I didn’t used to like kombucha. My issue was less with the flavor, which in my estimation was comparable to pickle juice (full disclosure: I fucking love pickles), but rather the eerie reverence with which its virtues are extolled. Have you ever spoken with a kombucha enthusiast? They try to get you on that bottle like an infant formula ad, proselytizing its health benefits more persistently than those canvassers permanently posted outside of health food stores who try to get you to pledge monthly donations (these people, incidentally, are largely responsible for the dwindling balance in my checking account. DAMN YOU, OVERGROWN CONSCIENCE). If kombucha praise were to be taken at face value, I (and everyone else who happens to imbibe) would basically be immortal by now.
But I don’t buy into the hype that accompanies kombucha. I acknowledge that it has probiotic cultures (hey, Jamie Lee Curtis can’t have all the fun), is fairly low-calorie, and contains a bevy of antioxidants. Compared to other aqueous solutions that I regularly attempt to hydrate with (note: not usually water), it is probably better than a soy latte. And, in the case of Kombucha Dog, it is one of the best beverages on Earth (back off, Snapple lady, your empire is built upon lies).
Unlike a lot of other kombuchas, which taste like the above-mentioned pickle juice, raspberry Kombucha Dog is sweet on the tongue, then tart, with a light, pleasantly fermented flavor throughout. It’s glass-bottled and fizzy, so drinking one is almost as satisfying as popping open a Mexicoke–and because there is less sugar than there is in Mexicoke, you don’t experience a bloodsugar plummet that makes you feel like a corpse an hour later (downside: your pancreas might get a little bored. Better take a glucose tablet. Party!). I had raspberry Kombucha Dog with bacon-flavored kale chips, and it was a delicious, albeit almost shamefully hippie-esque, gustatory experience.
About the hippie-esque gustatory experience: I know that kombucha is not strictly a vegan product. But I can’t help but suspect that my kombucha habit is a byproduct of having been vegan for over a decade; you eat a plant-based diet long enough and eventually you develop a palate for weird hippie foods. (It’s science.)
But if there is one thing I like more than delicious fermented beverages, it’s pups.
Did you peep that label? I want to kiss that little guy’s face until he’s like, “Jeez, lady! I need space. You’re smothering me.” And the labels are more than just adorable: if you go to their website, you can adopt that smush-faced little man, or another equally photogenic sweetheart in need of a good home.
I got this wonder elixir at Rainbow Acres in Marina Del Rey, but it’s also available at Erewhon, Locali, and a number of other veggie-friendly establishments in L.A. Check it out!