Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Jarrett A. Rogers
May 12, 2022

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Brandon Grogan

Brandon Grogan

As a nonalcoholic drink, the BBQ Pineapple Shrub stands out on the menus of Buxton Hall, an Eastern Carolina-style barbecue restaurant. A spicy but bright and refreshing “drinking vinegar,” its pineapple base gets a unique flavor boost with the addition of the restaurant’s signature barbecue vinegar.

“This pineapple shrub has done really well on the menu,” says Brandon Grogan, General Manager. “The peppery vinegar adds zip and savory flavors to the tropical pineapple that reminds me of eating a piece of pineapple with Tajín.” While shrubs are typically made with a base of fresh fruit steeped in sugar and vinegar, the team employs a labor- and time-saving shortcut by using unsweetened pineapple juice.

With the addition of tequila, lime, sugar and Pedro Ximénez sherry, the drink transforms into a spicy margarita. “As a cocktail, a ‘spicy margarita’ is a drink that people call for pretty often these days. Having our version—which includes our barbecue vinegar—is a fun sell,” says Grogan.


About The Author

Jarrett A. Rogers

Jarrett A. Rogers is a freelance writer from Fresno, Calif., who specializes in writing about food, culture and the arts. [email protected]