Summer-Inspired Kombucha Cocktails and Mocktails

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Summer is on the horizon! What better way to celebrate than to mix up some refreshing cocktails and mocktails featuring kombucha?! We spoke with some savvy mixologists and foodies who work with Health-Ade Kombucha to learn how they create and craft these flavor inspiring cocktails and mocktails. They’ve shared their recipes with us and we’re delighted to share them with you. Cheers!

Jalapeño Kiwi Cucumber Limeade Slushie

“To me, summer nights scream after dinner walks with my doggie and husband, ice cream in hand just enjoying the warmth of the day settling into the earth. I’ve been slowly changing out my ice creams with kombucha and now I’ve done a full change to my slushie! This new flavor of Health-Ade is heaven in a bottle! It’s light, refreshing and just tastes like summer!”
– Paige Billings 
@frontpaigebakes paige@frontpaige.net

Paige Billings

How long have you worked with Health-Ade + why did you choose to partner with the brand?

I have worked with Health-Ade since January of 2018 as a part of their bubbly gang partnership! I chose to reach out to the brand simply because I was a huge fan! I live the Health-Ade lifestyle and drink their booch daily. I only reach out to brands that I love and Health-Ade not only has an incredible product, but they are an amazing company cultivating a culture that I wanted to be a part of! Not to mention their founder is a woman! Girl Power!

Talk to me about your process. Where do you start- what’s the inspiration?

Developing and creating recipes is something that comes very naturally to me, I am a major foodie in the first place, and that is why I got into commercial food photography! When it comes to the process, I start with the flavor profile that I want to achieve, then create the mood around the drink or recipe. Once I have the setting, I start testing the flavors and the recipe comes together. Typically, I test the recipe 3 times and then I know it is good to go when the same recipe turns out the same due to exact measurements. Then I get to photographing. This is arguably one of my favorite parts of the process. I love creating the visual narrative that goes along with the flavors of my recipe.

When developing these recipes, what do you take into consideration? Do you start with a kombucha flavor or do you visualize an occasion, a time of year to celebrate, like summer, or simply what’s seasonal?

I tend to stick with the kombucha flavor that we chose to spotlight that month, then I work backwards, compiling the flavor profile, the demographic of drinkers, the mood of the event or tone for the images and typically, the mood and flavor follow seasonal trends. This slushie in particular, I pictured sitting on the porch or the beach sipping this drink in 90 + degree weather! There are so many factors above the ones I named here that I take into consideration when creating a recipe, but really you have to allow the product you are featuring to shine and gather ingredients around those key flavors.

What do you recommend for mocktails for those who may not drink? What’s your process there?

That is a great question! When I create a “cocktail” I typically create a mocktail version as well to make sure the flavors balance without the presence of alcohol. Alcohol adds an intensity to a cocktail flavor balance that is lacking when you make a mocktail. When omitting alcohol when a mocktail version isn’t given, I typically add more citrus juice and or zest, in this recipe the lime adds the depth, or a touch of bubbly water!  

Jalapeño Coconut Margarita Mocktail

@ashcuoco
ashcuoco@gmail.com

Ashley Cuoco

How long have you worked with Health-Ade + why did you choose to partner with the brand?

My first project with Health-Ade was an original recipe featuring their Holiday Cheers flavor toward the end of 2017. When they expressed interest in partnering together on a recipe, I was flattered and jumped at the opportunity. I chose to partner with Health-Ade because they are truly the best tasting kombucha out there. At the time, I began exploring “mocktails” and found kombucha to be the ideal substitute for alcohol. Not only is it good for your gut but it’s a way to “raise the bar,” so to speak!

Talk to me about your process. Where do you start- what’s the inspiration?

Typically, the process begins this way: Health-Ade will come to me with a new flavor they’re set to launch. They’ll ask me to come up with a mocktail that highlights the new flavor. For example, when Health-Ade approached me with Jalapeno Kiwi Cucumber I began to think about what flavors would best compliment the kick and spice of jalapeno. A margarita instantly came to mind and that got me thinking about tropical flavors like coconut and lime. Next, I always make time to research how others have approached similar recipes (usually a cocktail, with alcohol). I take cues from photos I like and pinpoint what it is what draws me to it—whether it’s the composition, the colors or the styling. I am a strong believer in sketching out my frames before I begin a shoot. It keeps me on track and helps me ensure I’m getting all the shots I need.

When developing these recipes, what do you take into consideration? Do you start with a kombucha flavor or do you visualize an occasion, a time of year to celebrate, like summer, or simply what’s seasonal?

Both! Often times we do start with a kombucha flavor—like in the case of Jalapeno Kiwi Cucumber. Other times Health-Ade has an occasion in mind, such as Mother’s Day. We recently wrapped up a mocktail with Mother’s Day brunch in mind, featuring the versatile Health-Ade Original. We took a classic brunch cocktail, the mimosa, and made it pitcher friendly for a crowd. The addition of rhubarb gives it a feminine, seasonal twist.

What do you recommend for mocktails for those who may not drink? What’s your process there?

Of course, I always recommend kombucha. There are days and weeks at a time when I’ll choose to fast from alcohol. I often bring a bottle of Health-Ade to the brewery where my friends get together. Secondly, I like to recommend naturally flavored seltzers like lime or grapefruit—no sugar added. Recently, my cousin (she’s pregnant!) asked me how she could elevate the usual, overly fruity and sugary “mocktails” you’ll often find at bars and parties. I suggested she skip it. Instead, opt for natural ways to dress up seltzer water like herbs and aromatics—think fresh fruit infusions, sprigs of crushed mint, basil or sliced ginger.

Cocktails made with Don Julio Tequila: Berry Spicy, Jalapeño and Repo,  Jalapeño en Jalisco

Eric Ribeiro

Talk to me about your process. Where do you start- what’s the inspiration?

In order to make the best cocktail, you need to use the best ingredients, so when starting with tequila, I reach for Mexico’s No. 1 premium tequila, Tequila Don Julio. For these cocktails I’ve used Tequila Don Julio Reposado, which has been aged in American white oak barrels for 8 months, resulting in a delicate yet complex flavor profile perfect for a refreshing cocktail.  

When developing these recipes, what do you take into consideration?

Tequila Don Julio is crafted for genuine celebrations with family and friends and is Mexico’s premium tequila of choice to toast to authentic, unforgettable moments. Tequila Don Julio is made to be enjoyed during these special occasions, so I like to think about when, where and how they will be enjoyed. Coming from a culinary creative background, I assess the flavor combinations for every cocktail I develop. The Tequila Don Julio and Kombucha Health-Ade flavors perfectly complement each other making for delicious twists on classic cocktails.

And as always, if you partake in a cocktail, please drink responsibly!

All photos kindly provided by Health-Ade Kombucha.


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About Author

Amanda is a writer who loves fire trucks, yoga mats, and a strong cup of matcha. amandarmurphy.com

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