These Beverage Experts Are Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.

The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry. Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries. These are then picked off the trees and from there the seeds can go through a variety of different processes at different stages, all creating different flavors from the same coffee bean. Watts outlines the process for honey coffee, a very popular process with today’s consumers.

“You can take it off the tree and immediately take off the skin and put the coffee into a big tank... and let it sit and ferment or have an enzymatic breakdown of this sticky mucilage on there.”

As farmers and coffee houses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, natural processes like honey coffee are beginning to gain traction.

Bartenders Danielle Dang and Robin Goodfellow chime in with trends they have been seeing behind the bar. The American population is moving towards favoring more responsible, sustainable practices. In an effort to be a part of the movement, Goodfellow says he needs help from industry suppliers.

“Like, there's this huge big straw debate going on in the cocktail industry, like ‘Don’t give straws to guests! It’s ruining the environment!’ you know? And guests wants straws,” he explains, “so as a designer, I’m furious that straw companies are not making biodegradable straws. This is not my problem: To use straws or not to use straws. Make it better!”

Be sure to watch the episode for other great insights from our experts on this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse.

Non-Alcoholic Mixology 101: How to Attract Guests With 'Mocktails'

Non-Alcoholic Mixology 101: How to Attract Guests With 'Mocktails'

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Industry Expert

Non-alcoholic drinks are on the rise, and mixologists are up for the challenge of mixing up delicious alternatives to the standard non-alcoholic beverages. A choice of iced tea and lemonade in addition to soft drinks should no longer be the exclusive options, as discriminating guests are venturing further down the road of craft beverages.

Guests choosing not to consume alcohol are demanding to not feel left out, or simply overlooked, for not holding up their end of the shifting societal norm (and increased check average). Indulge them, and while you are at it, make the people consuming their go-to alcoholic beverage take notice of your leadership stance on craft, non-alcoholic drinks in the process.

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CH Distillery — Combining Science and Art in Mixology

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At CH Distillery, Chicago can get a taste of the city's only truly local vodka. But it's not only its use of local ingredients that sets it apart from the competition. With its unique, lab-like venue and transparent glass windows showing off its in-house liquor making, CH Distillery gives guests a completely new experience and new flavor offerings! 

Join host Paul Barron to get a behind-the-scenes look with co-founder Tremaine Atkinson and Managing Director of Food & Beverage Cassie Levy-Roseroot, and discover how their creative concoctions are a prime example of how mixology is both a science and an art form! 

All in this episode of "Across the Bar," brought to you by the Foodable Network.

Local Herbalist Unveils Line of Craft Bitters

Strongwater Craft Bitters  | Mark Antonation

Strongwater Craft Bitters | Mark Antonation

Local botanist Kelsey Riley has announce the release of a new line of craft bitters, inspired by her own experiences working with a number of botanicals. Conceptualized alongside Nick Anderson, the duo formed a company called Strongwater with hopes of distilling their own spirits, however the first release from the company will be the craft bitters as well as a concoction Riley calls a "shrub" made up of a sweetened, infused vinegar.

Both the shrubs and bitters are crafted with local ingredients such as organic Colorado honey, herbs, fruit, and flowers. The duo released the products to appeal to the growing craft cocktail movement always looking for new local flavors to incorporate into their beverage programs. Read More

Austin Mixologist Wins "Most Imaginative Bartender" Competition

Justin Lavenue of the Roosevelt Room  | Julian Bajsel

Justin Lavenue of the Roosevelt Room | Julian Bajsel

Bombay Sapphire's 9th annual Most Imaginative Bartender award went to Austin's own Justin Lavenue of the Roosevelt Room. The contest featured a number of top bartenders competing to win a trip to Las Vegas in order to compete in a national bartending competition as well as win a feature in GQ Magazine.

Lavenue's winning cocktail was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, reflected in a cocktail named "L'Etoile de la Nuit." The cocktail featured a house made vermouth, absinthe, blueberry juice, charcoal powder, and foie gras washed elderflower liqeur, garnished with a tarragon infused olive oil. Will Lavenue be the first Texan to win the national competition? Read more