Over the last decade, the kombucha market has exploded, with more and more of us switching our usual teas and fizzy pops for something that offers the benefits of the former with the drinking experience of the latter. Given its ever-increasing popularity, it was only a matter of time before some bright spark decided to introduce alcohol into the equation. If you're looking for a fresh and fruity drinking experience with a boozy bite, these are the 10 best hard kombuchas to test out.
10. Kombrewcha, $4 each
Coming in at 3.2% alcohol, Kombrewcha is perfect for picnics, brunches, and beach drinking. Think of it as a gut-friendly alternative to a Mimosa, with just enough of a kick to get your motor revving, but not enough to turn you into a daytime-drinking menace. Available in packs of 4 for the very reasonable price of just $10.99 (or $4 for a single unit if you prefer to take it one can at a time), it's complex and nuanced enough to please experienced kombucha drinkers, but sweet and simple enough not to alienate newbies. Flavors include Mango Pineapple, Lemon Ginger, Berry Hibiscus, and Blood Orange.
9. Kyla, $5 each
If most kombuchas are too sweet for your liking, you might want to give Kyla Hard Kombucha a whirl. With just two grams of sugar and carbs per serving, they're one of the lowest sugar options on the market, with a tart, nuanced flavor and a dry finish that's nothing short of delightful. Most of their offerings come in at just 4.5 percent ABV, but if you're looking for a harder option, Coconut Crush's 6.5 percent ABV should fit the bill. Other flavors worth a try include Sunset Trio (passion fruit, orange, and guava), Peach Tepache (cinnamon, pineapple, and cayenne), and Lychee Lemonade (lemon and rosewater).
8. Boochcraft, $7 each
Boochcraft specializes in upmarket, organic thirst-quenchers crafted from whole, cold-pressed fruits and botanicals. All of their waste (fruits scraps, tea, retired scobys, etc) gets composted and they use techniques designed to combat water waste. So, very worthy then, but also delicious, with a fabulous range of core flavors like Apple Jasmine, Grapefruit Hibiscus, Strawberry Lemonade and Blood Orange Pomegranate, a good selection of small-batch Heirloom flavors like Heirloom Kiwi and Heirloom Peach, and enough seasonal offerings like Watermelon Chili to keep your interest piqued. The ABV of the seasonal and heirloom options varies according to flavor, but you can expect a boozy 7 percent from each out-of-the-box core offering.
7. Jiant, $4.99 each
According to liquor.com, Jiant makes their beginner-friendly hard kombucha by fermenting Dragon Well green tea with water and sustainably harvested Himalayan acacia honey to make the base, before blending with fruit juice, botanicals, and herbs. The gentle sweetness of the honey is a delight, complementing the flavors of the fruits perfectly. Choose from four core flavors - Original (passion fruit and elderflower), Gingerly (ginger and lemongrass), Hicamaya (grapefruit and hibiscus) and Guavamente (guava and mint) - and two seasonal flavors - Cool Beans (coffee and blueberry) and Taco Tuesday (pineapple and jalapeño).
6. Wild Tonic, $5.79 each
As wellandgood.com says, if you're all about packaging, you won't want to miss Wild Tonic, whose cute little bottles are probably the prettiest of all the hard kombuchas. The contents are just as charming, coming in a range of tasty flavors that include Strawberry Blood Orange, Mango Ginger, Blueberry Basil, and Raspberry Goji Rose. Most cans come in at 5.6 percent ABV, but if you want something with a little more kick, try the 7.6 percent ABV reserve line.
5. Dr. Hops, $8.99 each
If you're looking for something with a real boozy bite, Dr. Hops could be the hard kombucha for you. With each can delivering an alcohol content of between 9% to 11%, it's one of the booziest kombuchas on the market. There's a good choice of flavors to pick between, with the Kombucha Rosé promising a heavenly taste experience for wine buffs and the hoppy IPA flavor offering an equally sensational experience for beer drinkers.
4. JuneShine, $5.99 each
Named as one of the best hard kombuchas on the market by delish.com, JuneShine is a fresh and fizzy, crisp and tangy thirst quencher that combines the probiotic health benefits of kombucha with a 6 percent alcohol kick. Key flavors to try include Midnight Painkiller (coconut, pineapple, orange, and nutmeg with just a dash of activated charcoal) and Blood Orange Mint, which is the closest thing to sunshine in a glass you can get. Expect to pay $5.99 for a single 16oz can or $15.48 for a pack of 6.
3. Flying Embers, $6 each
As Forbes points out, Flying Embers pack a ton of good-for-you ingredients into their bright and bubbly hard kombucha. All of their flavors are crammed with live probiotics, are vegan friendly, certified USDA Organic, and contain no sugar or carbs. To add to their worthy credentials, the company donates 1% of its revenue to charitable causes. Each flavor has its merits, but for something with a fiery kick, try the Ginger Berry Boost, an antioxidant-rich combo of acerola cherry, elderberry, ginger, turmeric, ginseng, and Meyer lemon.
2. Luna Bay, $4 each
Invest in a can of Luna Bay kombucha, and you'll be doing the world as much of a favor as your gut. Since its inception, this female-powered brand has set itself apart from the pack by its involvement in 1 Percent for the Planet, a global initiative that encourages companies to donate at least one percent of their revenue to environmental causes. Key flavors to take for a spin include Prickly Pear Punch, Ginger Lemon, and Palo Santo Blueberry.
1. Unity Vibration, $9.04 each
Unity Vibration has been in the kombucha game since 2011. In the decade since, they've perfected the art of the perfect thirst quencher. There's a lot of things they don't do (dilute, pasteurize, distill, adulterate, add GMO bacteria or bottle before peak fermentation is reached) and a lot of things they do do (pack their bottles with organic, fair-trade ingredients, natural probiotics, plant adaptogens, acetic acid, gluconic acid, malic acid and lactic acid), with the end result that each sip is a tangy, herbaceous delight. The range of flavors is immense - as is the alcohol content, which on some options comes in as high as 8.2 percent.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith