what is ambedo?
ambedo is a naturally fermented beverage that uses Tibicos, aka water kefir grains, to convert sugar into three main things
Live Probiotic Cultures
what are the Tibicos made of?
Tibicos are a SCOBY (a term you may know from kombucha), a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. They are a happy little family co-existing in a snug little bundle, just waiting for sugar to eat to turn into ambedo.
probiotics...isn't that some healthy thing?
Yes, probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. Probiotics have been studied and shown to support digestive health, immunue function, and general well being.
There are many claims of healing powers and curing capabilities. However, we think this quote from Sandor Ellix Katz's book The Art of Fermentation is on point for our outlook on the health benefits of probiotics and fermented foods.
"Bacteria in our gut, potentially enhanced by bacteria in foods can have far-reaching and profound impacts on our health. In my own healing journey, I have found that live-culture foods help me feel good all around and give me a proactive way to help myself, as well as help others. However, this does not mean that live-culture fermented foods are panaceas. In our culture of immediate gratification, we want magic-bullet cures, and enterprising marketers wish to oblige us."
how do you make ambedo?
ambedo is twice fermented and is very similar in production to pet-nat or Méthode Ancestrale wines, but without the alcohol.
A cane sugar solution is made, then the Tibicos are added and ferment from 48-72 hours. The Tibicos are then strained out. At this point most of the sugar has transformed to acids and probiotics. The liquid is slightly fizzy with a really mild, delicate taste.
Next, fruit, herbs, teas, whatever we want really, is added. The yeast (probiotics!) in the liquid eat up any remaining sugar creating carbon dioxide, which gives ambedo its distinctive fizz.
you say it is carbonated, but mine feels...different.
YES! It does feel different than a normal soda or beer. That's because natural carbonation has a much different feel than forced carbonation. In the wine world it is known as frizzante, petillant, or semi-sparkling.
We love the soft delicate bubbles, and hope you do too.
does ambedo contain alcohol?
All fermented foods contain traces of alcohol, and likewise so does ambedo. However, it is <1% at time of bottling, which is about the same as an over-ripe banana. If you keep a bottle for a long time though, especially somewhere warm, there is potential for the alcohol content to increase.
why do I have to keep ambedo cold?
Because ambedo is unpasteurised & live there are still yeasts eating any sugar left, and producing more fizz. By keeping ambedo cold, the yeast go to sleep and won't eat and make fizz. If the yeast are warm, they wake up, get hungry, eat everything they can, and potentially produce too much carbonation which could fizz all over when you open it, or at worst make the bottle burst under the pressure. This is very unlikely, but why take the risk?
Besides, ambedo is tastier cold.
how come this batch of ambedo tastes different than the last time I had it?
While we aim to be 100% consistent and are quite fastidious with our processes (Type A's can I get a whoop!), we are working with a natural product that changes with the temperature, environment, water, music being played...you get the idea.
So similar to wine that varies year to year & evolves in the bottle as it ages, so does ambedo. ambedo really is a living thing! Keep a bottle for a long time & every last bit of sugar will be converted into acids and probiotics, resulting in a much drier drink with more pronounced tartness. Right after its bottled it will be a touch sweeter and less zingy. That's why we recommend drinking ambedo within two weeks of purchasing. But who are we to tell you what to do?
how much sugar does ambedo contain?
All our drinks have less than 4g of sugar per 100ml. We aim to get the sugar as low as possible, while still having a deliciously addictive taste.
That's about 60% less sugar than a traditional soda, fruit juice, or canned drink.
what's floating in my bottle?
We don't filter out any of the good stuff in ambedo, so there are still yeasts and tiny fruit bits in the bottle. The longer a bottle sits still, the more you will see them. They are 100% safe to drink, but if you prefer to avoid it, just let the bottle sit and pour slowly into a glass. The yeast will stay in the bottom of the bottle. But why would you do that and miss out on all the probiotic goodness?
how should I drink ambedo?
However the heck you want!
We find ourselves having it as a mid-morning pick me up instead of that 10th cup of coffee, and right from the bottle at lunch and picnics.
In the evening, we tend to have our ambedo in a wine glass or flute. This helps accentuate the aromas and sparkling texture. ambedo is a sophisticated alternative when you are going sans alcohol, delicious but not overly sweet or juvenile.
can I mix ambedo with alcohol?
Yes! ambedo makes a wonderful mixer due to its delicate bubbles, dryness and complex flavours. It is an elegant way to elongate your favourite spirit.
Check out our drinks page for some combinations we love and easy at-home recipes.
where is ambedo made?
All of ambedo is made at No. 57 Handmade in Lewisham, London.
No. 57 Handmade is a co-working space we share with other makers like ourselves. No. 57 Handmade is open Saturday 9am to 5pm, and on Wednesdays 10am to 6pm.
what kind of sugar do you use?
We use a fairtrade demerara sugar from Belize. It is made from a small holders who work in small collectives together. It costs a bit more, but we feel it is important to understand who grows the key component of ambedo, and make sure they are being payed fairly and treated ethically.
should anyone not drink ambedo?
Sadly, anyone with a weakened immune system should exercise caution when eating or taking probiotics and we suggest speaking to your doctor before enjoying any live fermented food.
why don't you deliver?
As a new small business, we want to take our time to get each step right. The logistics of shipping are quite complicated, but we are working on it as you read this. Expect shipping to be available sometime in September.
how do you pronounce ambedo?
we pronounce it am-bae-dōh
that being said, we definitely think there's other pronunciations. so wouldn't be surpised to hear someone call it am-bee doo
what does ambedo mean?
ambedo is an old latin word that has several meanings including: eat, consume devour
our little Tibicos grains are doing just that, eating the sugar and producing deliciousness!
there is also a modern meaning
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details-raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—briefly soaking in the experience of being alive, an act that is done purely for its own sake.
Questions? Comments? Write us-