Kombucha is a probiotic tea with gut healing qualities, as well as a unique taste. I have an obsession with the sparkling fiz and variety of flavors found in kombucha teas across the country. The flavor and fiz make for an excellent pairing to holiday party cocktails and mocktails.
New Years Eve Cocktails and Mocktails with Kombucha
I secretly love putting on parties. For someone who is very much an introvert and gets overwhelmed by crowds – I love them. I love being surrounded by friends and family. I enjoy preparing food, drinks, and designing spaces that are inviting of love and laughter. I enjoy deep conversation, games of Uno and Redneck Scrabble. Since having kids, New Year’s Eve hasn’t really been much of a whopper. We may go to a friends house or have a couple people over for dinner, but once 8 o’clock hits Travis and I turn into pumpkins in PJ’s watching Netflix.
This year though might be different. My love for kombucha and genuinely feeling better in my body from all the healthy lifestyle changes we’ve made this past year might have my up partying into the night. So if you’re looking for something a little fun and different, let’s dive into making this DIY Kombucha Bar together! Let’s ring in the new year with friends and cheers to health and happiness.
How to DIY a Kombucha Bar for Cocktails and Mocktails
First thing is first, not everyone likes a cocktail. If there are going to be young adults or even kids at your party, or someone that just doesn’t like alcohol, be sure to include them in the bar scene.
Ingredients you’ll need for the ultimate Kombucha Bar:
- An array of glasses – get funky here! Having a ton of people over and not enough matching glasses? How about being intentional about mixing up the glasses. Everyone then has their own unique glass, as special as they are, and will make it easy to find.
- Straws or Sticks – you can add festive straws or garnish sticks to the bar for people to use and again signify their drink. Since this is for New Year’s, I used the white and gold colors when selecting my straws. Garnish sticks are a fun way for people to add fruit to their drinks without having to mull them also.
- Fruit and/or herb variety – set out 3-6 bowls of fruits or herbs (like mint) to be mulled for the base to drinks.
- Sugar – you’ll need two kinds of sugar here. Have a bowl of cane sugar to add to the mortar and pestle with the berries for mulling. Also, have sugar for rimming the glasses. Again, I used gold cupcake sugar crystals for the festive flare.
- Mortar and Pestle
- Moistener for Rimming Glasses
- Alcoholic Beverages – white wine (Riesling or Chardonnay), Champagne, Rose, Gin, and Vodka are all great pairings for the Kombucha fiz and flavors.
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages – Sparkling Cider, Sparkling and Non-Sparkling Lemonade, Tonic Water (flavored and unflavored), Sprite, and Juices pair particularly well with Kombucha.
- Juice – Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Grape Juice, and Pineapple Juice add a fresh back note that amplifies the flavors of Kombucha while toning down the zing.
- Kombucha Varieties – Check out your local grocer. There are ample varieties and brands such as Lavender, Ginger Lemon, Raspberry Lemon, and even Chocolate Mint.
- Simple Syrup – Simple syrup like Torani can be used in various flavors for those that like their drinks a bit more on the sweet side.
- Party Decor – I grabbed a white tablecloth, some chalkboard flags, balloons, and table decor to make the bar even more festive. You could also include little signs with the instructions for making your own drink. I ran out of room on my bar which is why I didn’t.
How to rim a glass
Rimming a glass is super easy and you don’t need anything fancy to do it. You will need a moistener and a sugar or salt to stick.
For these New Years Eve cocktails and mocktails, I bought gold sugar crystals used often for decorating cupcakes and other sweet treats. This is a really fun and festive way to dress up your drinks for whatever occasion you’re celebrating. Is it a baby shower? Try blue or pink sugar crystals. Need something with a bit more zing for your drink? Try rimming it with salt.
Steps to rim a glass
What liquid do you use to rim a glass?
That will depend a bit on the drink you’re creating, but any of the following will work for wetting the rim and getting your salt or sugar to stick:
- Lemon Juice or Wedge
- Lime Juice or Wedge
- Fresh Orange Juice from Wedge
- Maple Syrup
- Simple Syrup
- Liquor from the drink itself
- Corn Syrup
What kind of sugar or salt do you use to rim a glass?
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Kosher Salt
- Cake Decorating Sugar Crystals
- Cane Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- … you can even add zest from lemons, limes, and oranges to add a zip and pop of color to the rim.
What are Mulled Berries and how do you do it?
The term Mulled Berries is different from the fruit Mulberry. To mull berries is to take any kind of berry and create a paste or smoothie like texture from blending. Mulled berries are often used in drinks just like these kombucha cocktails and mocktails. Berries are typically mulled with sugar with a mortar and pestle. The pestle is used to crush the fruits of choice into the mortar. As this happens, the juices combined with the sugar which encourages even more liquid to come out from the berries. You can also add lemon juice to the fruit in the mortar to help the breakdown. Fresh herbs like mint or rosemary can often be mulled into the fruit mixture as well for added aroma and taste.
Best Fruits to mull for cocktails and mocktails
Note that this is not an extensive list, but a list of ones that I have personally mulled and have yielded great results.
- Pomegranate Seeds