A field blend of apple marigold, lemon balm and amaranth

Ahi is raising the bar with the introduction of its new, alcohol-free wild sodas

With an increasing desire for delicious alcohol-free drinks in bars and restaurants, more and more venues are upping the ante on their drinks lists, and Ahi is one such establishment — introducing an incredible selection of probiotic wild sodas, naturally fermented with ingredients from the Ahi Garden.

Bar Manager Egor Petrov is behind the new drinks, carefully selecting herbs, fruit, and flowers from the Ahi Garden, and pairing these incredible ingredients with raw honey and water to brew gut-loving, healthy tonics. “Good and bad bacteria is all around us, and it’s their misbalance that makes us sick.” says Petrov, before continuing “I wanted to create drinks at Ahi that counter this, reimagining the traditional restaurant and bar offering with the addition of healthy tonics that are rich in good bacteria and support the gut microbiome.”

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left to right: Apple Mint and Flowering Basil

My job as a ‘fermentologist’ is to create an environment where good bacteria thrive and bad bacteria don’t — and that’s what I’ve done with our wild sodas.” Going further than the standard kombuchas you’ll find on many drinks menus when dining out, these sodas are unique in that typical ferments are made with a ready culture (like a scoby), but Petrov relies solely on the probiotic bacteria that live on the plants in Ahi’s garden. “I believe that this is a healthier way to ferment probiotic drinks, because a kombucha scoby or a kefir grain will produce alcohol as a byproduct of fermentation, but the method I’m using relies on natural bacteria that lowers the PH of the fermented beverage instead.” Petrov tells me.

The first of their kind in New Zealand, seasonal ingredients available in the garden will dictate the ever-changing flavours of the wild sodas. For now, you’ll find the likes of crisp Apple & Mint, a beautifully balanced flowering basil iteration, and a unique field blend of apple marigold, lemon balm and amaranth.



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