The Best Thing I Drank in New Orleans (It Wasn’t Boozy)

(Image credit: Tara Donne)

There’s no shortage of delicious things to eat and drink in New Orleans. Since I first visited in 2007, it’s become, in my humble opinion, one of the most exciting food cities in the country. While I have my favorite treats that I always seek out (I’m looking at you, beignets and cafe au lait), I’m always discovering something new.

On my most recent trip, I stumbled (literally) onto Big Easy ‘Bucha.

(Image credit: Big Easy Bucha)

How I Discovered Big Easy ‘Bucha

As one is wont to do in New Orleans, I had a little too much fun one night. But it was for a good cause! I was attending a charity dinner for the Link Stryjewski Foundation, whose mission is to nourish and educate the youth of New Orleans.

There was fish and pasta and short ribs and an incredible Baked Alaska-like dessert called “Satuma Business en Fuego.” No one knows why. There were also sazeracs to start and lots (and lots) of wine.

So the next day, I decided to walk off my hangover. The air, a chilly 30°F, was a bit fresher than I would have liked, but the three-mile walk from my hotel (the super-stylish Henry Howard) to the city’s uptown neighborhood achieved its purpose: I felt clearer-headed. And in need of refreshment.

To fuel my return trip, I stopped in at Whole Foods, which is where I spotted Big Easy ‘Bucha.

Why I Love Big Easy ‘Bucha

Big Easy ‘Bucha is a homegrown company started in 2014 by Austin Sherman and Alexis Korman. He’s a bartender, she’s a freelance writer, and they’ve taken a buzzy drink and made use of local flavors: Ponchatoula strawberries, chicory coffee, and satsuma.

It’s also delicious, and not overwhelmingly sweet (which, I find, some kombuchas are). Plus, sales benefit local organizations, like Grow Dat Youth Farm.

Sadly, you can only find Big Easy ‘Bucha in the South (for now, I hope!), but if you’re planning to be in New Orleans anytime soon, I highly recommend giving it a try. And, if you’re checking bags, do like I did and bring a bottle (or two) home with you.

Do you have a favorite find in New Orleans? Share in the comments!