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Alcoholic kom­bucha may offer some of the same pro­biotic benefits—albeit in di­minished form—as the soft variety. (Photo: Petra Zeiler)

The 5 Best Hard Kombuchas

These canned beverages are every bit as tasty as their sober counterparts

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In recent years, alcohol-infused seltzers like White Claw and Truly have become popular alternatives to beer, preferable for their easy drinking and modest calorie count. It’s inevitable, then, that a boozy kombucha should come along, offering natural ingredients and enticing flavor combinations. (While there are trace amounts of alcohol in regular kombucha left behind by the brewing process, the drinks featured here contain at least 4.5 percent alcohol by volume.) Hard kombucha is already a $33 million industry, according to Kombucha Brewers International, and that number is expected to triple by 2026.

Another good reason to swap brews and seltzers for hard booch? Belly health. Explains dietitian Kristin Gil­lespie, alcoholic kom­bucha may offer some of the same pro­biotic benefits—albeit in di­minished form—as the soft variety. “Probiotics can’t withstand high alcohol concentrations,” Gillespie says, “so they’ll decrease as alcohol content rises.” Still, some antioxidant properties remain. Here are our favorite brands.


JuneShine

Photo: Courtesy JuneShine

This California company has eight flavors, each with 6 percent ABV. They include the tropical, refreshing Blood Orange Mint and the bolder Midnight Painkiller, a twist on the classic pineapple, orange, and coconut cocktail. ($2.50 for 12 oz)

Strainge Beast

Photo: Courtesy Strainge Beast

Think of Strainge Beast as the bad boy of boozy booch. Three options combine fruity, summery tastes like blueberry and acai with subtle kicks of spice; with 7 percent ABV, they’re also at the high end in terms of alcohol content. The ginger, lemon, and hibiscus is not to be missed. ($2.50 for 12 oz)

Wild Tonic

Photo: Courtesy Wild Tonic

This was a tester favorite, with seven creative flavors that go beyond what’s merely trendy at the moment. Its 5.6 percent ABV varieties include jammy Blackberry Mint, exotic Tropical Turmeric, and elegant Raspberry Goji Rose. ($3 for 12 oz)

Jiant

Photo: Courtesy Jiant

Jiant’s line of 4.5 to 5 percent ABV drinks combine green tea with flavors like guava mint (Guavamente) and ginger lemongrass (Gingerly). Its most refreshing option—Original—is a crisp, clean combination of passion fruit and elderflower. ($4.50 for 16 oz)

Luna Bay Booch Co.

Photo: Courtesy Luna Bay Booch Co.

For a fruitier take, try one of Luna Bay’s six flavor mixes. Ginger Lemon offers bright citrus notes, and Palo Santo Blueberry has a smoky profile. Don’t let the smoothness fool you—each contains up to 6 percent ABV. ($5 for 16 oz)

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Petra Zeiler
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