JULY 2017 – As more people embrace holistic lifestyles with yoga practices, cleaner eating, acupuncture for healing and more, different ingredients have entered the culinary community to help cater to those seeking out healthier options as well as to introduce these products more into the mainstream. And Cindy’s is no different. As you have seen from perusing the menus at Cindy’s, our kitchen and bar teams takes pride in sourcing local and seasonal meats and produce, but also researches unique ingredients to add into the mix. One such ingredient that checks all those boxes is kombucha and Cindy’s Spirit Guide, Nandini Khaund, loves using it.
So what is kombucha? It’s a liquid that gets produced by fermenting tea and sugar and results in a lightly effervescent tea that contains living cultures that many claim offer a variety of health benefits.
Khaund sources the kombucha she uses behind the bar at Cindy’s from local kombucha purveyor and friend Frog Greishaw. She creates a range of kombucha using a host of locally grown ingredients, including lavender, peach, raspberry, ginger and a type of mint called chocolate mint. The result offers a beverage with beautifully layered aromatics and complex flavors. While Greishaw crafts many kombucha flavors, currently Cindy’s carries three: a strawberry base with subtle scents of basil flower; raspberry-chocolate mint and the team’s favorite: jun.
Jun, a Tibetan style of kombucha that rhymes with “moon,” is derived from wild honey and white tea. “It has a delicate nourishing sweetness and a zingy effervescence,” Khaund said, who added it’s considered the Champagne of kombucha. To add to her kombucha’s mystique, Greishaw produces her batches during alchemically significant events like solar and lunar eclipses and various moon phases and adds in a variety of crystals to enhance the drink’s energy.
One of Khaund’s most popular drinks, the Howl at the Jun, incorporates this kombucha with Beefeater (or another London-style dry gin), grapefruit juice, simple or honey syrup and dry sparkling rose. The result is a lovely, easy-sipping cocktail that’s perfect for whiling away time on Cindy’s expansive terrace that overlooks Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Won’t you come in for a drink?