Beverage flavours accompany us through all kinds of moods and moments. And with beverage formulators increasingly focussing on better-for-you ingredients, functional attributes and experiences, the right flavour can help you deliver on these trends.
Exotic flavours reminiscent of travel have become popular during the pandemic, particularly in the RTD premium adult drink and low or no alcohol space. Meanwhile, herbal and earthy flavours like ginger and turmeric are gaining popularity in the green juice and cold-pressed kombucha space.
In soft drinks, fruits and berries are common flavours. Blackberries and raspberries are often considered to be berries, although they are technically aggregate fruit—they consist of seeds from many different ovaries of the same flower. Sloe berries are another example of aggregate fruit, although they are botanically more closely related to plums and apricots. Juniper berries (used to flavour gin) are not botanical berries either; they’re highly modified seed-bearing cones. Berries are also used in some styles of beer, such as framboise and other raspberry-based lambics.
The global fruit juice/drink market is worth more than 80 billion liters in volume, and accounts for 10% of overall soft drink sales (Anonymous, 2015). The non-concentrated 100% fruit juice not-from-concentrate category accounted for almost half of this value.
Citrus fruits are bright, sour, acidic and full of vitamin C. They’re at their peak during the winter, but are also available year round and are used in juices, smoothies, salad dressings and other preparations. They include lemons, limes, grapefruit (including pomelos), oranges, tangerines, mandarins and clementines.
They are very high in vitamins and minerals and they pair well with a large range of spirits. They can be used to temper the burn of alcohol, as a garnish Beverage Flavours or in cocktails to add a zesty, citrus burst.
The citrus fruit rind is packed with natural anti-oxidants, including flavonoids, alkaloids and essential oils. Numerous secondary metabolites from Citrus fruits exhibit various bioactivities, such as anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-allergy effects, as well as cardiovascular protection and neuroprotection.
Hesperidin and naringin, which are two of the main flavonoids in Citrus fruits, inhibit starch digestion by binding to amylase in the stomach. They are also able to prevent hyperglycemia in diabetic mice by lowering hepatic glycolysis and glucose production, as well as improving insulin sensitivity. Furanocoumarins, which are a class of plant compounds that belong to the flavonoids family, are also present in Citrus fruits and are known to have many health benefits. They are natural compounds that have been found to have anti-tumor and anti-proliferative activities in tumour-prone cells, as well as inhibition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by interfering with the canonical TGF-b1-SMAD-Snail/Slug axis.
Peaches & Nectarines
Peaches and nectarines are one of summer’s greatest pleasures, whether you’re biting into a juicy, fragrant ripe stone fruit as juice runs down your chin or making a refreshing peach or nectarine salad with a mix of sweet and savoury ingredients. The two fruits are very similar and can be used interchangeably, but if you’re baking or cooking with unpeeled peaches, opt for freestone varieties which readily detach from their pits as opposed to the tougher, clingstone variety.
The skin of either fruit can be a little challenging to peel, but you can make it easier by blanching in simmering water and shocking them in an ice bath first (see our recipe for Peach Bellini Iced Cocktail). Once they’re sliced or diced, a little simple syrup can be added to enhance sweetness and add an extra pop of flavour – try this Frozen Peach Martini Recipe.
Nectarines and peaches are in season from late spring to mid-September, with warmer regions producing the former earlier than the latter. They’re ideal for adding sweetness and a burst of colour to salads with green leaves, cheeses and other fresh ingredients like in Yotam Ottolenghi’s easy peach and rosemary galette (shop-bought puff pastry keeps the effort level low), as well as in Nigel Slater’s simple Peach and Rosemary Cake. Both fruits are great partners for savoury flavours too, as shown in Fearnley-Whittingstall’s peach, prosciutto and rocket salad and Miers’ freekeh, ricotta and grilled peach salad.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. However, it is important to note that not everyone enjoys the same types of coffee drinks. For example, many people outside of the US find coffee beverages to be either too sweet or diluted. Coffee creamers are a great way to add more flavor and sweetness to your morning coffee without adding any calories. They are available in a wide variety of flavors including hazelnut, vanilla, and French vanilla.
While brewing is responsible for developing the desired taste and aroma in coffee, it also produces undesirable chemicals such food flavour manufacturers as furan and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which have been shown to be toxic to humans.