various bottles of soda in the bucket with ice

If you read our BevNet article about the trends and challenges of hard sodas, then you already know that the “next big thing” in hard sodas will be a move from malt-based sodas with nostalgic flavors like root beer and hard lemonades to more neutral spirit-based sodas with craft flavors.

Generally, craft flavors pair a familiar flavor with a more unexpected flavor to create a new, refreshing taste. Sometimes, though, it can result in something you just have to try.

So let’s dive into some flavor combinations from Louisville area chefs and foodies that have passed the high standards set by Flavorman’s acclaimed Beverage Architects.


Okay, this Hawaiian-inspired combo just screams “drink me.” Well, that is if you like coconut and mint anyway. Still this beach-ready drink would be refreshing even without the alcohol.



It gets really hot in Mexico, but one way to beat the heat would be this Mexican inspired masterpiece that pairs the tart but fresh taste of lime with the unique flavor of cilantro. It would be like a fiesta in your mouth.



Raspberries are the epitome of summer and the addition of honey would make those long, hot days and nights that much sweeter. One can just imagine reaching into a cooler full of ice to grab a second or even third bottle of this nectarific combo.


Orange/Christmas Spice

Open up a bottle of Christmas cheer with this combination of orange, clove, cinnamon, and allspice. Or, you could just flavor your ham with it. Either way, these classic flavors would be even better with a neutral spirit to… to really get you into the holiday spirit.



Take yourself off to the South Pacific… or at least take your taste buds there. This one combines the unique sweet taste of mango with the aromatic cardamom. I’m not sure what it is inspired by or how to describe it, but I would definitely try it!


Jalapeno + Pear

Yes! This would be like opening up a cold bottle of fizzy chutney. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing would depend upon your affinity for chutney, I suppose. Still, this could be the pear-based soda we’ve all been waiting for. After all, why should apples have all the fun?


Rosemary + Plum

On its face, rosemary and plum might not be the most exciting of combinations, but just imagine the sweet, earthy taste of rosemary and plum jam in hard soda form? This may be one of the most intriguing combinations for people who like to combine sweet with savory.


These are just a few of the thousands of possible combinations we might see in the coming months and years. We’d love to hear your craft hard soda flavor combinations and even help you perfect them. Of course, everything is confidential so let’s get started.


Written on June 22, 2016.