The latest drink trends include an ancient spirit that’s newly popular – clairin rum – and a niche drink that’s moved into the mainstream – kombucha.
From kombucha’s beginnings in Asia to clairin rum’s roots in Haiti, these drink trends show how the UK market will always be internationally inspired. And each also demonstrates how much new or unusual production methods can pique drinkers’ interest.
Clear winner – Clairin rum
From new to old, an ancient rum has become a new drinks trend thanks to its terroir and artisanal credentials.
Despite its simple beginnings, created from sugarcane, rum is a diverse spirit. From premium aged rum to versatile flavoured rum the sweet spirit works across a range of categories. Clairin rum defies the usual categories though.
Clairin rum is a Haitian-made spirit. Its name simply means ‘clear’ in Haitian Creole, thanks to the drink’s authentic, unaged production. These organic, artisanal credentials are what sets this intensely flavoured spirit apart.
Clairin rum is produced by fermenting the juice of sugar cane, rather than using molasses, as most rums do. But its use of native ingredients and traditional production methods are just as important to its appeal. Microdistilleries across Haiti produce the tiki rum using working animals, open fires and makeshift pot sills, with some adding in herbs, fruits and spices too, meaning each producer’s processes are entirely unique.
This means Clairin rum typically tastes very earthy, with everything from grassy to briny flavours detected depending on its terroir. To best appreciate these tiki flavours, its typically enjoyed as a sipping spirit outside of Haiti itself. It is also being used by mixologists globally to create unique and complex flavoured rum based cocktails. The rum can also be combined with milk and spices to create cremas, an eggnog-like rum-based liqueur.
As drinkers seek out spirits with cultural significance and sustainability credentials as well as great taste, it’s clear Clairin rum will become more and more popular.
What’s the tea? The rise of creative kombucha
As health and wellness continue to dominate food and drinks trends, kombucha producers are getting creative.
The tea drink is touted for its health benefits thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s become a go-to functional beverage for the growing groups of consumers seeking out wellness shots.
Now the global kombucha market is tipped to reach $10.45bn by 2027 (according to Fortune Business Insights).
As bigger players have moved into the market for kombucha, though, smaller manufacturers have fought back with a ‘Real Kombucha Revolution’. Some have pushed what they say are truly authentic creations of the tea while others have diversified using new base ingredients and added extras, or by creating smaller ‘craft’ batches.
To build on kombucha’s reputation for wellness, shots of nootropics, adaptogens or CBD are being added to it. These also flavour kombucha as ingredients like fungi, herbs or roots create a functional beverage with a different taste and extra health benefits. Similarly, the use of ‘raw’ or all-organic ingredients or unpasteurised production methods all add to kombucha’s ‘clean’ reputation.
Elsewhere, to soften kombucha’s slightly sour taste, jun kombucha is being created more widely, using honey or green tea to create a more delicate drink. This method also increases the alcohol content, creating a ‘hard kombucha’.
Hard kombuchas are also being deliberately developed, particularly using kombucha as an ingredient in cocktails. With floral and fruity flavours and health benefits to boot, a hard kombucha is a popular summer serve.
One step ahead
At Simpsons we stay at the forefront of emerging drinks trends, using our knowhow and experience to ensure our customers are the first movers in their category. We are leaders in the science, art and innovation of drinks flavours for drinks brands and companies.
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