The arrival of warmer weather heralds a beverage-menu pivot to summertime’s ever-popular iced tea and lemonade.
But there are many ways to turn these dependable refreshers into high-impact, premium offerings. Here are 15 ideas for creating summer signatures:
- Repurpose extra iced tea into ice cubes to prevent dilution; a mint leaf in every cube adds flavor and visual appeal.
- Offer pitchers or carafes of iced tea and/or lemonade—plain or enhanced—for the table, and large-format containers of these beverages for takeout.
- Mix lemonade or iced tea with on-trend “superfood” ingredients like wild blueberry or pomegranate juice, turmeric or ginger, cinnamon, goji or acai berries, or coconut water/milk to leverage growing interest in probiotics.
- Go the predictable lemonade-and-iced tea “50/50” one better by combining ginger-peach tea, elderflower syrup (or liqueur), lemonade, and iced tea.
- Mix lemonade with club soda or sparkling water, plus macerated fruit (try berries, apples, grapefruit, or clementines) and other flavorings (such as ginger, cardamom, chili pepper, or juniper) to create a European-style gazoz; a splash of apple cider or balsamic vinegar turns it into a nostalgic shrub.
- Rim a glass of lemonade with hickory smoked sea salt or citrus chili salt.
- Pair lemonade with slightly fizzy green tea kombucha for another spin on the 50/50.
- Add limeade and/or orange juice to lemonade, and garnish with citrus wheels.
- Instead of mint, add basil, lemon verbena, lavender, or vanilla to iced tea.
- Serve refreshing matcha tea or flavorful chai on ice.
- Turn plain or flavored lemonade into a slush by blending it with ice.
- Combine lemonade or sweet tea with beer for a low-alcohol quaff called a shandy.
- Mix tea with cherry limeade or pineapple juice for a sweet and fruity specialty.
- Make iced tea interesting with bourbon, chopped peaches, and sugar or simple syrup.
- Pick a surprising juice or ingredient to add excitement to iced tea or lemonade:
The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.