August 2014

Who's Serving What: Unique Carbonated Beverages

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team

Caifane de Tamarindo, one of the Caifanes served at Compañía de Café.

Creative carbonated beverages have been popping up on menus lately—even Starbucks just rolled out their new Fizzio carbonated sodas. It seems places are going beyond the typical soda and offering truly original takes on beverages with bubbles. Some concoctions we've come across are fairly unexpected (think carbonated aguas frescas with a shot of coffee, for example). Perhaps it’s also timely as we head into the late summer months…a new way to cool down!

Here are some restaurants and cafes leading the way in this trend:

Compañía de Café , a just opened cafe in LA’s famous Valley, features an innovative take on a traditional Mexican favorite: aguas frescas. Director of Coffee Operations, Percy Ramirez, known for bringing unique spins to classic coffee drinks, takes their housemade aguas frescas (in flavors like hibiscus and tamarind), carbonates them, and then adds cold-brewed coffee for a refreshing and unique summer pick-me-up.

Mockingbird Hill , a sherry bar by night and coffee bar by day in Washington DC, offers guests the Kenya Cola. 2012 World Cup Tasters Champion—essentially the “Super Bowl” of coffee— Cory Andreen takes Kieni coffee and combines it with sugar, three kinds of bitters (Tiki, Spanish, and black walnut), and tops it off with seltzer water for a bubbly final touch.

At Ruxbin in Chicago, guests can enjoy a rotating selection of seasonal housemade dry sodas from Beverage Director Nate Chung, including the Maraschino Black Cherry with black cherries, almond extract, vanilla bean, Luxardo, and Angostura bitters or the Passion Fruit Basil with passion fruit, basil, and coconut palm sugar. The restaurant is BYOB so guests can add their spirit of choice for an alcoholic alternative.

And on the retail side, consumers can enjoy a fresh spin on carbonated beverages straight from the shelf by way of cold brew coffee brand Coffer , which touts itself as the first naturally carbonated cold brew coffee.

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