Kombucha Christmas Cosmo

kombucha cocktail

(I REE-HEALLY wanted to title this Combucha Christmas Cosmo.  But I refrained.  I just told you about it instead.)

Okay.  It’s The Holidays.  You’re shopping, playing, fluttering, or flapping wildly around like a flamingo on fire like I am, and trying to attend to all of your joyous holiday festivities.  It is EXHAUSTING. And fun.  And…exhausting.

It can also be stressful, especially when you’re keeping up with little people with food allergies, or big people with poor boundaries.  I have some thoughts for how to navigate those here.  But I digress.

I enjoy most of the celebration and commotion, and anticipate typical holiday flavors.  Also, I try my best to sneak extra nutrition into my holiday indulgences because it makes me feel slightly better about imbibing.  This is my favorite Christmas cocktail.  It has Grade B organic maple syrup and Kombucha.  Have you ever had Kombucha?  It’s tart. Its tasty. It’s alive. Kombucha is loaded with great healthy gut bacteria that eat yeast and sugar and bring flora into balance.  It’s like eating a bowl of yogurt but better. It boosts your immune system, improves digestion, and gives a little burst of energy. So, why not make a cocktail with it?  Right? Right.

My husband is our kombucha brewmaster, so we often have our own kombucha in a variety of flavors.  But because he works full time, he often forgets to keep up with it.  We like GT Kombucha Synergy brand just as much as our home brew, and use it as our default in this recipe.

Oh, and in case you aren’t a kombucha fan, you can use regular cranberry juice.  Your Cosmo will be sadder for it, though.  You can also substitute sparkling tonic water and orange juice in lieu of the vodka and Cointreau if you’re alcohol-free.


Christmas Kombucha Cosmo (Yields 3 servings)


1 cup of good quality vodka
1/2 cup of Cointreau
1 cup Cranberry Cosmos by GT Kombucha
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp Grade B organic maple syrup
1 tsp fresh ginger juice (if you’re feeling extra industrious)


1) Mix everything together with a spoon in a small pitcher.
2) Drink and [maybe] share with others.
3) Feel festive and fancy.

See? Wild flamingo is TAMED. Mostly.

See? Wild, flaming flamingo tamed.  Mostly.  Except for THAT HAIR.

A Seat at the Table

Candlestick TableThe ideal meal. We all have an idea of what that looks like for our families. For my family the perfect meal includes wide variety, vibrant colors, and plenty of fresh ingredients. An abundance of luscious green leafies, healthy fats, a modest portion of high-quality protein, maybe another green vegetable with a side of…vegetables. You know, super healthy and Pinterest-worthy. I am in love with the idea of setting a beautiful table, eating delicious food, engaging in stimulating conversation, and creating a complete experience.

Sometimes we eat around a clean table with cloth napkins, real silverware and nice dishes. We might even light a candle if we are feeling really fancy. But this happens maybe four times a year. In a good year.

The reality is, I’m just grateful for the days I manage to get a hot meal on the table by 6:00pm. Sometimes, it looks like a crockpot meal, other times it looks like a take-out burrito bowl from that chain restaurant down the street. The table is often strewn with stray bottles, papers and half-eaten bags of my son’s favorite fruit snack. We push it to the side and sit down to enjoy whatever is in front of us. My husband and I fight the exhaustion from our individual days apart to engage in meaningful conversation together while my toddler refuses everything we offer, with the exception of the fruit snack he wants to eat exclusively.

The ideal meal and the real meal often feel worlds apart. So, I’m determined to close that gap by focusing on the things that matter. And here are four things that matter to me:

Eat at the table.

I eat in front of the TV, computer, or on my feet more often than I want to admit. I can’t tell you what I ate yesterday for lunch because I forgot to sit down and taste it. The act of pulling up a chair changes my experience of eating. I taste my food. I enjoy it. I remember to eat, and I remember what I ate.

Banish Pinterest from the table.

I really enjoy setting a beautiful table. But I enjoy the people around the table much more than the dishes we use or candles we light. A beautiful table is full of food my family likes, meaningful conversation, and making an effort to really see one another. Artful table arrangements are fun and can add a sense of warmth, creativity, and elegance. But my family and friends effortlessly bring those qualities in spades. I don’t need to fixate on creating a perfect table setting. Anyone who sits at my table is a bearer of beauty, and that is what matters.

Everyone has a voice at the table.

My husband has had a long day working for The Man, my toddler has had a long day learning how to be a tiny human in this world, I have had a long day juggling my responsibilities at home and work, which happen to be under the same roof. We all have needs. All of us want to be heard. In our joy, laughter, exuberance, heartache, and doubts. We all have a voice at this table, even when the voice is rusty or thin, because what we share with each other is important and leaves the door open for bigger, deeper conversations. Conversation doesn’t have to sparkle, it just has to hit home. We can speak about our whole experience, not just the nice stuff, and I want to hear it all.

Everyone has a seat at the table.

Age, race, gender, physical or mental limitations, differing political or religious views, past experiences, current socio-economic challenges… All are welcome. All have a seat this table. No qualifiers, no apologies, just a desire to nourish and be nourished here. There is Love at this table and everyone deserves to feast and drink deeply in a place where there is safety and abundance to share. It might be served on a paper plate, and it might come from a white carton with chopsticks and packets of soy sauce on the side, but it’s yours if you want it. If you will have us, we will gladly have you. 

You, dear friend, are always welcome at our table.

Feel Better Broth

Photo of Feel Better BrothA couple of years ago, we visited friends and family in Texas over the holidays. I worked in a doctor’s office at the time and had managed to escape getting sick before our trip. I was so proud of myself for taking all the extra precautions to stay healthy because I really wanted to enjoy my time with the people I love the most in the world.

Did I mention I was also pregnant? Because I was. I had extra incentive to stay healthy because pregnant Carrie + air travel + sickness = misery. I was fine the day we traveled, but my immune system couldn’t hack the long plane ride and day of travel, plus the shockingly sunny warmth of Houston in December. I woke up the on Christmas Eve and felt retched. Stuffy head, chills, cough, and lethargy. I wanted to feel better fast. I looked longingly at the fresh cinnamon rolls coming out of oven, knowing sugar would suppress my immune system even more. I made a cup of tea instead and tried not to let the pregnancy/sickie/holiday blues overwhelm me. I decided I would try to restore some of my health through good, clean eating and be glad to be with my family. My sickness would NOT get the best of me.

I dug through my mother-in-law’s pantry, looking for something to help me feel better. After foraging for a few minutes, I found ingredients for a soothing remedy comprised of free-range chicken broth, garlic, green onion, lemon juice, and parsley.  It took 10 minutes to make, and I was able to sip it all day long. I perked up quickly, my head cleared, and I started to feel human again.

During the holiday season, we always stock up on homeopathic remedies, kombucha, Tulsi lemon-ginger tea, and detoxifying baths.  We also keep ingredients on hand to make a batch of the Feel Better Broth, because it is so delicious and fortifying. Chicken broth is excellent for the immune system.  There’s a reason why chicken soup is popular for colds.  It’s a scientific fact that chicken soup boosts immunity.  Green onion has been used to fight colds in Japan for centuries.  Garlic is a natural anti-microbial/bacterial and cleans out the liver.  Parsley is a natural detoxifier.  Lemon juice draws impurities out of the lymphatic system where cold and flu germs like to hang out and keep you sick.  It’s the first thing I make for friends or family who get the flu and they always feel better after a mug of it.

Food is medicine.  This broth is delightful, comforting, and soothing, and warm.  You’ll feel better, I promise.


1 quart free range chicken or bone broth
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 green onions, chopped (including white stem)
1 small lemon
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring broth, garlic, and white stems of green onion to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until garlic is soft.
  3. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
  4. Put some fresh parsley and green onion in bottom of mug or bowl and pour broth over it.  (This method keeps it the greens fresh and optimal for consumption.)
  5. Drink up!  Keep it warming on the stove and put a lid on it.  Drink it all day.  Feel better.