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.

Cocktail Inspiration: 5 Bartenders Reveal Their Spin on Classic Cocktails

Cocktail Inspiration: 5 Bartenders Reveal Their Spin on Classic Cocktails

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

You can’t go wrong with a classic. That sentiment continues to reverberate around bars all across the country, as cocktail culture cycles back to its roots with a renewed appreciation for simple, classic drinks.

Just as with any industry of expression (like fashion or art), trends tend to evolve backward as much as they do forward, their reintroduction met with new waves of appreciation. And as consumers become more educated drinkers, and start to understand the depths that one spirit alone holds, it seems almost cruel to mask the complex notes of the tastebuds by overdoing it. This demand of to-the-point simplicity can also be seen in the ever-progressing American dining culture. Journalist C.W. Ceram said it best: “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”

What influences American culture to revive these trends once again? And how are bartenders around the country putting a modern spin on the classics? We’ve got you covered, below.

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Restaurants and Bars Twist Up the Bloody Mary

Restaurants and Bars Twist Up the Bloody Mary

By Natalie Migliarini, Foodable Contributor

Bars and restaurants across the country are mixing up the Bloody Mary. From scotch to tequila, the famous brunch cocktail is seeing boozy flavors beyond the traditional vodka that is used. Many have found that using spirits with more flavors only make the Bloody Mary better and adds additional flavor that you just can’t get with vodka. The garnishes have also been upgraded as Bloody Marys have increased in popularity. From bacon to sliders to cheese, it’s like an immediate cocktail and appetizer all at once. 

Let’s take a look at some of the venues mixing up special Bloody Marys:

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Oak Tavern — Uniquely Constructed Cocktails With Historical Roots

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In this episode of Across the Bar, brought to you by the Foodable Network, we bring you to Oak Tavern in Miami. Host Paul Barron speaks with the kick-ass bartender, Megan Bardoe about how some of the cocktail creations were inspired by history, including their take on a mescal old fashioned, the Kumbaya made with zignum mescal reposado and a flamed orange peel as a garnish. Watch the full episode to hear the back story behind the Black Gold, a uniquely constructed cocktail and the October 2014 winner of the NYC Barenjager National Cocktail Competition.

The Retro Cocktail Revival

The Retro Cocktail Revival

By Carlynn Woolsey, Foodable Contributor

What’s old always becomes new again in some way, shape, form or fashion. As of late, this is very true in the world of cocktails. After several years of bartenders churning out over-sweetened, booze-infused, complex cocktails, Millennials are looking to simplify their spirits — not to mention their orders — and are harkening back to the drinks of yesteryear while doing so.

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