4 Fermented Cocktails You Absolutely Have to Try

Trendiness aside, these potent cocktails are packed with health-boosting benefits

Some hipster trends can be puzzling (lumberjack beards, anyone?). But like retro photography techniques, indie rock and anything made in Brooklyn, there are some hipster staples we love (secretly) indulging in, too––including fermented drinks and handcrafted cocktails.

Before we dive into how fermented drinks and cocktails go together, a brief history lesson is in order. Practiced originally to extend preservation, fermentation—a process by which microorganisms like bacteria, yeast and fungi convert sugars into acids, gases or alcohol—has been practiced by humans for centuries. In fact, researchers believe that people were consuming fermented fruits and beverages (aka booze) as far back as 9,000 years ago. 

Today, thanks to recent findings that fermented drinks are good for your digestive health (they’re full of antioxidants and probiotics), these fizzy, tangy and sometimes vinegar-y liquids are all the rage again. Mixed with the right spirit, they’re not only perfect conversation starters, but also a great way to deliver a cocktail that packs a nutritious punch.  

Here are four fermented drink recipes to try at your next event. 

Wandering Whistler 

From restaurant menus to conversations at the water cooler at work, chances are, you’ve heard of kombucha at some point. But we promise, based off this zesty cocktail alone, you’ll be singing its praises with the rest of them in no time, too. 

What you’ll need for a single:

1½ ounces TOPO gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce lavender kombucha
1 ounce simple syrup
2¾ ounces water

What you’ll need for a 12-bottle batch: 

18 ounces TOPO gin
12 ounces lemon juice
12 ounces lavender kombucha
12 ounces simple syrup
33 ounces water

How to make it:

Remove all pulp from the lemon juice and add ingredients to a large container (80 ounces or larger). Stir to combine. 

Pollen Patch

Although kombucha tends to dominate the fermented drink conversation, switchels (a fermented blend of apple cider vinegar and raw honey) have been making headway, too. 

“Switchels are basically the up-and-coming kombucha,” explains Brian Jaymont, the director of Brand Advocates and Distinctive Brands for Marriott. “It is still a very ‘hipster cool’ drink, but we will see more of it over the next year.”  

What you’ll need:

1½ ounces Barr Hill Vodka (honey vodka)
4 ounces switchel
½ ounce lemon juice
2 drops Urban Moonshine Citrus Bitters

How to make it:

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into glasses. 

Immunity Boost

Sublimely spiced but still refreshing, serve up this feisty cocktail to give attendees a big boost of energy. 

What you’ll need:

1 ½ ounces spiced rum
6 ounces ginger maple switchel
1 piece fresh ginger
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

How to make it:

Muddle the ginger and lemon juice. Next, add the rum and top with ginger maple switchel.  

Woodstock

Bourbon gives this fermented switchel drink a decidedly earthy, nutty flavor––perfect for a woodsy, outdoor event at dusk.

What you’ll need:

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Fernet Branca
8 ounces switchel

How to make it:

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a Collins glass.