Explore the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors in beverages.

With warmer temperatures finally here, restaurant-goers will be craving refreshing and exciting drinks. It’s the perfect time to add a sweet and spicy beverage to the menu. 

Younger generations love fun, bold flavors. They grew up eating sweet and spicy chips, salsas, fruit, and other snacks. With Gen Z and Millennials maturing and going out, they are looking for that craveable flavor in their drinks. Even older generations who grew up with more mild-tasting food will enjoy experimenting with new flavors. “The combination is perfect for those looking to try new things and want to go outside their comfort zone a little. Balancing the sweet and spicy makes it very approachable,” says Cassie Kane, senior director of field marketing for Monin. Datassential reported more than 80 percent of consumers enjoy hot and spicy foods, and over 50 percent say they eat spicy foods once a week.

The flavor is versatile across cocktails and culinary—including non-alcoholic spirits, which nearly doubled in sales in 2022, according to Nielsen IQ data. “I like a spicy cabernet lemonade or a nice spicy sweet Paloma. The peppers with the grapefruit soda work well together,” says Brian Loukmas, vice president of beverage innovation at Monin. “Even sweet gin cocktails. All the botanicals in the gin work well with that spicy sweetness.” 

Monin’s new Spicy Agave Sweetener is available just in time for Cinco De Mayo, the perfect time for restaurants to feature a spicy margarita, for example. “The sweetener adds a depth of flavor that is not too spicy and simply brings in another element that elevates your tastebuds,” Loukmas says. “The agave combined with guajillo and hatch chiles blends together for a well-balanced complement to food and beverages.” 

“There has been a lot of growth in habanero and jalapeno peppers, but now consumers are discovering an interest in different, more unique peppers, such as hatch and guajillo,” Kane says. “The chiles also work well with tropical flavors like pineapple, mango, or watermelon.” 

The vast majority of Monin’s portfolio is made with clean-label ingredients, each one created with attention to quality, consistency, and versatility. The spicy agave sweetener contains natural organic agave and a unique blend of the hatch and guajillo chiles all in one bottle, allowing time-saving, easy execution of recipes. Plus, “when working with real chiles, it is not always consistent. You might get a spicier one, and you might get one that does not have much of an impact. This product allows for more consistency,” says Kane.  

The sweet and spicy flavor combination puts a little spin on something ordinary, creating a refreshing, balanced beverage. Restaurant operators can use it to build excitement around their beverage menu to keep their guests returning for more. 

Learn more about Monin’s Spicy Agave Sweetener and find additional menu inspiration at Monin’s website

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