When you want to help your gut and feel tipsy at the same time
Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

I’ve said it before: kombucha is one of the best mixers. Add a splash to your gin and tonic or swap it for OJ in your next mimosa and you’ll see what I mean. Kombucha can also be a complete alcoholic beverage, if you reach for a hard one. Sort of like Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Spiked Seltzer for hippies, a hard kombucha won’t get you trashed, but it will take the edge off. I tried five versions in order to find the best tasting fermented tea that will also get me buzzed.

5. KYLA Pink Grapefruit

Just because Kyla (4.5 ABV) is in the fifth slot does not mean that I disliked it. The flavor was tart, certainly grapefruit-y, and enjoyably bitter. It simply just didn’t win me over quite as much as the other booches. I have no doubt that this kombucha paired with an ounce of Aperol, seltzer, and a lemon wedge would be a dream cocktail situation.

4. Flying Embers Ginger and Oak

This ginger kombucha is brewed with turmeric, ashwagandha, and astragalus, and was certainly the most wellness-y and medicinal of the bunch, though it was still 4.5 ABV. Our Editor in Chief Ryan Grim said it tasted like Gwyneth Paltrow’s tears. I still genuinely enjoyed the flavor of this one. Unlike most turmeric-flavored wellness drinks, it didn’t lean in too hard with the root, and the result was an earthy and rich drink.

3. Rogue Ale Kulture Clash

OK, so this one is technically a Rogue blonde ale blended with Brew Dr. Kombucha, but you know what? I’m still calling it a hard booch. At 6.9 ABV it was sweet and floral, and certainly tasted more like a kombucha than a beer to me.

2. Wild Tonic 7.6 Mind Spank

According the bottle, Mind Spank has notes of coffee, chocolate, and maple. I definitely got the mapley-sweetness, but I was surprised that it wasn’t too sweet. It was sort of like mead, and not in a bad way, and has the highest ABV of all these booches. Plus, the bottle was charming enough that I wouldn't think twice about giving it as a hostess gift instead of wine.

1. Wild Tonic 5.6 Mango Ginger

I thought this would be overly saccharine, like a lot of other mango-flavored drinks. I thought that we wouldn’t want to bother with a brand’s less alcoholic version of their two hard kombuchas, a drink that is already pretty low in alcohol. The joke, however, turned out to be on me. Mellow, not too fruity, and pleasantly spiced, this booch won the top spot.