Friday, December 30, 2022

Cookie-bucha - Health-ade Holiday Cheers

Happy Almost New Year! I'm back! 

After my last post, I tested positive for COVID, and the symptoms hit me hard and fast. Much worse than when I had it before. Luckily, I had bought my cats a heating pad on Black Friday, because it came in clutch for the body aches. By day three, I lost my sense of smell and taste. (Which took all the fun out of my scented candle advent calendar.) 

It took five days for my sense of smell to return, but it was pretty weak, and my taste was definitely off. Garlic, something I cook with and eat all the time, tasted unnaturally sweet, almost like a caramel. And in every form! I tried powdered seasoning, fresh garlic, and some garlic infused olive oil just to make sure something didn't expire on me, but it was me. ("I'm the problem, it's me.") It took two and a half weeks for my body to bounce back.

So, I'm here to celebrate with some seasonal kombucha! 

When I spotted this, the gold and white made me think this was a New Years' item. So, I assumed this was like, champagne-themed or something. But, if I had bothered to read the label, this is vanilla, allspice, and cacao flavored? So, cookies? Cookie-bucha? I don't know about that...

Maybe my strength isn't back to 100%, because this was hard AF to open. A lot of cursing, rubber bands, and covering my hand with my sleeve was involved, but I got it! (The cap studded with tiny plastic torture dots! My winter-y hands did NOT appreciate it.) I was drawn in by the apothecary looking bottle and seasonal label, but the fact that this was so hard to open has already left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

Uncapped, the liquid inside smells sweet and spicy, similar to Chimes ginger chews. The description had me worried that this would be the kombucha equivalent of dessert hummus, but this actually smells really nice. Kind of molasses-y, and ginger-forward. 

I took a sip and, as expected, I can taste fermented tea and ginger, but I actually do get cookie vibes. Like a subdued gingersnap, or a kombucha ginger ale. It's not very bold, or spicy, and that's likely due to the vanilla. 

A year ago, I bought some vanilla beans to make my own vanilla extract. (Barefoot Contessa would be so proud.) It's been aging ever since and I recently opened it up and used it for all my holiday baking. Thanks to that experience, I have a deeper appreciation for the complexity of vanilla, and this kombucha has a prominent vanilla aftertaste. It's that sweet, slightly floral, vanilla flavoring, pretty similar to what I got from my extract. It tastes simple, but complex at the same time. Like a cozy sweater, but for your tongue. That vanilla mellows out the other flavors and helps this lean into the cookie theme, without it being too gimmick-y. 

As for the cacao...I don't taste it at all. But, I'm not as familiar with it. I'm actually kind of glad that this is mainly a vanilla a ginger beverage, because I think if the cacao added chocolate in there this would be a little too novelty for my tastes. 

My favorite kombucha flavors are stone-fruit-focused, so I wouldn't say this cracks my top 10, but, for a seasonal novelty, this is really well executed. If you like vanilla, and you're looking for something bubbly (but buzz-free) to ring in the new year, this is definitely worth checking out. Plus, it comes in a cool bottle! (Just be sure to keep the jaws of life handy to get the cap off.) 

Fans of this would also like: Sugar Cookie Kisses, Lucky Charms Sugar Cookies, or Sugar Cookie m&m's

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