Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

A Dozen Ways: Building a Buzz-Worthy Beverage A dozen trending ingredients making a splash today

This Pink Moon Shandy from Omni Hotels & Resorts makes a refreshing summer sipper, sweetened with orange-blossom honey water.
PHOTO CREDIT: Omni Hotels and Resorts

4 Elderflowers

Enjoyed for centuries in Europe as a cordial, this syrup is finding more footing in the beverage landscape here. Certainly, the prevalence of St-Germain, a liqueur flavored with elderflower, has helped make this flavor more familiar. Refreshing, summery and delicately sweet, it’s finding a home both in nonalcoholic spritzes and boozy cocktails. Jamie Oliver, for instance, touts an elderflower lemonade with berries through his social-media channels.

  • Crimson Crush: Belvedere grapefruit, St-Germain, grapefruit juice, topped with Sprite
    —Le Colonial, Houston
  • Keenan 76: Wild elderflower, grapefruit, sparkling wine
    —Bluegold, Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Elderflower Paloma at Ivy Kitchen in Dallas gets its essence from St-Germain elderflower liqueur, along with Tanqueray, lime, simple syrup, grapefruit juice and basil leavesIvy Kitchen

The Elderflower Paloma at Ivy Kitchen in Dallas gets its essence from St-Germain elderflower liqueur, along with Tanqueray, lime, simple syrup, grapefruit juice and basil leaves

5 Ginger

Ginger is one of those ingredients that offers a three-pronged hook, boasting a health halo, freshness cues and vibrant flavor. Nonalcoholic beverage development sees a lot of innovation that embraces ginger. For example, First Watch is launching an LTO featuring a Carrot Ginger Chai Juice in all 220 locations. Ginger is also showing up in unexpected cocktail profiles, like a Ginger Rita, for example, made with ginger-root simple syrup, Grand Marnier and tequila.

  • Ginger Snap: Hilhaven Lodge whiskey, ginger juice, honey syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, fresh lemon juice and loose mint
    —Roku, West Hollywood, Calif.
  • Red-Headed Oaxacan: Tequila, mezcal, honey-ginger syrup, lemon juice, spritz of 12-year Scotch, rimmed with Himalayan sea salt
    —Jettison, Austin, Texas
  • Ginger + Lime Turmeric Tonic
    —Cava, multiple locations
Ginger and Vanilla Fizz with cucumber and lime makes for a bright and refreshing warm-weather concoctionThe perfect Purée of Napa Valley

Ginger and Vanilla Fizz with cucumber and lime makes for a bright and refreshing warm-weather concoction

6 Cider

Craft ciders have gained market share over the last few years, adding their cool narrative to bar menus. Bolstered by a hip vibe and a pleasing tart flavor, drink developers are looking to ciders for added character and intrigue in their cocktails.

  • The Jack of Hearts: Calvados, fresh lime juice and grenadine, shaken and topped with Julian Hard Cider
    —Polite Provisions, San Diego
  • The Smoky Rose: Virtue Cider Michigan Brut, Genepy Alpine Herb liqueur, Magellan gin, Aleatico Italian dessert wine, Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur, lemon juice, alder-smoked sea salt on the rim
    ­—Borrowed Time: A Gathering Place, Saugatuck, Mich.

 

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About The Author

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Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.