February witnessed a rise in fermented drink options, from kefir milk smoothies to kombucha tea with soda
Homemade Granola. Pic/SNEHA KHARABE
Smoothies and granola
It's a glass filled with healthy treats — fresh fruit, almonds, oats, honey, sunflower seeds, cashewnuts, peanuts and white sesame, mixed with kefir milk (a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains). Pictured here is the Homemade Granola (`195 plus taxes), the newest healthy offering at The Pantry in Kala Ghoda. The eatery also serves a Kefir Milk with Vanilla and Honey (`195 plus taxes), and Kefir Milk with Strawberry and Mulberry Smoothie (`245 plus taxes).
"The conversation began when we were discussing the possibility of bringing kombucha on tap at one of our other restaurants. Then, we heard about Moina Oberoi of MO's Kefir, who was doing trials for her kefir milk. We tasted some of it and liked it, so decided to introduce it here," says co-owner Sumit Gambhir.
They've experimented with it in raita, dressings, smoothies and milkshakes. "It goes best with granola and fresh fruit bowls. The plain version has a funky taste that may not appeal to all, so we started with the sweeter versions," he adds.
At: Yashwant Chambers, Military Square lane, near Trishna, Kala Ghoda.
Ginger Ale and iced tea
Most kefir drinks on supermarket shelves are milk-based. However, at The Boston Butt, the ingredient is used in water-based drinks. On the menu are Lemon Molasses Kefir Iced Tea, Apple Cinnamon Spice Kefir Iced Tea and Ginger Ale. "We wanted to serve a soda-flavoured beverage with a probiotic in it. We got the culture from the United States. It takes two batches of fermentation to produce a kefir drink. The second batch happens right in the bottle from which you are served," says Siddharth Kashyap, chef and partner. It takes between 48 and 72 hours to make a batch, so it's best to call and check for availability.
At: First floor, Rampart Row, 30, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda.
Cost: Rs 300 plus taxes
At Harsh Negandhi's home at Marine Drive, you can find SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), that he has been using for over a month, to make kombucha, which features on the menu of Bucha Bar, a newly-launched artisanal brewery he co-founded with a friend. "A friend made me taste the drink last year and I liked it. Then, I chanced upon SCOBY in Goa and started making kombucha at home," says Negandhi. "We make it in two flavours — clarifying black tea and detoxifying green kombucha." The drink has a shelf life of three days (in the open) to seven days (refrigerated).
Cost: Rs 150 (250ml bottle); delivery is free in South Bombay, Rs 100 everywhere else
Kombucha with soda
Bastian serves a home-brewed kombucha, a green tea and sugar, mixed with soda. "The SCOBY plays a very important role in making the kombucha. It normally takes about six t0 seven days to make a batch and get the desired taste," says bar manager Ashitosh Narayanan, adding that they can also make flavoured versions such as honey, pineapple and ginger by replacing the sugar. The drink is currently only part of the brunch menu served on Sundays, but is available on other days on request.
At: Bastian, B/1, New Kamal Building, Linking Road, Bandra (W).
Cost: Rs 250 plus taxes