When the mercury creeps up into the red and the world outside demands sun cream and shade, there are few hangover-free drinks that hit quite the same spot as our Dry Dragon kombucha. If you’ve yet to try this gorgeous, healthy non-alcoholic wine alternative, allow us to try and twist your arm. Read on and discover everything you need to know about this extraordinary drink.
What is Dry Dragon?
This exquisite fermented drink is served in many of the UK’s finest restaurants as an alternative to sparkling wine. Often described as a non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc, it is remarkably refreshing, and it pairs wonderfully with shellfish (particularly oysters), green vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, green salads and fruit. We’ve written elsewhere on this blog about the wonderful food pairing experiences we’ve had with this versatile, delicious drink, and we’re hearing about similar experiences from our customers all the time.
Perhaps the main difference between Dry Dragon kombucha and its alcoholic wine cousins is the fact that it is fermented from tea rather than grapes. As a non-alcoholic wine alternative, this allows it to present with similar mouthfeel, acidity levels and balance in flavour without losing much of its body – an issue that many non-alcoholic wines try to combat with increased levels of sugar. Dry Dragon manages all this while remaining low in sugar and calories.
What does Dry Dragon taste like?
Knowing that Dry Dragon kombucha is fermented from a green tea, the obvious question is: “doesn’t this taste of tea?” For most people (although certainly not everybody – we all experience things in our own unique ways), the taste of tea is not prominent. You may experience the same astringency that you’d find in a tea, but since astringency is also common to wine, this only really adds to the sense that you’re drinking a genuinely tasty non-alcoholic wine alternative.
For most people, Dry Dragon presents as an elegant light and citrusy serve, with notes of sweet lemons and grapefruit. A delicate leafy undertone keeps it dry and fresh, making it a perfect light summer spritz to be drunk at any time of day.
It’s important to note that no flavourings are added to our kombuchas, meaning we can keep our sugar content relatively low. The flavours are natural to the high-end ingredients and the skills inherant in our fermentation process. It’s an incredible drink whichever way you approach it.
How is kombucha made?
Making kombucha is actually very easy: you simply add your kombucha culture to a pot of warm sweetened tea and leave it for a couple of weeks to ferment. It’s quite similar to fermenting beer or wine. The trick to making great kombucha though is to really carefully and tightly manage every stage of the process to get an extraordinary flavour. As you might imagine, choosing to buy a premium kombucha is much like choosing to buy a good quality wine over making your own homebrew.
Why is Dragon Well tea special?
Dry Dragon kombucha is fermented from Dragon Well, a pan-roasted green tea from the area around Longjing Village, Zhejiang Province in China. Fresh leaves are wiped around a piping hot wok to stop the natural oxidation process early. Unlike Japanese green teas, steamed to give a distinct grassy flavour, Dragon Well reveals more complex nutty and straw-like flavours. If you’d like to know more about Dragon Well tea, take a listen to our podcast with world tea expert, Jane Pettigrew. The rituals and history are facinating.
What are the benefits of Dry Dragon kombucha?
Much is made of the perceived health benefits of kombucha. You’ll find a lot written about probiotic bacteria, and while our drinks are no different, we think there are more obvious health benefits to celebrate.
In choosing a chilled, elegant glass of Dry Dragon, you’re taking the step of treating yourself to a healthy non-alcoholic drink; a natural, low-sugar wine alternative. Without any added flavours, relying purely on the flavours eminating from the exquisite Dragon Well tea, one regular wine glass contains around 30 calories, compared to around 144 in the same glass of Sauvignon Blanc*. It’s rare to find a drink that can make those claims while tasting so good at the same time.
* Regular wine glass = 175ml. Calorie information from weightlossresources.co.uk