Kombucha Cocktails Offer Health and Financial Benefits

A kombucha flight. Image: clcarter / Shutterstock

Guests can have their cake and drink it, too, at Cultivation Kitchen in Anaheim, Calif.

This restaurant serves probiotic kombucha Mimosas, offering some health alongside some indulgence.

On offer are five Mimosa flavors: Blueberry Tart; Hibiscus Rose; Thai Ginger; Orange-Blossom, and Mango-Masala.

The Blueberry Tart is the hands-down favorite. It combines Bambucha kombucha (from San Diego), which features hints of blueberry, vanilla, and almond, with a Crémant sparkling wine and fresh fruits. This kombucha is on tap; the others are canned. “We offer tastes of this to introduce guests to kombucha, and it looks great, with a beautiful light purple hue,” says owner Dale LaFlam.

And while the Mimosas sell particularly well on weekends, they are popular at brunch and at night. They’re served in stemless glasses, with 6 ounces of Crémant, 6 ounces of kombucha, and a crystalized mint rim, with green that contrasts well with the purple beverage. The finishing touch is a stem of lavender. “We sell more at the weekends because people see it and want it,” LaFlam says.

The Mimosas cost $9.75 and have a fairly high food cost. “We don’t make as much of a margin on it but it’s building that ticket,” LaFlam points out. The cocktail’s popular with everyone, though skews slightly towards women, he says. “The health benefit is the differentiator. You can go anywhere and get a traditional Mimosa but come here and try something new.”

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The Flamingo Hotel is one of the most popular cocktails on the menu at The Sylvester in Miami, Fla., and has been featured since the location opened in May.

“I was tapping into the Vodka Soda drink trend,” says owner and lead bartender Ben Potts. “People tend to drink that because it’s low-calorie and the spirit, being neutral, isn’t too offensive to anyone. I’ve always felt it was a little bland, so I wanted to make one for the health-conscious drinker that they wouldn’t feel guilty about.”

His resulting cocktail, he says, is low in sugar and low in alcohol since it has just one ounce of spirit. “You can have two or three of them and you’ll still feel pretty good,” he says.

The drink’s ingredients include Ketel One Vodka; pink lady apple and basil kombucha (from a national brand); a dash or two of liqueurs (Italicus for its citrus notes, St-Germain for some florals, and Cocchi Rosa for some bitterness and fruit); some soda to lengthen it, make it flavorful and refreshing; and lemon juice. Ground pink peppercorn sugar is painted on the rim of the glass.

The Flamingo Hotel costs $14, which is in line with The Sylvester’s other cocktails. It has a food cost of 18 to 19 percent, which falls on the lower end of cocktail costs, which typically range from 16 percent to 25 percent, Potts says. Also on the plus side: it doesn’t require a lot of labor.

Like at Cultivation Kitchen, this kombucha drink is more popular with women, mostly because it’s pink, says Potts, though also because females lean more towards vodka than men do. “It’s also marketed in a feminine way,” he says, “in a stem glass and the picture is on the menu so you can see what it looks like. So, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like a cocktail in a stem glass, you won’t order this.”

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The fact that there’s kombucha in this drink only helps sales, says Potts. “It makes people feel a bit better about what they’re drinking and means they might order more than one.”

Resources

Cultivation Kitchen website

The Sylvester website

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