Fuji Apple Pét Nat Kombucha marked the inception of Monceau and, with it, the beginning of team Monceau’s quest into the unknown world of fermentation. This blog is dedicated to the pretty pink spheres that were our inspiration for our Pét Nat Kombucha.
Why Fuji Apples?
Well, when it comes to fermentation, sugar is key! As it so happens, Fuji is one of the sweetest varieties of apples out there, so we knew we’d have plenty of natural sugars to play around with. We already knew that Fuji apples worked wonderfully in drink form thanks to our close relative, cider. But we knew there were a bunch of improvements we wanted to make to end up with a drink that represented us. Low-intervention, natural and non-alcoholic were our target points, and so we started testing.
Where do Fuji apples come from?
If your first instinct (like mine) is to think of Mount Fuji when you hear about these apples, your instinct is wrong. You can imagine my disappointment when researching the etymology of the apples and finding they weren’t some special apples found on Mount Fuji. Whilst the namesake of Mount Fuji has long outdated any clear records, Fuji apples are named after the town in which the variety was first developed, Fujisaki. Fuji apples were cultivated from a hybrid of two different American varieties, Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Janet and we’re only brought into existence in the 1930s. Since then, Fuji apples have dominated apple sales in Japan and across the world.
Fuji Apple Pét Nat vs Cider
So, what it is that actually separates our Pét Nat Kombucha from simply being a cider? We do love the fact that the flavour profile of our Fuji Apple Pét Nat Kombucha is very similar to that of a cider but obviously want to avoid some of the less appealing aspects of it. Whilst both processes involve fermentation, Monceau’s double ferment really aims at limiting the amount of intervention used to create the flavours and bubbles.
Generally, an alcoholic cider will have white wine or champagne yeast added to a batch of apple juice and left to ferment. Cider will go through a single, long fermentation which then typically ends with preservatives being added and being injected with carbon dioxide. The long fermentation and the yeast used gives the cider it’s high alcohol content.
Our Pét Nat Kombucha undergoes two fermentation processes. The first process involves a kombucha culture fermenting organic black tea, which is typical of a kombucha fermentation. However, the second fermentation involves adding fresh fruit juice (Fuji Apple in this case), separating the batch into individual bottles, and leaving them to continue to ferment in the bottle. This process minimises the amount of time the yeast culture has to turn the sugars into alcohol, keeping the ABV at about 1%, and also produces the natural carbonation that we love. This double fermentation also ferments most of the super sugary flavour out, which leaves you with a not-too-sickly-sweet, healthier, and more natural version of most ciders you’ll find at the bottle-o.
Sounds up your alley? Here are a few ways us here at team Monceau like to enjoy our Fuji Apple Pét Nat Kombucha.
First, it would be remiss for us not to say that drinking Monceau straight up over ice is simply the best way to enjoy it. If drinking it as is isn’t the best, then we would be doing something very wrong.
Apple and ginger dream
Second, we love an apple and ginger combo. Adding one part ginger beer, three parts Fuji Apple Pét Nat Kombucha and a sprinkle of cinnamon to a glass on ice is a slightly spicier way to enjoy the apples. By muting the sweetness of the Fuji’s, the ginger really allows the taste of the apple to shine through.
Want extra spice?
Finally, for those who love to mostly enjoy Monceau as a non-alc drink but sometimes like to indulge in drinks of the alcoholic variety, there are a bunch of different concoctions that work wonderfully. We like this Apple Cider Mojito (swapping out the cider for Monceau of course). The simplicity of lemon juice, rum and Monceau is always appealing, but the flavour is what hits it out of the park.