Black Mountain Potion

At last I’ve learned how to make kombucha. That may sound like a nonsense sentence, but you should know that this drink (it’s a sort of fermented tea) is enormously addictive, and costs about $4.50 a thimble at grocery stores. It is perhaps the nearest I’ll ever approach to convincing myself that I’m restoring my HP/hearts/life bar (surely I can’t be the only child of the SNES who has a lingering potion fixation).

So, naturally I wasn’t content to just make it, and bottle it, and let that be that. I wanted it to sit there in my fridge, looking like something brewed in the misty mountains of insert-foreboding-word,  bought from a witch’s stall in a back-alley market. Because I am that kind of nerd, and life is better if you give a story to everything you use, eat or own.


The bottles didn’t turn out as impressively as I’d have liked. Painting on glass is hard. Like, HARD, man. Even worse than painting on ceramics. It takes ten times longer than simply drawing something on a piece of paper, and leaves you with a streaky, wobbly mess. I’m trying to tell myself that this is part of the charm.

Oh the tea, by the way, is a bit of a variation on the standard formula. I used Ribena (blackcurrant nectar) for part of the sugar content, so it’s rather dark and purple (though not very much in the pictures), and a little bitter. I am exceedingly pleased with myself. Exceedingly pleased.


Filed under Hchom

24 responses to “Black Mountain Potion

  1. First, I feel like I am internet stalking you (isu). Second, have you tried the new brand of kombucha at Whole Foods? I was reaching for my usual choice when a man suggested I try the new one. I did. Like the other, it was delicious, but also had the added benefit of getting me drunk midday.

    Where did you get those bottles?

    • Marian

      No way man. That’s the whole point of blogs – it’s like walking around in a really short skirt that says (in actual printed text) STALK ME, FUCKERS.

      But oh! That other brand of kombucha is so much better, I thought. Or I should say, so much stronger – more what like you used to make. But it was also so much more expensive, which is what drove me, eventually, to sucking it up and making it myself. Speaking of which, the first batch I made, for some reason, just tasted like beer. Weird and malty? And, uh, foamy? But this last one was more normal. Oh, hey, how long did you ferment yours, back in the day?

      Bottles are from IKEA, believe it or not. They hold a whole litre.

  2. I’ve never had such a drink, but, I’d buy that from a back alley witch any day of the week.

    A back alley witch in a weird cyberpunk world, trying to bring the mountains back to the city world.

    Uhoh, stories brewing.

  3. Dave Illustrious Shevlin

    I am going to research this kombucha, it looks rather pleasant. Regular markets carry it?

    • Marian

      Whole-foods-type markets often carry it, or fancy-type places. I know there’s a Portland company who makes it (“kombucha wonder drink”), which is a good brand to start with because it’s a bit more palatable than some of the stronger stuff.

      • Dave Illustrious Shevlin

        Awesome! I will now proceed to acquire this magical witch’s brew potion. I gots me many a dungeon to plunder. All them Moblins and stuff, it gets dangerous out there.

  4. Victor

    I love how you impart your craft and a sense of magic to everything you do.
    I’m going to look up a recipe for this stuff. Fermented tea sounds fantastic. Almost as good as a goblet of mead rasied in honour of the gods.

    • Marian

      Man, I really need to find myself a good mead goblet.

      I must warn you, the process of making it involves getting your hands on some starter bacteria called “the mother” (which makes me think that it’s implanting control sequences in my brain while I’m sleeping). It can be a bit, uh, alienating to start with because of that, but it’s not actually difficult.

  5. Sister

    This is so impressive sister. Your internal flora and fauna are going to thrive and multiply after the consumption of all this goodness. The funny thing is, Ribena is like the Sunny D of England, and about 1/6th the price there. I consumed it by the diluted buket load.

    • Marian

      I have internal fauna? Dude!

      Are you free this Sunday? Can we do stuff and things involving eating food off our parents’ dime?

      • Sister

        of course you do! Or it is very likely that you do. We could do stuff and things involving our parents dimes this Sunday… I desperately need to do laundry.

      • Ecat3 on May 22, 2008 Nice Video lolz, my names Rachel, im feeiln n0rty and h0rn3y if any guyz wana chat im usually on___ ___ my username there is Rachel-zuunpoqms chat soon

  6. nout

    I loved this post. Kombucha (& it’s twin-drink, the name of which escapes me at the moment) never really did it for me, but seeing it in those bottles, with your wonderful art on it, I could be tempted into a glass.

    Really glad to have your blog in my feed, hope you’re well.

    • Marian

      Glad to have you reading the blog. And nice to hear from you, too. I still sometimes wonder where that first package went – I like to imagine that it landed on the doorstep of some very confused little old man, or something like that.

      • nout

        I still haven’t gotten the right frame for your wonderful commission, but the Conan page is hanging from my walls, right next to Brandon’s great drawing.
        My visions of what happened to the first package aren’t quite so romantic, especially after the horror that befell the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus shipments to Belgium. Check Terry Moore’s blog to see what I mean.
        However, even they at least arrived…
        Still, I’m happy & looking forward to art!

  7. This is a cool idea! And not to mention, much more legit-sounding than the rejuvelac homebrew I’ve been stirring up.
    Did you have trouble finding a kombucha culture?
    Also, great blog!
    Stay +!

  8. Why do you do everything the hard way? I knocked a cave wall over the other day and found a whole pool of this shit guarded by some lot of fairie bitches.

  9. i was never very interested in making this until you mention RIBENA. have you tried the other flavors? i’m not sure if they’re available outside of europe but the apple flavor is especially good. not sure they make them in concentrate form, though.

  10. Tabris Macbeth

    I am the biggest goddamn dork for saying this, but I think it’d look cool if “Black Mountain Potion” was written on the bottle in kanji or somethin’. I would put it next to my DVD box set of Neon Genesis Evangelion (which I seriously have) while I write posts on Desu Chan.


  11. It should be “afraid” of those moments when there are too lengthy delays at the proposed summit. In the body can begin externally visible decline of vitality.

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