You may want to consider sipping on another buzzy, kind of alcoholic beverage: kombucha. For those not familiar with the effervescent drink, kombucha is tea that's fermented using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. During this process, the culture turns sugar in the tea into ethanol, a type of alcohol. The bacteria consumes this alcohol and turns into vinegar, which is what gives kombucha its sour taste. However, some of that alcohol gets left in the drink itself. So, the question is, could that make you drunk?
The thing is, bottled kombucha that you'll find in stores has to comply with government requirements for non-alcoholic beverages, says Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Los Angeles and spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "This means that any kombucha you buy at the store will have less than 0.5% alcohol, [which is] a trace amount," she says. For perspective, a 12 oz. beer has about 5% alcohol, while a 5 oz. glass of wine contains 12% alcohol. (Some people who are sober choose not to drink kombucha for this reason.) Companies take this rule pretty seriously, and usually have to go through rigorous third-party testing to ensure that their products meet regulatory standards and can be sold.
Some brands, like GTs and Kombrewcha, sell kombucha with a touch more alcohol in it that's sold as an alcoholic beverage, meaning you have to be 21 to buy it. But even that typically isn't enough to give you a buzz. Considering how low the alcohol content is in kombucha, you'd have to drink about eight bottles of kombucha in order to feel anything at all.
If you're looking to get buzzed you want to look for a Hard Kombucha. Hard Kombucha's are trending and we will see the rise of this popular cult beverage growing over the next few years. For a round up of our favorite hard kombuchas read this. But for now, here are 6 of our favorite kombucha brands. We picked a few with our nutritionist friend...so these are healthy, not too much sugar, and made with natural ingredients.
1. Rowdy Mermaid
More and more kombucha brands are beginning to offer canned options for easier recycling and lighter transportation, Clarke says. Rowdy Mermaid’s canned kombucha varieties are brewed with functional ingredients for extra benefits. Their Lion's Root flavor contains lion's mane mushroom to support brain function, along with pineapple for flavor.
2. Forage Kombucha
Another tasty canned option, Forage kombucha comes in gorgeous, flower-printed cans that you’ll definitely want to drink in public.
Try the Peach Kombucha (one of Forage's four flavors) for summer vibes all year long.
3. Real Raw Organics Kombucha
In a mason jar, local made at the beach in Ocean City, MD. Cool flavors to choose from. Snag one on tap if you visit the shop. Order some online and support this super cute small business
4. Health-Ade Organic Kombucha
Comes in sixteen different organic flavors. The Ginger-Lemon flavor, which is made with a mix of black and green teas, plus fresh ginger and lemon juice, is a particularly popular pick.
5. Wild Kombucha
Kombucha for happy hour? Sure! Wild Kombucha comes in beer-like bottles, and all kinds of fun flavors. Though still a pretty regional name (they’re based in Maryland), the brand is quickly growing. The Upbeet flavor pairs earthy grapefruit with bright apple, ginger, and lime.