great. I like this brand because the flavors are strong and on the spectrum of sweetness it’s on the lower end of some others I’ve tried.
That being said, there are hundreds of kombucha flavors to choose from these days, so make it your own with whatever catches your eye. Other personal favorites include: ginger-lemon, pink lady apple, and pomegranate.
Step 3: Finishing touches
Fill the remainder of your glass with ice then garnish with extra jalapeno and fruit. I also added a salt rim to one version (see photo below, on the right) and this was fun and brought out the flavors a little bit more, but is purely optional. Just run your lime around the rim of the glass to add some moisture, then turn it upside down on a plate of salt.
Whether or not you plan to partake in a cocktail or two on New Year’s Eve, what better way to start the evening than with a beautiful and healthyish drink like this one? Change it up with the season and per your personal preference. Cheers and see you in 2019 friends ✨
Spicy Kombucha Margaritas
Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 1 serving | Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 5 minutes
60 cals, 8 g CHO
5 fresh blackberries
5 thin slices jalapeno
8 oz kombucha
Juice the lime into a stemless wine glass or small mason jar.
Add blackberries and three slices of jalapeno; muddle.
Top with the kombucha, stir gently to combine.
Fill remainder of the glass with ice.
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