Magic mirror on the wall, which alcoholic beverage have you seen me consume the most of them all? Yes, I just recited the famous line of the Evil Queen from Snow White while staring at myself in my living room mirror. If my mirror could speak; it would probably say, “Thou, O Queen, JuneShine is the one most of all.” If you aren’t hip to JuneShine, sit down and enjoy my story about my love for this boozy beverage.
I was introduced to JuneShine by one of my best friends during the summer of 2019. We were at Bed-Vyne Brew in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and I had recently found out I was allergic to hops, wheat, and rye, so drinking a beer was out of the question. My friend handed me this very Instagram-friendly looking mint green, beige, and orange can with the words JuneShine across the front and said, “It’s gluten-free.” Down to try anything once, I snatched the can from his hands and popped it open. Before reading the text with ingredients information on the back, I pulled the can close to my ear to listen to the calm fizzling sound inside. It was so relaxing that I let out a sigh and pressed the opening to my mouth to take my first sip of hard kombucha.
As soon as the sweet crisp liquid hit my tongue, I pulled away to examine the can because it was unlike any other alcoholic beverage I had before. I felt an instant connection to the Blood Orange Mint flavor. As a regular Kombucha drinker, it was similarly refreshing and easy to swallow. When I moved the can back to my lips to take another sip, I knew I had found the one.
From that day on, this 6% ABV beverage became my drink of choice outside of the occasional tequila shot. I’d drink it at the one bar in my neighborhood that carried JuneShine or bring it back to my stoop and sip on a can some with friends. Once the pandemic hit, our relationship got more intimate: I’d get it delivered and enjoy it on my couch, in bed, and sometimes even during a shower. Don’t knock a shower buzz until you’ve tried it, it’s like taking a bath with a glass of wine, except more efficient.
I was obsessed and wanted to share this gluten-free beverage with everyone. It was like I became a JuneShine groupie. I’d post Instagram stories of what I call “Kombucha Thirst Traps,” which is a mirror selfie of me holding a can or someone taking a picture of me with the can to my mouth, and then I would tag the brand, so they knew the love was real. When I was in Michigan visiting my family, I’d hit up JuneShine on IG to see if they had distributors in Michigan. I even rekindled an old friendship by DM-ing a guy I went to high school with after seeing him comment, “Michigan?” on one of the brand’s posts.
While you might not be as enthusiastic as I am, trust me, one sip will change that. It’s the best drink to sip on now that the weather is warm. My personal favorite flavor is the Blood Orange Mint but I’ve also cheated on it with Honey Ginger Lemon. If you’re looking for something more like an IPA, Hopsical Citrus will be your favorite while the Midnight Painkiller is a spin on the classic painkiller cocktail with pineapple, coconut, orange, activated charcoal and nutmeg. And now there’s even a Mango Chili flavor, which sounds like a delicious Mexican snack. Whatever you choose, know that my love affair with the stuff is still going strong, with our two year anniversary approaching. JuneShine, you will always be the baddest hard boochie in my heart.
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