Mix up your cocktail routine with homebrewed kombucha!

Flavored kombucha in bottles

Photo © Staci Valentine, excerpted from The Big Book of Kombucha

Whether you’re looking to add a little extra sparkle to your next gathering, or just want a creative way to make use of all the homebrewed ’booch, spirits of all sorts mix well with kombucha. Try these two twists on the classic Mule (Moscow and Kentucky) and a sangria that features a mix of red wine and elderberry-infused kombucha. Cheers!

Base Recipes for Featured Cocktails

Note: The Healthy as a Mule cocktail calls for ginger kombucha shrub, made with kombucha vinegar (recipes for both included below).

Kombucha Vinegar

Kombucha vinegar is a snap to make: simply let a batch of kombucha tea ferment for longer than usual, anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks. As the sugar and other nutrients are consumed by the bacteria and yeast, the sourness of the kombucha tea increases. This means that the older the kombucha, the more potent the flavor and the higher the acetic-acid concentration. When the flavor is very sour, your kombucha tea is now kombucha vinegar.

Ginger Kombucha Shrub (cold scrubbing process)

1 cup sliced or chopped fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
2 cups kombucha vinegar

Combine the ginger and sugar in a bowl and toss gently. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least a few hours, and up to 24 hours. Stir occasionally to redistribute the sugar over the ginger.

The sugar will pull liquid from the ginger, creating a sweet syrup. Strain the syrup into a 16-ounce container through a sieve or cheesecloth, pressing to release as much juice as possible from the solids. Scrape any bits of sugar left in the bowl into the syrup. Add the kombucha vinegar and stir to dissolve any residual sugar.

Store in the fridge, where the shrub will keep for up to 2 months or longer. Shake prior to using.

Flavored Kombuchas

Quantities listed below are for 16 ounces / 1  gallon

Cold Fighter Kombucha

Dried elderberries: ½ teaspoon / 1 tablespoon
Fresh ginger, diced: ½ teaspoon / 1 tablespoon
Lemon zest: ¼ teaspoon / 1 teaspoon

Lemon Zing Kombucha

Fresh lemon juice: 1 tablespoon / ¼ cup
Fresh ginger, diced: ½ teaspoon / 2 teaspoons
Lemon zest: ¼ teaspoon / 1 teaspoon

Bourbon ’n’ Booch


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 ounces Lemon Zing kombucha
  • 1 slice fresh ginger
  • Lemon wedge, for garnish


  1. Pour the bourbon and kombucha into an ice-filled glass and stir gently. Squeeze the ginger into the glass through a garlic press and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Healthy as a Mule


  • 3 ounces Lemon Zing kombucha
  • 3 ounces sparkling water
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Ginger kombucha shrub
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slice, for garnish


  1. Pour the kombucha, sparkling water, vodka, and shrub over ice in a highball glass or copper mule mug. Stir and garnish with a slice of lime.



  • 1 (750 mL) bottle fruity red wine
  • 16 ounces Cold Fighter kombucha
  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 cups chopped fruit (a mix of peaches, lemons, limes, oranges, cherries, and/or strawberries)


  1. Combine the wine, kombucha, pineapple juice, and fruit in a large pitcher. Let chill in the refrigerator overnight for best flavor.

Recipes excerpted from The Big Book of Kombucha © 2016 by Hannah Crum and Alex M. LaGory. All rights reserved.
Header illustration © Yao Cheng Design, LLC, excerpted from The Big Book of Kombucha. All rights reserved.

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