With summer in full swing, consumers are looking for ways to beat the heat, and restaurateurs and retailers who offer frozen beverages are on the right track. Whether you’re updating your cocktail menu or adding slushie flavors to your convenience store counter, frozen drinks are a staple of summer, and novelty is the name of the game.
What’s new in frozen beverages for summer 2023?
Upscale Ice Cubes
Garnishes are a great way to add that Insta-worthy element to cocktails, but when every detail counts, mixologists have to start from the foundations up — with fanciful ice cubes that add beauty and depth to the average cocktail.
If you freeze classic beverage ingredients, it’s easy enough to make ice cubes that don’t water down drinks as they melt. What’s more, you can create works of art to adorn clear cocktails by simply adding an extra element to your cubes before freezing.
Consider options like edible flowers, berries, chili peppers, mint leaves, or even confections like edible glitter, and don’t forget to choose fun and funky molds for even greater wow factor.
Slushies of Every Stripe
This convenience store staple carries with it a lot of nostalgia, along with an almost unbearable level of sweetness. While slushies have never really gone out of style, they’re enjoying something of a revival of late, with all kinds of offshoots to explore.
In addition to classic cherry, blue raspberry, and carbonated concoctions like cola and lemon-lime, some retailers are adding the kinds of toppings that consumers love on other frozen desserts; gummies and candy-coated morsels are understandably popular.
New flavors are always hitting the market as well. Sonic, for example, announced several new slushes this year, including specialty flavors released to celebrate Bonnaroo: Bonnarmelon Punch Slush, Bonnaroo Blazin Citrus Slush, and a pairing of dragon fruit and cotton candy aptly named Dragon Candy Slush.
Sonic’s final Bonnaroo tribute demonstrates another frozen drink trend on the rise: frozen uncarbonated beverages. The Grooveberry Lemonade Slush, a wild berry lemonade, might be the drink that best embodies the most popular drink trends of summer 2023.
There’s a certain nostalgia tied up in the classic strawberry daiquiri, the virgin version of which served as an entry into the glamorous world of cocktails for many a teen eager to play at adulthood. Consumers who are looking for a frozen drink that tickles the taste buds and warms the heart have many options to explore.
The frozen banana daiquiri, featuring ingredients like bananas, rum, triple sec, lime juice, and ice, blended and garnished with mint and maraschino cherries, is always a crowd-pleaser. If you’re looking to go next level for your customers, it’s easy with tropical pairings like zesty coconut lime or pineapple mango.
With refreshing watermelon drinks on the rise, a frozen watermelon daiquiri is an easy sell. You could also take a hard left into totally new territory by pairing this traditionally sweet bev with another cocktail trend: spice.
Consider a spicy ancho chile daiquiri, where the punchy pepper of Ancho Reyes Verde blends beautifully with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice to create a cocktail that’s refreshing on every level.
Frozen Espresso Martinis
The espresso martini is still going strong in 2023, but bartenders are looking for ways to take it to the next level, and a frozen version is nothing if not a logical evolution. Classic ingredients, including brewed espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, and vanilla extract, are blended with ice to create a classy frozen beverage topped, as expected, with the signature three espresso beans.
This Summer, Innovate with Frozen Trends
With a bit of nostalgia, a new twist on classics, and options that are as visually arresting as they are tasty, it’s easy to get in on the latest frozen drink trends and even develop some innovative recipes of your own.
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