Have you ever heard of Kombucha? It’s an acquired taste, but many people swear by its probiotic benefits.
But how do you cook and use it, and what are the best substitutes if you don’t like the flavor?
Fortunately, there are plenty of other delicious options to choose from that bring all the health benefits of Kombucha without any of the overly tangy taste.
Let’s explore some alternatives to traditional Kombucha—from the familiar to lesser-known finds—so that everyone can enjoy a probiotic-rich drink no matter their preference.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is an ancient fermented drink that has made a modern comeback with its many health benefits.
It is made by combining tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria known as SCOBY.
Through the fermentation process, Kombucha gains high levels of antioxidants and beneficial acids, such as gluconic acid, which helps digestion.
Furthermore, it boosts your energy by having fewer calories than other energy drinks and less sugar content than sodas or juices.
When it comes to taste, Kombucha can be both sweet and sour depending on what flavoring you add to your brewing process.
Its texture is often bubble-like once it has fermented for some time, making it light and refreshing on the palate.
Kombucha can be served either cold or at room temperature, depending on individual preference; adding fresh fruits or herbs may enhance its flavor.
The 5 BEST Substitutes for Kombucha
If you’re a fan of the tangy, fermented drink that is Kombucha, then you know how hard it is to part from its delicious flavor.
Whether you’re trying to cut back on carbonated drinks or are looking for something healthier for your daily routine, finding substitutes for Kombucha can be tricky.
But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Here are the 5 BEST substitutes for Kombucha that will keep your taste buds happy:
1 – Water Kefir
Water Kefir is a delicious, lightly fizzy fermented beverage full of probiotics that may boost digestive health.
It’s made by combining sugar water with bacteria and yeasts, then allowing the mixture to ferment over a period of time.
During fermentation, the bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into acids and carbon dioxide, resulting in a slightly sweet drink with subtle sour notes.
Moreover, Water Kefir has a slightly less acidic taste than Kombucha and is much more effervescent than its cousin.
Due to its natural sweetness balanced with mild acidity and light carbonation, it is almost like a low-alcohol champagne.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Kombucha that won’t be too pungent tasting or harsh on your stomach, water kefir is your ideal choice.
Plus, you can substitute Kombucha for water kefir in many recipes without any hassle or difficulty.
2 – Kvass
Kvass, a Slavic and Baltic fermented beverage made from bread, has experienced a revival in recent years.
It is a tasty and refreshing drink with a texture that resembles soft carbonated water.
The traditional rite of making it includes adding yeast to dark rye bread with malt extract and then allowing the mix to ferment for about 24 hours.
It has an earthy flavor that is unique compared to many other non-alcoholic beverages.
At its most basic, kvass can be used as an excellent substitute for Kombucha if you’re looking for something different or are unable to purchase Kombucha due to allergies.
Its unique flavor and texture make it a great choice for those seeking something exciting yet nourishing.
3 – Rejuvelac
Rejuvelac is an intriguing fermented beverage that adds a unique twist to any health-conscious diet.
Its origins come from traditional Balkan and Slavic cultures, who used it as an easily-digestible source of probiotics.
The cereal of your choice–such as wheat, rye, quinoa, or buckwheat–is soaked overnight and then allowed to ferment in the water while residing at room temperature for 2-3 days.
The resulting liquid has a sour taste and light, effervescent texture resembling lightly carbonated water.
Many people use it as a substitute for Kombucha, given its similarly fermented properties.
Although the taste may be acquired by some, the multitude of benefits makes it well worth the try.
4 – Ginger Ale
Ginger ale has always been a refreshing and delightful beverage to drink on hot afternoons.
It is made from real ginger with carbonated water, invoking hints of sweetness and depth.
All this results in an effervescent beverage loaded with flavor without being overly sweet, leaving you feeling relaxed and content.
The smooth texture of the beverage gives it something special when mixed in cocktails or enjoyed on its own.
For those looking to give their Kombucha a kick, try swapping it out with some ginger ale instead – the spicy, sugar-filled alternative will provide just enough of a difference to be noticed.
With its pleasant taste, easy preparation process, and versatile nature, ginger ale is sure to add that unique twist to any drink.
5 – Boza
Boza, a traditional fermented drink hailing from the Balkans, is often overlooked in comparison to its more popular counterpart Kombucha.
While both drinks have pleasant sour and sweet flavor profiles and share probiotic benefits, Boza stands apart with its unique texture.
Unlike traditional Kombucha, which tends to be effervescent, Boza has an almost creamy consistency.
This is due to the mix of grains that it’s made with – wheat, maize, or barley which are typically boiled to soften before being mixed into the brewer’s mash for fermentation.
Those looking for a milder fermented drink experience than that of Kombucha can substitute Boza in its place as either a one-off beverage or part of a daily regime.
With subtle hints of sweetness and tartness reminiscent of applesauce, this age-old beverage will impress any palate.
In conclusion, there are a variety of alternatives to Kombucha that will provide an interesting change of pace.
Whether you’re looking for a refreshing drink or something with more complexity, one of these five substitutes should fit the bill perfectly.
So the next time you want to switch up your beverage routine, consider Water Kefir, Kvass, Rejuvelac, Ginger Ale, or Boza as your go-to options.