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What Goes with Kombucha?

Enhance your dining experience with this tasty tonic kombucha. Learn how to pair it with other drinks and foods and see how you can use it in cooking to create delightful dishes.

Three jars of fermented kombucha.

Fizzy, tangy and refreshing. Kombucha is a tasty tonic that is not only a delight for the taste buds but for our digestive health too.

Kombucha is traditionally consumed as a probiotic-rich beverage before meals. Despite its unique flavor, it pairs surprisingly well with a wide variety of foods and dishes. Although kombucha is perfectly delicious on its own, it can enhance or complement your dining experience.

What food goes with kombucha? Can you pair sweet or savory dishes with kombucha? Which alcohol can I add to kombucha?

From salad and vodka to a cheddar cheese sandwich, here’s what you can enjoy with your next bottle of ‘booch.

How To Pair Kombucha With Food

A variety of kombucha drinks with berries on the side.

Kombucha has a pungent, sweet and tangy taste with a vinegary aroma. The fermentation process makes this beverage refreshingly fizzy and effervescent. It can be compared to sparkling cider or Champagne.

There are two ways to pair kombucha with your next meal:

1. Combine Similar Flavors

The first option would be to match similar flavor profiles. Pair ‘like with like’.

  • If your dish is savory or zesty, pair it with a lemon, ginger or lime flavored kombucha.
  • Kombucha with tropical notes will complement a fruit parfait, sweet and sticky ribs or honeyed chicken.
  • Pickled foods and dishes with vinegar or spice are enhanced by a kombucha with tart, sour Pair ginger or citrus-flavored kombucha with kimchi, curry or a salad.
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2. Balance Contrasting Flavors

You could also experiment by combining contrasting flavors. Opposites attract!

  • Kombucha with tropical notes such as pineapple, mango or coconut will generally be quite sweet. This will offset the taste of a spicy dish.
  • The spicy notes in a ginger kombucha will accentuate the flavor of a sweet dessert such as apple crisp or dishes with sweet glazes and sauces like barbeque or glazed ham.
  • A sweet berry kombucha will offset the sharp and salty flavor of cheese, pizza or sausage.

What Does Not Pair Well With Kombucha?

A man brewing coffees.

Highly acidic or bitter foods and beverages do not pair well with kombucha. The intense acidity and bitterness may overpower the tangy and fruity flavor of kombucha. Coffee, broccoli, radicchio, and kale are a few items to keep off your menu when drinking kombucha.

Kombucha Food Pairings

Lemon Or Citrus Kombucha

A jar and two glasses of lemon kombucha.

The tart and zesty notes of a citrus-based kombucha give food a fresh, clean taste. Citrus pairs well with salty snacks, herb-infused Mediterranean food and simple, minimal dishes.

  • Breakfast: Eggs and avocado on toast
  • Seafood: Lemon butter mussels or shrimp, grilled salmon
  • Vegetables: Pan-fried asparagus and mushrooms with lemon and garlic
  • Mediterranean cuisine: pea risotto, seafood paella, or a meze platter
  • Snacks: salty nibbles such as nuts, olives, pretzels, and potato chips

Berry, Pomegranate Or Grape Kombucha

Glasses of pomegranate kombucha garnished with fresh parsley.

Fruity and floral, this type of kombucha should be treated as a good red wine when paired with food! These sweet and slightly tart fruits complement bold flavors.

  • Breakfast: Fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola
  • Cheese: Sharp cheeses such as cheddar, pecorino, or blue cheese
  • Meat: Steak, lamb chops, chorizo, burgers or meatballs
  • Dessert: Fruit salad, dark chocolate, pavlova, or brownies
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Ginger Kombucha

Raspberry, blueberry and ginger kombucha.

This is the most popular kombucha flavor worldwide! The warm, spicy notes of ginger give kombucha a tangy ‘kick’. Ginger pairs surprisingly well with a broad range of dishes. It elevates the flavor of food.

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, apple oatmeal, crispy maple bacon
  • Asian cuisine: Yellow chicken or chickpea curry, stir-fry, chicken soup, pad thai
  • Seafood: Sushi, Garlic and chili shrimp, Honey-glazed salmon
  • Vegetables: Mixed stir-fry, steamed green beans, mashed sweet potato, roasted carrots
  • Entrées: Crispy tofu, pepper steak, coconut rice or quinoa, pulled pork
  • Dessert: Sweet potato or pumpkin pie, fruit parfait, rum and raisin ice cream, fruit crumble

Tropical Kombucha

A platter of tacos with a glass of kombucha on the side.

Sweet, fragrant, and zesty. Tropical kombucha tastes like a Caribbean vacation! Luscious tropical fruits create a mouth-watering punch and complement many flavors and dishes.

  • Breakfast: Fruit, muesli and yogurt, Eggs Benedict
  • Mexican cuisine: burritos, tacos, salsa, pulled pork, jalapeno poppers
  • Comfort food: Pizza, hamburgers, grilled kebabs, barbeque, toasted chicken mayo
  • Entrées: Glazed ham, roasted poultry, Indian curry, meat, and vegetable stew
  • Dessert: Banana bread, sorbet, fruit crumble, coconut cake, rice pudding

Kombucha Drink Pairings

Close-up of kombucha cocktail samples.

The complex flavor profile and refreshing fizz make kombucha a convincing alternative to alcohol. This tangy and satisfying drink also works well as a mixer in cocktails.

Try out these fun and delicious cocktail combinations:

All recipes yield 1 serving

Low-Calorie Moscow Mule

  • 2 oz (60ml) vodka
  • 6 oz (177ml) ginger kombucha
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice

Traditionally served in a copper mug. Garnish with extra wedges of lime or lemon.

Not Your Typical Negroni

  • 1 oz (30ml) gin
  • 1 oz (30ml) Campari
  • 5 oz (150ml) lemon or citrus kombucha
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Orange wedges
  • Ice
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Serve shaken or stirred with lots of orange wedges. Enjoy as an aperitif.

Boochie Sangria

  • 4 oz (118ml) red wine (Shiraz or Pinot Grigio)
  • 5 oz (150ml) berry/cherry kombucha
  • ¼ apple, diced into small cubes
  • ¼ cup frozen berries
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

Add wine, kombucha, and lemon to a large glass and stir. When ready to serve, add apple and frozen berries.

Tropical Margarita

  • 1 shot of Silver tequila
  • 4 oz (118ml) tropical kombucha
  • 1 tsp agave syrup or raw honey
  • Juice of ½ a lime or lemon
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Sea salt and chili flakes

Add ingredients to a shaker and mix well. Rub the rim of a glass with a lemon wedge and roll in the salt and chili flakes.

How To Use Kombucha In Cooking

You can use kombucha to create an assortment of unique and delightful dishes.

1. As a Replacement for Vinegar

Kombucha vinegar on bottle and jar complemented with lemons.

The tart flavor and kick of acidity make kombucha a wonderful substitute for vinegar. Add your favorite kombucha to salad dressing, pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, or marinade.

Creamy Kombucha Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp berry or citrus kombucha
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over salad, beans or cooked vegetables.

2. Homemade Frozen Treats

Kombucha popsicles on a copper plate with fresh berries on the side.

Create refreshing and healthy popsicles, ice cream, or sorbet using a variety of flavored kombucha.

  • Infuse kombucha with mint or basil, add a few teaspoons of honey, and freeze.
  • Mix kombucha with coconut cream and berries. Freeze into lollies.
  • Blend kombucha with fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, and mint. Freeze and enjoy as sorbet.
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Tropical Kombucha Popsicles

  • 1 x 330ml (11 oz) bottle of tropical or ginger kombucha
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 100g (4 oz) chopped pineapple or mango

Directions

  1. Pour kombucha into a pitcher and set it aside to remove as much fizz as possible.
  2. Blitz fruit and lemon juice into a puree.
  3. Add puree to kombucha and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.

3. Broths And Soups

Top view of noodle soup with kombucha.

Add a splash of kombucha to your next pot of broth or soup for a hint of acidity and umami flavor.

4. Smoothies

Kombucha smoothies with ice cream float on the rustic table.

Blend kombucha with frozen fruit, milk of choice, yogurt, and a few ice cubes. Enjoy as a probiotic-rich smoothie.

Blueberry Kombucha Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ ripe banana, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup berry or cherry kombucha
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla or chai protein powder

Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.

5. Baked Treats

Homemade Irish soda bread on a wooden chopping board.

The carbonation and acidity of kombucha work well in baked goods such as Irish soda bread, muffins, and sourdough bread/pizza.

Have a look at Kombucha Kamp’s amazing recipe for Kombucha Sourdough Bread & Pancakes!