Mamma mia! They spiked my kombucha!

I’m just back from a nice lunch with my wife at a fabulous waterfront Italian restaurant in nearby Benicia. As I often do when eating out, I brought a bottle of my home brew ‘booch to drink with the meal but, as I always do, asked if they happen to serve kombucha, in which case I’m happy to buy what is on offer.

“Oh yes,” said the waitress, “we carry Blueberry Kombucha.”

I went ahead and ordered.

Perhaps I should have been suspicious when it was served in a small glass with ice and a wedge of lemon. But I took a taste, found it a little sweet with some interesting flavors apart from blueberry that I could not place. But quite refreshing. So I drank it up.

Only when I saw the bill which listed that small glass of “Blueberry Kombuca” (sic) for $12.00 did I ask exactly what they’d served me.

“Oh, that’s our kombucha cocktail. It’s made with vodka.”

As someone who gave up alcohol a dozen years ago I was surprised I did not notice the taste. Even more surprised that it seemed to have no effect on me.

But, most of all, shocked that the waitstaff were not trained to mention their “kombucha” was spiked.

Was I naive not to double-check that the kombucha I ordered was in fact just the kombucha, the whole kombucha and nothing but the kombucha, so help me God?

Perhaps. But for any of you dining at Bella Siena in Benicia, California, be careful what you ask for.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to BYOK and hope more cafes and restaurants will cop on to the growing demand for non-alcoholic drinks, served straight up.

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