In case you haven’t noticed, fermentation is having a serious moment in the Hudson Valley. Popping up in everything from sausage to waffles, the good-for-you trend bubbles up nowhere more prominently than in kombucha. For anyone new to the effervescent drink, expect a fermented tea that’s lightly fizzy and filled with probiotics that promote gut health. Flavorwise, it’s kind of like sparkling water and iced tea had a baby. (Ok, we’ll stop now.)
In the Hudson Valley, local makers put their own spin on ‘booch, as it’s affectionately known, with unconventional ingredients and small-batch preparations. Ready to give the good stuff a swig? Not only are these local bottles delicious, but, with health benefits galore, they’ll make you feel more than a little virtuous, too.
Blessed Brew is a staple at Hudson Valley farmers markets, and for good reason. With fairytale-sounding names like Twilight Forest and Fairy Tonic, the hinge-topped bottles are hard to pass up. While the brews are readily available at both the Beacon Farmers Market and Down to Earth Markets, they’re best when delivered straight to your door through the brand’s subscription program (Westchester only). It just goes to show that sometimes dreams really do come true.
It’s easy to keep calm and carry on with a bottle of Calmbucha in hand. The New Paltz-based brand stands out with unpasteurized brews crafted in small batches from a sweet organic tea. On the flavor front, Calmbucha has one of the most varied selections in the region. For anyone who prefers warm flavors, All That Jazz, with ginger root, and Chai, with cardamom, ginger root, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, are home runs. Fruit fans, meanwhile, meet their match with Mumbai Nights, made with mango and cardamom. Check out “The Booch Belt” to find Calmbucha near you, then get sipping.
Drawing upon his artistic background, Darragh Studio founder Darragh Park Rooney brews real-deal kombucha that’s just a touch boozy (we’re talking 1.2-1.3 percent ABV). It’s all raw and comes in fruity, zippy flavors like black cherry, grape, and tart cherry that will make you dream of summer days and outdoor picnics — even when it’s the middle of winter. Darragh does make non-alcoholic versions for the under-21 crowd, so keep an eye out for flavors like the Zen Blend with ginger and turmeric and the Betty Blend with lavender at Taste NY markets and on the studio website.
With a name like Laughing Gut, it’s hard not to feel happy with each sip. Add to that flavor profiles like star anise and orange zest, chamomile and mint, and lavender, and you have every excuse to stock up for morning hydration, post-yoga pick-me-ups, and just because glugs. Laughing Gut uses top-tier black, green, and white teas as its bases, so there’s a little something for everyone. Look for the brand at locations like Chakra Bowls in Poughkeepsie, Adams Fairacre Farms in Newburgh, and Local Artisan Bakery in Kingston.
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New Year, new you. We can all do our part however small for the world and for our bodies. Make your Friday @netflix night complete with feel good nachos (gluten free and vegan). Vegan nachos featuring a homemade Almond Queso adapted from @detoxinista Cashew Queso and inspired by our last weekends brunch nachos at @modernlovebrooklyn. We subbed the cashews with Almonds and added 2 tbs of kombucha vinegar! Top it off with fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, our kombucha pickled red onions and a scoop of tofu sour cream!! It also pairs so perfectly with our hoppy Seek Immunity kombucha. . . . #kombucha #kombuchalove #premiumkombucha #plantbasedrecipes #seeknorth #veganrecipes #healthyliving #kombuchabrewing #veganfood #plantbased #fermentedfoods #instagood #plantbaseddiet #nykombucha #kombuchaclub #gutpositive #kombuchaNY #NewYorkkombucha #kombuchaNewYork #seeknorthkombucha #guthealth #kombuchaNY #hudsonvalleykombucha #vegetarianforaday #vegetarianfood #vegetarianrecipes
Throughout the Hudson Valley
Maybe you’ve seen Seek North at a local café or maybe you’ve heard about it through Instagram. Either way, you’ve probably noticed the eye-catching bottles and wondered what elderflower and pineapple ‘booch actually tastes like (amazing, BTW). With three flavors on rotation, including the aforementioned Seek Immunity, Seek Clarity with blueberry and pomegranate, and Seek Harmony with hibiscus and ginger, the Hudson Valley brand stands out with powerhouse ingredients and a 100-percent raw formula. By skipping out on pasteurization or filtration, Seek North keeps its sugars low and active cultures high while keeping everything completely organic, too.
You’ve heard of family-run breweries in the Hudson Valley…but what about kombucha breweries? Such a thing exists in Troy, the Rensselaer County city in which Yesfolk bases its operations. The Hudson Valley brand is all organic and uses American Oak barrels from Adirondack Barrel Cooperage for fermentation. The brews lean on the tea-centric side, with formulations ranging from floral jasmine and toasty black dragon to smooth oolong. Sip them solo or, if you’re feeling particularly creative, swirl them into your favorite cocktail. Want to try before you buy? Hit Yesfolk’s taproom for an in-person drink, then stock up at vendors across the upper-Hudson Valley region.