More restaurants, from independents to major chains, are embracing coconut water and “super fruits” on their bar menus.
So-called “super fruits” are high in antioxidants, which some research links to improved health for their effect on free radicals responsible for prematurely aging of cells. Among them are açai, dark berries, goji berry and pomegranate.
Cindy Busi, worldwide beverage director for the 135-unit Hard Rock Café, said the chain is using berries in several of its drinks, including mojitos.
“One of the trends that we’re seeing in the culinary side as well as beverage is the use of ‘super fruits,” she said during the chain’s Global Conference 2011 this week at a new resort-casino property in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “You see açai. You see blackberries, blueberries, raspberries used in many, many ways. And we incorporated that into our cocktail selection.”
Busi said Hard Rock also has started using coconut water in drinks, such as the Blackberry Smash with coconut rum and muddled berries as well as the Fountain of Youth with açai vodka and basil instead of mint. The coconut water is offered in non-alcoholic beverages as well, she said.
• Z’Tejas, a casual-dining chain based in Scottsdale, Ariz., offers a “super fruit” margarita with tequila, orange liqueur, a fruit mix and lime juice with a raspberry-sugar rim.
• Westin Hotels and Resorts last summer offered a range of cocktails based on the “SuperFoodsRX” series of books. The cocktails, created by Francesco Lafranconi, director of mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, were featured at more than 70 properties and included such ingredients as blueberries, ginger, green tea and honey in mojitos.
• Last year, Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar in Washington, D.C., used coconut water ice cubes in a cocktail called Far Land Fare, which included saffron vodka, kaffir lime vodka, cilantro-infused corn syrup and lime juice.
Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
I still haven’t caught on to the super fruits phase, but I love the idea of a cocktail that is good for you.!