Kombucha has evolved from being the elixir of choice for beatnik home-brewers and the OG Lululemon crowd to becoming almost mainstream. You can find the fermented tea in bottles and cans at grocery stores, convenience markets, the occasional gas station, savvy cocktail bars, and even on tap.
The wider appeal is due in part to people seeking healthier alternatives to soda, as well as the improved taste and downright creative flavor offerings. These qualities also make kombucha a fun choice when your liver balks at the idea of another celebratory beverage.
We sampled three different brands of organic kombucha with flavors suited for festive events. Whether you're looking for something refreshing and loaded with good-for-you probiotics or just want a non-alcoholic drink beyond sparkling water, grab a few bottles for your next holiday party or evening at home.
Health-Ade Kombucha Pink Lady Apple
Drink in lieu of: beer, hard cider, or sparkling wine
Dubbed by one of our testers as a smart choice for the kombucha virgin, the drink's crisp, refreshing apple flavor and light effervescence make it enjoyable for sipping any time of day. $3.99 for 16oz
Brew Dr. Kombucha Vanilla Oak
Drink in lieu of: a bourbon cocktail
This smooth drinking kombucha has a back-of-your-throat warmth that elicits a smile on cozy evenings by the fire. It offers a step-up in fizz over the Health-Ade, with a more complex flavor, including distinct notes of vanilla on the back of your tongue. $3.69 for 14oz
GT's Living in Gratitude Fall Edition
Drink in lieu of: mulled wine or hot spiked cider
The bold turmeric and fall spices will be appreciated by more experienced kombucha drinkers. To quote one tester, "It's not meant for your first kombucha rodeo." Drink it and be rewarded with seasonal-flavor fireworks, plus turmeric's anti-inflammatory benefits. $3.69 for 16oz
Prices listed are from Whole Foods Basalt, where you can find all of these kombuchas and many more.