From essential oils and extracts to herbs and flowers, botanicals are proving to be much more than just a garnish for your favorite drinks. As demand continues to increase for natural, functional beverages, botanicals are becoming more prevalent as a drink flavor and ingredient.
It’s no surprise that the beverage industry has begun to embrace this trend, creating drinks that are not only health-beneficial, but tasty. And while botanicals have traditionally been used in teas and water, they are quickly making their way into beverages of all types, for all occasions.
This week, we’re sharing a few ideas on how to freshen up your beverage routine with botanicals!
Morning Boost: Peppermint
Peppermint is hybrid plant, a cross between watermint and spearmint. This herb is known for being cooling and sweet on the palate, while leaving the natural refreshing scent of menthol.
In addition to its delightful flavor, peppermint has a long history of being a favorite ingredient in botanical beverages due to its many health properties. It’s particularly known for its effectiveness in treating indigestion, easing migraines, clearing the sinuses, boosting energy, and relieving menstrual cramps.
Although peppermint is naturally caffeine-free, it still pairs well with classic morning beverages such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Looking for an idea of how to include peppermint in your morning routine? Try a Skinny Peppermint Mocha. The best part about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Simply add some peppermint extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk and sweetener of choice to your regular coffee fix, then enjoy!
Afternoon Refresher: Lavender
Spring is just around the corner and what better way to get into the spirit than with lavender. This sweet flower is enhanced with aromatic, citrusy notes making it the perfect addition to a variety of refreshing drinks, including botanical beverages.
As a bonus, lavender also naturally boasts anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. Other functional benefits include treating everything from anxiety to digestive issues, to hair loss and fungal infections.
An important note for consuming lavender: be sure to steer clear of regular lavender-based essential oils. It’s best to use lavender extract or at the very least ensure that your essential oil is food-grade, as common essential oils are toxic when consumed.
When prepared with the right ingredients, a refreshing Sparkling Lavender Lemonade pairs perfectly with sunshine and warm afternoons. Just combine some food-grade lavender extract with sparkling water, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and a bit of sugar – and bottoms up!
Festive Night Cap: Cilantro
Cilantro is an herb harvested from the coriander plant. The leaves are a fragrant ingredient that can be described as having a fresh, green, and citrusy flavor – at least for most people. Although 4-14% of the population is genetically programmed to dislike cilantro, it’s hard to ignore its incredible health benefits.
More than just a flavoring agent, cilantro may also treat pain and inflammation, protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet B radiation damage, lower blood sugar, prevents UTIs, settle indigestion, and more – but you don’t need an herbal detox tea to enjoy cilantro.
For a fun twist, we recommend a Skinny Cilantro Margarita as a treat for a long day. To impress your friends with this new adaption on a fan favorite, all you’ll need is cilantro, a few limes, half a jalapeño, agave syrup, sea salt, and tequila of course!
Following consumer trends favoring botanical flavors and ingredients, the beverage industry has been incorporating a variety of these herbs and flowers into products in ways that are not only functional, but delicious.
If you’ve got a great idea for the next hit in botanical beverages, Flavorman can help you bring it to life. To get started, fill out this web form, or give us a call at (502) 273-5214.