Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Rob Corliss
August 31, 2021

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Refreshment, flavor and convenience are three words that get to the heart of the widespread love of hard seltzer. Operations looking to prime their beverage menu development with bold profiles have flavor top of mind. Hard seltzer is a natural fit here. Its ability to carry most any flavor allows operators to craft their own signature housemade offerings.

Here are unfermented takes on executing in-house hard seltzer. All provide operators an opportunity to appeal to drinkers who don’t mind paying a premium for carefully curated housemade hard seltzer. Experiment with the bubbly base to find ideal pairings, using sparkling/carbonated waters when force-carbonating is not viable. Utilize neutral clear liquor when in-house fermenting of cane sugar or barley is not an option (still keeping the overall seltzer’s ABV between 5-6%). Lean on popular and trending fruit flavors as the flavor star. If needed, round out the flavors with a hint of simple syrup. And consider adding a complementary aromatic or herbal note for intrigue.

8 Trend-Forward Flavor Profiles

* all served in a highball glass, with ice

1) Mixed Berry Hard Seltzer: Sparkling water + vodka + raspberry/blackberry juice + simple syrup + elderflower

2) Pomegranate-Vanilla Hard Seltzer: Sparkling water + vodka + pomegranate juice + simple syrup + vanilla

3) Blood Orange & Sake Hard Seltzer: Sparkling water + sake + blood orange juice + simple syrup + gingerroot

4) Passion Fruit Rum Hard Seltzer: Sparkling water + white rum + passionfruit juice + simple syrup + papaya

5) Spiced Pineapple Hard Seltzer: Club soda + tequila + pineapple/lime juice + simple syrup + jalapeño

6) Mango Tequila Hard Seltzer: Club soda + tequila + mango juice + simple syrup + lemongrass

7) Pomelo Gin Hard Seltzer: Seltzer water + gin + pomelo juice + simple syrup + cardamom

8) Watermelon Mint Hard Seltzer: Seltzer water + gin + watermelon juice + simple syrup + mint


About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.