Customizing lemonade is a great way to differentiate beverage menus, building on a fan favorite with seasonal cues, signature touches and a demonstration of housemade craftsmanship. Datassential MenuTrends signals that craft lemonade is a big opportunity, reporting a 14-percent growth on menus nationwide over the last four years. Here are three easy ways in to this refreshing beverage trend.
1. Fruit forward
Capture the best of the season by adding fruit purées and garnishes to your lemonade offering. Strawberry and basil are a popular combination, growing 105 percent on menus since 2012, with places like the Hard Rock Cafe leveraging those flavors in its popular Strawberry Basil Lemonade. Seasonal fruit conveys freshness beautifully.
At Perkins Restaurants, the Twinberry Lemonade Sparkler showcases blueberry and blackberry in its lemonade fizzed with Sprite. Olive Garden’s Blueberry Limonata stars lemonade, blueberry purée, sparkling water and blueberries.
Frozen lemonades are also getting an upgrade, with either elements of fruit syrups and purées, or a hit of rich ice cream to move them into the snacking and dessert categories. Krispy Kreme offers both a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade and a Frozen Mango Lemonade, and Chick-fil-A serves up a Frosted Lemonade, featuring freshly squeezed lemonade and vanilla Icedream.
3. Spice ‘Em Up
The thirst for heat only seems to grow stronger, with today’s consumers seeking out everything from a prickle of heat to an all-out fire bomb. Raise the stakes on refreshing lemonade with an infusion of chile pepper or a spicy rim and garnish. Bantam + Biddy in Atlanta features a Spicy Strawberry-Jalapeño Lemonade while Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, S.C., serves a Raspeberry-Jalapeño Lemonade.