Fresh summer flavours are in abundance on drink menus across the UK and there’s many new and exciting combinations for consumers to enjoy as we all get out and socialise just that bit more during these longer, sunnier days.
Flavours such as lemongrass, passionfruit, traditional strawberry and raspberry, apple and elderflower, basil and rose, lime and mint, as well as fresh juices, bring a seasonal feel to drinks menus. And we’re seeing more floral ingredients, contemporary twists on traditional fruits, as well as more exotic and diverse combinations emerging across all drinks categories from alcohol to soft drinks.
What's new in the soft drinks category?
Summer flavours often found on drinks menus typically include fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, as well as citrusy lemon, lime, orange, and familiar apple, cherries and watermelon offering delicious refreshment. This summer, as we wait to see the full implications of the sugar tax, consumer interest in all natural ingredients is on the rise. People are paying for premium, authentic flavours with lower sugar content and often it's the quality or origin of the ingredients, or how the drink is crafted that is providing a modern twist on traditional fruit flavours.
Fentimans have recently added a new raspberry flavoured soft drink to its premium portfolio, with its taste achieved through a botanical brewing method to “embody the taste of freshly picked raspberries.” Dalston’s craft soft drinks have added a vibrant cherryade made with Morello sweet and sour cherries, blended with British spring water and made with real ingredients.
Drinks that are high in flavour and low in refined sugar and calories are hitting all drinks categories. Luscombe Drinks have launched a range of sparkling fruit waters that are high in fruit content and low in added sugar including passionfruit, sour cherry and raspberry. And bars and restaurants are also creating their own flavoured waters adding fresh fruit to filtered water, a rising trend.
We’re also seeing the wilder side of summer as drinks brands and venues bring some exciting new flavour experiences using botanicals and contemporary combinations across alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Hoxton’s Pink Gin is made with botanicals such as rose, rosehip and hibiscus sugar alongside gunpowder tea, bergamot, grapefruit, liquorice, chamomile, elderflower and juniper. Belvoir’s botanical juniper and tonic is sold as a non-alcoholic alternative to the classic G and T. Other floral flavours include rose petals, serviceberry flowers, elderflower, lavender and hibiscus adding flavour to gins, vodkas, lemonades, tonics and the staple summer serve that is cocktails.
Floristry inspired flavours
There’s some great examples at The Florist, with venues in Liverpool and Bristol, where they serve cocktails inspired by all different types of floristry. Summer offerings include a geranium and lychee cooler as well as ‘Roses on the Heath’ with rose and poppy liqueur, peach bitters, pink peppercorn, zinfandel and sparkling rose.
Fruity flavoured alcohol
Sales of fruit beers and ciders peak during the summer. In advertising for their range, Smirnoff reported that fruit ciders are growing at a rate of 31% in volume in the on trade and they're responsible for 20% of the total growth in flavoured cider. They’re offering combinations such as mandarin and pink grapefruit, raspberry and pomegranate and passionfruit and lime in time for summer. There’s many other innovative combinations too. Angry Orchard’s Rose Cider combines rose wine with crisp apple essence, Rekorderlig’s Premium Strawberry Lime Cider is bright pink and Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry includes hand picked raspberries for a premium taste.
At Simpsons Beverages we offer our own Flair Flavour Shots, a range of fruit flavours which make refreshingly tasty fruit lagers or fruit ciders at point of serve. Jason Simpson, Sales Director at Simpsons Beverages says “Simpsons have a strong focus on flavour and innovation and this product fits neatly into our customer offering. Being able to serve blended drinks is about being relevant as flavoured lager and cider is very much in demand. Flair Flavour Shots offer a cost effective method to up sell in this market and we are excited to introduce this drink flavouring product to the on-trade.” Available in five refreshing flavours, strawberry, purple fruits, mango, rhubarb and lemon and lime, these tasty additions offer venues something premium and unique.
The winning drink
Flavoured gin is also a winning drink for the summer. Malfy Gin’s new release has added Sicilian blood orange peel, plus juniper, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, angelica root, and coriander. Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla have added bittersweet Seville oranges with hints of juniper and coriander specifically designed to add a summer twist to a Gin and Tonic.
Experiment with seasonal ingredients
It’s clear that experimenting with seasonal flavours continues to excite the taste buds of consumers and aids beverage sales across the peak summer season. By adding a new twist on a classic fruit, infusing drinks with botanicals, reducing sugar and using more authentic, healthy, all-natural ingredients with no artificial flavours, brands and venues can diversify and differentiate, setting themselves apart from the competition.
At Simpsons we work with world-class flavourists to ensure every product we develop for our clients is the best of the best. Using traditional, or more innovative ingredients, such as elderflower petals, basil, raisin, honey, rose and cassia bark, we can make your perfect drink, whatever your vision. With over 80 years’ experience, passion and integrity in drinks development we deliver refreshing ideas for a diverse customer base from many well-known drinks brands to restaurants and bar chains. The high quality of our raw materials and strong supplier relationships means that the drinks we manufacture are nothing short of extraordinary. Get in touch today to discuss your next refreshing idea, or request a sample from our diverse portfolio of summer beverages.