Friday, January 15, 2016

Making Kombucha in Tillson

I'm a lifelong lover of fizzy drinks - from Vimto, a blackcurrant/berry soda, in my British childhood days to Asti Spumante and then Bollinger champagne and whiskey and dry ginger in my drinking days and most recently seltzers and diet sodas. I was therefore intrigued by a new (to me) drink which I discovered in Mother Earth in Kingston which is one of our favourite shops for the staples of Sue's anti-cancer organic diet. They have a small display with four or five spigots, rather like mini beer taps, and tiny white paper cups so that one can try "classic", "ginger", "blueberry" "pumpkin spice" and other flavours and self-serve larger quantities. Sue explained to me that this drink was Kombucha which she described as a Korean concoction made with live cultures which it is claimed has all kinds of health-giving properties.

I couldn't resist trying it and loved the effervescence and light, sophisticated, dry taste. A sampling of Kombucha became a regular highlight of our visits to Mother Earth though it seemed like an extravagance to buy at around $4 for a 16 oz bottle, barely a couple of mouthfuls to an avid fizzy-drinker like me. However my curiousity was not going to be placated that easily and I began doing online research about Kombucha and its properties and how it is made and it became clear that it is not that difficult to make at home. So it was that a week ago I found myself in Bed Bath and Beyond buying a 1 1/2 gallon glass jar with a spigot and then going on to Mother Earth to buy a 16 oz jar of "Classic", unflavoured, Kombucha with which to start making my first SCOBY which means “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts”.

This is what it looked like after a few days: