Chilli drinks and salted drinks are making a resurgence - we take a closer look at the two categories as part of our recent drinkswatching reports into the two flavours.
It's the the first time chilli has hit the beverage big time. Back in 2014 chillies were all over the drinks world but this gradually faded with just the classics standing firm such as margaritas. However chillies are once again on the up, so much so that leading rum producer Bacardi has named chilli as one of their top drinks trends for 2021. We've seen a range of chillies in the mix, together with a complete blend of beverages from cocktails to kombucha, spirits and smoothies too.
Of all the chillies on the rise, cayenne has seen its popularity spike the most. This medium-hot chilli is a favourite in the cocktail world and is also finding its way into a whole host of different formats. It's not just for flavour too with many brands using it for its functional benefits too - namely in the wellness and health drinks category.
Much like chilli drinks, salty beverages are nothing new. Think electrolyte sports drinks, cocktails using salt as flavour, or even a salted caramel latte. But instead of being an addition to drinks for flavour or purpose, we've seen a rise in it being the lead flavour in its own right. Much of the trend has originated from Asia where salted drinks are especially popular. Pocari Sweat from Japan is one of the most well known while salted lychee drinks are also hugely popular. Add to this growing influence the fact that the drinks world has been awash with sweet, pink drinks for a while now, salted drinks are providing the perfect counter trend.
We've seen salty spirits, from Mermaid Salt Vodka from the Isle of Wight Distillery to Cornish Coastal Gin with shoreline botanicals and sea salt and many more. Then there's the breweries getting involved too with a Sea Salt and Lime Ale from Guinness, Sea Sal and Lime Gose Beer from Stave & Nail Brewing Company in the USA and many more. Add to these the salted matcha drinks on the rise, soda salts and the range of cocktails in the mix too there's plenty of salinity right now in the drinks market.