Three beverage trends to watch in 2018
Healthier ingredients in drinks, juices, shakes, and smoothiesAlready enjoying massive popularity due to testimonials from health food advocates and social media influencers, juices and smoothies don’t really need any more help in the advertising department. However, demonstrating the ever-changing nature of the health food craze, regular fruits and additions are starting to be swapped for truly unique ingredients, such as avocados, spices like moringa, and superfruits like pomegranate. The Hummus & Pita Co., an authentic NYC Mediterranean chain, is gaining a lot of attention for its newest menu addition: a hummus shake. Made 100-percent vegan with chickpeas, bananas, tahini, dates, cinnamon, and a splash of almond milk, this drink packs incredible flavor, nutrients, and trendiness into a fun portable package. It’s not only smoothie mix-ins that are getting revamped this year, but also the liquids used to blend them. A January article in Westchester Magazine highlights plant-based milks made from oats, flax, and pili nut, a South Pacific, highly-nutritious type of nut. Those with lactose intolerance, vegetarian or vegan diets, or sensitive stomachs will want to take advantage of these ingredients as they are gentle on the body but powerful in the nutrients they provide.
The rise of the mocktailCocktails are another well-publicized category of drinks. However, those who choose to avoid alcohol often find it difficult to discover new flavor profiles, since it’s the liquor that is usually the star of the show. Around the country, bartenders and restaurateurs are experimenting with new ways to beat the booze without sacrificing on flavor. Red Star Tavern’s Head Bartender, Brandon Lockman, is known for taking traditional cocktails and “reverse-engineering” them without alcohol. Take for example one of his specialties, “The Other Side of the Pillow,” made with agave, lemon juice, jasmine pearl tea, and elderflower tonic. The addition of the latter two exotic, “feel-good” ingredients should put this drink on the list of any mocktail or cocktail aficionado.
Not your grandmother’s teaPerhaps one of the most surprising ingredients on our list, tea is destined to dazzle this year. Thanks to a dedicated network of hip brewers, tea is transforming into much more than a light afternoon drink. Tasting Table, a food and lifestyle publication, did a profile of new tea trends in February 2017. As popularity and awareness of this drink’s potential has increased, you can be sure to expect it to take on many more variations and flavors this year. Among the trends highlighted in the feature, some of the most exciting include cold-brew tea, bottled matcha, and tea subscription boxes. What’s interesting to note is that all three of these trends take existing trends and apply them to tea. Cold-brew coffee has gained tremendous attention and is now available in nearly every cafe you find. Matcha, now enjoying its fourth year of attention, is touted as a delicious and nutritious ingredient, but is often difficult to prepare correctly. Finally, if there’s “an app for that,” there’s a subscription box as well. It’s only fitting that tea was included in these new developments.