The latest drink trends of the year reinforce that the possibilities are limitless when bold future flavours are involved – even for limited release drinks. Limited edition drinks flavours are one of June’s key drink trends, alongside reworks of a classic coffee flavours and the infamous Long Island Iced Tea.
Exclusive serves – limited edition drinks
As premiumisation seeps into every drinks category, it only follows that limited edition spirits should be booming. One-off creations and small batches of spirits like barrel-aged whiskeys, rums or bourbons can fetch high prices thanks to their exclusivity.
Limited edition drinks are also being created to support charitable causes or mark moments in history. For these, the limited edition drinks’ flavours are key. Some go for gimmicky tastes – like Haggis flavoured beer – while others use flavour to reflect a moment in time – like a classic Scotch to toast the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
As mindful consumers seek out produce that’s environmental-, health- or community-focused limited edition drink flavours allow a brand to align with a social movement or demonstrate their values. Examples include the limited edition gin supporting a plant conservation cause, or the limited edition vodka donating proceeds to a marine conservation charity.
Though they’re launched with an eye on exclusivity, in some cases limited edition drink flavours turn out to be a form of new product development, allowing producers to explore a drinks’ viability. Long-lasting drinks borne from limited edition spirits or beers can be the product of partnerships too, with producers teaming up to develop limited edition drinks flavours to reach one another’s markets.
Still hot – cool coffee trends
Hot drinks needn’t go off the boil in the warmer months as creative, cooled versions are keeping coffee trends going through summer. From iced coffee to unusual coffee flavours, new creations are keeping this energizing drink in demand year-round.
Where warming coffee flavours – think pumpkin spiced lattes or peppermint mochas – are well-established winter coffee trends, we’re now seeing spring and summer coffees emerging. But most summertime iced coffees are more restrained than their flavour-filled wintery counterparts, focusing on cool quality. Speciality coffees can take centre stage in iced serves, suiting the general trend towards ‘less is more’.
Another iced coffee creation on the rise is the flash brew. This cold coffee is created by quickly cooling freshly extracted coffee for a traditional drinking experience – albeit cold. Originated in Japan, flash brews are a coffee trend growing in the US this summer.
For coffee lovers accustomed to creative flavour additions, tropical coffee flavours are emerging. ‘Tropiccinos’ combine fresh fruits with coffee, even being co-fermented for full flavours; proving popular in warm regions like Asia and Central America.
Reimagining Long Island Iced Tea
It might mix together five spirits, but there’s typically only one thing a Long Island Iced Tea is known for – getting drinkers inebriated, and fast.
To bring the fast and loose cocktail into these days of slower, more refined drinking experiences, the Long Island Iced Tea is being reimagined to be made either more upmarket or less potent.
A classic Long Island Iced Tea combines equal measures of vodka, rum, gin, tequila and triple sec with lemon plus a splash of cola. There’s no tea involved, of course.
However, some reworks are adding in its namesake. Hard tea creations feature black tea syrup or Thai tea alongside the spirits. And in some cases delicate teacups and saucers are used to serve the drink, as a playful contrast to the hard tea inside.
The cocktail has been reworked before now, usually using alternative mixers, or adding extra spirits. Electric tea is one of these – replacing the triple sec and cola with blue curacao and lemonade to create a vibrant drink. Its bold blue hue elevates the electric tea, ticking the boxes for eye-catching drinks and retro vibes.
Where moderation and premiumisation are desired though, Long Island Iced Tea is also being pared back. With low alcohol spirit alternatives growing in popularly, a low ABV Long Island Iced Tea isn’t just viable, it’s also very drinkable.
Set the next drink trend
Whether your market is seeking ‘less is more’ or ‘more is more’, flavour is central to almost all drinks trends; creating immediately recognisable and hard-to-forget drinks.
We are leaders in the science, art and innovation of drinks flavours, working with drinks brands and manufacturers to create bold future flavours. Our knowledge and experience ensures our customers are the first movers in their category.
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Source Trend Hub @TheFoodPeople 2022