Use Kombucha to Make a Summery ‘Negroni’

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Photo: Claire Lower

Thanks to a very detailed and helpful explainer that was recently published on this very site, I have started brewing my own kombucha. As a former brewer of beer, I have to say that brewing ‘booch is a much easier, more relaxed endeavor, and the end product does not make me sneeze. (Beer started making me sneeze in my late 20s. No idea why!)

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I love the sour, the funky, the sweet, so it makes sense that I would enjoy making and drinking kombucha. The only thing that’s at all surprising is how long it took me to incorporate the tart tea into a cocktail, but I suspect it is my wildly decreased alcohol tolerance that is to blame.

I decided to pair my new favorite non-alcoholic beverage with my two favorite boozy buds—gin and Campari. The result is not exactly a Negroni, but a tart and sweet Negroni-like sipper that’s less dense—and thus easier to guzzle on a hot day—than the traditional cocktail.

You can use any kombucha you want, but I favor the unflavored. A lot of fruity store-bought kombucha is watered down with juice, which robs it of its tart, funky tang, the very thing that makes this cocktail so much fun. You can swirl it around in a stirring glass and serve it up (as shown above), but I actually think I prefer it built right in a glass full of ice. However you serve it, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 3 ounces plain kombucha

Fill a glass with ice and add the first two ingredients. Give ‘em a gentle stir, then pour the kombucha on top and stir one more time. Alternatively: Add everything to stirring glass filled with ice, and stir to chill, then strain into a coupe glass.

  

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