The opportunity in non-alcoholic beverages is huge. Consumer expectation is high, thanks to a fun playground of creative, refreshing choices that wow with flavor combination and presentation.
Non-alc beverage innovation was front and center at this past summer’s Mise conference, an annual event held in Atlanta that’s dedicated to the unique needs of the hotel chef.
Tony Pereyra, bar and beverage specialist and co-founder of Los Angeles-based Spirits in Motion beverage consultancy, designed the forward-thinking non-alc menu. “We wanted to showcase the wonderful possibilities in this world, and demonstrate that execution in high volume is possible,” he says. “A lot of the ingredients that we used are ingredients most operators already have.”
Synergy between a modern beverage program and the kitchen calls for a strategy of maximizing SKUs like cucumber, strawberries and even vinegars.
“You can make a shrub from scratch using ingredients on hand, increasing your profitability potential and giving your consumer—especially younger generations —what they want.”
Seen and Sipped at MISE
Next-level handcrafted sodas, lemonades and coolers stole the show at this year’s Mise conference, demonstrating where this trend is headed. On display were flavor-building techniques, like pulling in heat for contrast, adding a spiced rim or simply finishing with a spritz of soda water for a lift.
- PASSION COOLER
Passionfruit, fresh lime, fresh orange, with a kick of ginger and a touch of cardamom
- BERRY TART COOLER
Strawberry purée, agave sour (agave nectar and lime juice), basil-strawberry shrub, soda
- SWEET & SPICE COOLER
Fresh mango, chipotle agave sour, ginger, honey, with a dash of apple cider vinegar
- MATCHA PISTACHIO LEMONADE
Fresh lemonade with flavors of basil, matcha and pistachio