Healthy Thirst Quenchers

Juice-based beverages, whether premade or house-squeezed, are especially appealing to health-conscious diners, according to insights from Nestle Professional. Health-oriented fast-casual operations, college and university dining services, and business and industry venues — in particular — are experimenting with distinctive juices and blends, which can be merchandised on tap.

Nestlé Vitality and Sunkist offer flavors including apple and orange 100% frozen concentrate, according to Nestle Professional. Other possibilities include ginger beer, the fermented-tea beverage known as kombucha, flavored nut milks (such as Cinnamon Date Almond Milk), and even beverages normally associated with cleanses, such as a combination of vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne, according to Nestle Professional.

Retailers are jumping on the fruit juice-based beverage bandwagon.

Starbucks’ new Berry Prickly Pear Frappuccino is a blended beverage that features a mango Frappuccino blended crème poured over a strawberry and prickly pear fruit puree, which also features notes of hibiscus, passionfruit and lime. The drink is finished with another layer of strawberry prickly pear fruit puree.

Combining cream with strawberries, Cinnabon is introducing a new Strawberries & Cream Chillatta. The blended beverage features fresh strawberries and sweet cream.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews is serving up strawberries in its new Freckled Lemonade Smoothie, which features strawberries, strawberry puree, lemon juice and vanilla soft serve.

Houston’s Three Brothers Bakery is rolling out new iced beverages including house-made tea syrups, inventive frappes, lemonade sodas, and vanilla crème sodas. Tea drinks feature lots of fruit flavors.

The bakery’s new tea flavors include Pomegranate, Huckleberry Lemon, and Triple Black, which is a blend of blackberry, black raspberry, and black currants. Lemonade soda flavors include Triple Black, Pomegranate, Lime and Strawberry, Pomegranate, and Blueberry Mint.

Three Brothers Bakery is introducing frappe flavors that include Fig Mascarpone, Horchata, and Thunderdome. The Fig Mascarpone frappe features homemade fig preserves and Mascarpone cheese, blended with milk and ice and topped off with whipped cream.

The Horchata is made from toasted rice, toasted pecans, and Vietnamese cinnamon blended with milk and ice. The Thunderdome features cold brew coffee with an extra shot of house-made vanilla syrup, blended with milk and ice and topped with a double shot of espresso.

Coffee is optional in both the Horchata and Fig Mascarpone frappe. These new flavors join the existing frappe and latte menu, which includes favorites like Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Anise with Cardamom Vanilla and Hazelnut.

“Our new drink offerings are the perfect complement to our scratch-made desserts,” says Bobby Jucker, Three Brothers Bakery co-owner. “The coffee program was originally created for our customers to enjoy a new product we care deeply about, and now we are able to really get creative and introduce new, exciting drink items to our customers. Everyone knows it’s hot in Houston, so we want to be the place where customers can come enjoy a gourmet coffee, iced tea, or refreshing frappe, along with any of our other sweet treats.”