Chrissy Beedle, Executive Manager of Research and Development at South African drinks brand Slo-Jo, gives us some insight into drinks trends for the summer ahead.
Rum cocktails served in tropical-style Tiki shaped glasses or mugs are set to be big this summer. “Tiki cocktails typically include fruit, with my favourite being the Tiki-Pop, an intriguing blend of flavours that includes rum, lime juice, apple juice and pineapple juice, as well as the latest flavours of ginger beer and popcorn,” explains Chrissy Beedle, Executive Manager of Research and Product Development at Slo-Jo. “Another favourite is the Tiki Ginger, with its rum, lime and ginger beer flavours, cooled down with cucumber.” The traditional Mai Tai has a tiki-twist too, with cocktails like the Whai Tai that substitutes Spiced Rum with Cachaca and triple-sec with Blue Curacao.
“Sangrias and mojitos are also hot choices when it comes to cooling off this summer, with beautiful garnishes adding visual appeal to the wonderful flavours,” Beedle explains. “Ocean Basket is already on trend with its three flavoursome cocktail carafe options, with patrons ordering them as fast as they see other tables’ orders being delivered by waiters!”
Consumers are steering clear of alcohol for a variety of reasons, with the global adoption of Australia’s Ocsober campaign being just one of the reasons your patrons will be ordering mocktails this summer. “Younger South Africans in particular have taken the smart choice to avoid drinking and driving, and they’re demanding mocktail options so that they don’t feel left out when their friends order something that looks fabulous off the cocktail menu,” Beedle explains. Try a booze-free version of the Long Island Iced Tea on your menu.
Milkshakes have become bigger, more decadent and topped with mounds of sweet treats – elevating the drink to performance art. “Freakshakes are a culinary adventure brilliantly packaged in one serving, and should probably be enjoyed as a meal instead of as a dessert after a main course,” explains Beedle. “It’s even better to embark on a freakshake adventure with your best friend or someone you love, sharing the excitement as you break through layers of marshmallow, 100s and 1000s, bits of doughnut or biscuit – or whatever the chef has concocted for their particular signature drink.”
Diners can now have a sugar-free cocktail if they’re looking to avoid sugar. “Sugar-free lemon, peach and berry flavoured iced teas give consumers the ability to enjoy their favourite refreshing flavours guilt-free,” Beedle explains. “Iced teas are also popular paired with lighter summer meals, and form a great base for cocktails and mocktails too.”