Jun Tea: After-School Mocktails
At a restaurant one evening, my kids watched closely as I enthusiastically surveyed the cocktail list looking for something fun and bubbly to drink. It wasn’t long before one of them piped up and asked why they couldn’t enjoy an interesting drink at dinner as well! Being a fan of fermented foods, I realized that a craft-inspired kombucha mocktail could be just the ticket that would please adults and kids alike! Bubbly, sweet, gut healthy, and fun!
The following recipes feature light and effervescent Jun. Like kombucha, Jun is fermented with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) but is made with green tea and raw honey instead of black tea and sugar. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, live enzymes, and electrolytes—the original energy drink! For those who suffer from indigestion, it’s a lovely beverage to sip before or after a big meal. Poured over ice and topped with a fresh garnish, these gut-healthy tonics will win over even the most skeptical critic!
Note: Fermented foods should never be heated up to boiling, nor should they be frozen into popsicles. The extreme temperature will damage the beneficial properties. Enzymes and cells will denature, making the drink (or any ferment for that matter) less than what it ought to be.
Original Green Tea Jun
- 1 Jun SCOBY
- 5 green tea bags
- 3 c filtered water
- 2 c raw honey
- ¼ c Jun starter
- In a large saucepan, bring water to 165°F without allowing to boil. Remove from heat and add teabags, allowing to steep for ten minutes.
- Remove tea bags, stir in honey, and let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Add starter and place SCOBY on top. Cover with a clean tea towel, using a rubber band to secure it in place and let sit on the counter until fermented. In warm weather, ferment five days. In cold weather, wait 7 days.
- Move to fridge to slow down the fermentation process, keeping in mind that the shorter the ferment, the sweeter the Jun!
For flavoured Jun or more bubbles and pep: After the first ferment, add your flavour of choice (like fresh herbs or berries) and secure lid on your vessel. Let sit for 3–4 more days at room temperature.
To raise your already-appetizing Jun to the level of fancy-flavoured refreshment, try these delectable additions and make a tasty toast to this versatile tea bevvie!
Blushing Peach Jun
This peachy-keen mocktail makes any weekday feel like a celebration!
- 1 c Jun
- 1 tsp honey, plus more for garnish
- ½ lime
- 2 peaches
- Mint, for garnish
Pour all ingredients except ice and garnish into a blender and mix well. Strain, pour over ice, and garnish with honey, mint, and a peach slice, if desired.
Pineapple & Basil Smash
Let your kids burn some afternoon energy by muddling to their hearts’ content!
- 1 c Jun
- 2 tsp honey
- ½ lime, squeezed
- 3–4 basil leaves
- ¼ c pineapple juice
Muddle basil with 1 Tbsp of Jun. Combine with ingredients and serve over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a sprig of basil and a pineapple wedge.
Berry Cherry Jun
Bubbles, berries, pre- and probiotics, this mocktail has got it all!
- ½ c berry-infused Jun
- ½ c cherry juice
- 2 tsp honey
- Dash of cinnamon
- Rosemary spring and frozen berries, for garnish
Combine ingredients and pour over ice. Serve garnished with rosemary and frozen berries.
Wink, Wink, Nudge! The mocktails become lo-cal, low-sugar cocktails for the grownup set with a splash of vodka or gin. Cheers!