It isn't only about food at the 2014 Fancy Food Show!
Remarkably, the crowded beverage category continues to expands well. Among the libations and occasional craft beers, there are many ersatz sodas jockeying for our attention, trying to convince us that they are better than the mainstream monsters Coke & Pepsi.
In the flavored water & natural juice world, there are a few impressive brands to pay attention to: FOUND Beverage Co. and HINT. With straightforward ingredients (sparkling mineral water + real fruit or vegetable "aromas" + natural beet sugar), an elegant aesthetic (gorgeous bottles) and a carbon neutral company, we find FOUND fitting as a tasty alternative to regular water. Look for Apple + Cinnamon, Cucumber + Mint and Elderflower among others HERE.
HINT waters boast "zero sugar, zero fake and zero calories", using fruit essences only to lend interest to regular water. Choose fizzy or still in lots of inventive fruit flavors. Here's a hint: peach is the team favorite. Check it out here: www.drinkhint.com. But here's the caveat (you knew this was coming)... since the source of the water is not disclosed and there is no indication that the fruit is organic, these may be a fun choice occasionally but not a substitute for pure clean water (if you can get it) most of the time.
Two outstanding winners in the cocktail crowd: Q Drinks for for moving in the right direction: no high fructose corn syrup , no artificial flavors and glass bottles and Fever-Tree for their sophisticated blends of botanicals so the liquor is truly optional. Fever Tree wins hands-down in the flavor category for the Bitter Lemon and Ginger Beer (Moscow Mules people!) but the sugar load is a bit high so thankfully they offer light versions too. Check out more: www.fever-tree.com and www.qdrinks.com
KOMBUCHA - (sounds like a sneeze doesn't it?)
We love fermented beverages for bringing good bugs to the gut but sometimes they are just too vinegary or too lumpy or too... something. But these 2 were taste winners: Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink - coconut flavor and Reed's Culture Club in Cabernet Grape. Kevita is sweetened with organic stevia and only 1g of sugar. Worth the 4 billion CFU (viable bacteria) LOL. Reed's Cabernet Grape is a heavier sugar load at 11g per bottle but if you close your eyes it's almost a wine spritzer. Almost. Check them out at: www.KeVita.com and www.reedsinc.com.