Teeming with probiotics that boost gut health, kombucha is the wellness drink of the moment. Do-it-yourself kombucha brewing classes are growing in popularity and, for meetings, they offer a hands-on activity that’s a great nonalcoholic alternative to wine tastings. Kombucha Hunter in Los Angeles has been leading homebrewing workshops since January 2016; all have sold out. “We create an immersive, entertaining experience, where students not only learn to brew their kombucha with confidence, but also get to socialize with one another,” says Kombucha Hunter founder Stacy Gueraseva. “All of our workshops include a tasting portion, during which students can try a variety of our own brews.” The workshops can be customized for groups up to 30 people and held in any venue, from cafés and restaurants to maker spaces and corporate boardrooms. The workshops typically last 90-120 minutes, but can also be condensed to 60 minutes. Participants can be gifted everything they need for their own brews back home, including the allimportant gelatinous kombucha starter known as “scoby,” short for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha classes are being taught throughout the state, so you can likely find instructors who will be open to creating group workshops in your area, too. 

San Francisco’s iconic waterfront district received a pedestrian-friendly face-lift. 

 

Filling the niche between a killer Manhattan and a mocktail are lower alcohol-by-volume (ABV) sips. These cleverly crafted cocktails contain ingredients like vermouth, liqueurs and bitters that punch up flavor while keeping potency low. And that makes them the perfect beverage for professional gatherings. Los Angeles mixologists Alex Barbatsis and Robert Campbell of Highland Park’s Café Birdie have created three new low-ABV cocktails—Wrong Side of the Tracks, Little Red Corvette and Lust in Lambrusco—made with the recently debuted Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur.

 

Plant-based, dairy-free options are becoming menu essentials.