Categories
Drinks Science What's New

Pepsico’s Newest Beverage Is Supposed To Help You Sleep Better

Photo courtesy of Driftwell. Background by Sander Dewerte // Unsplash

When you think Pepsico, the first thing that comes to mind is likely caffeinated soda beverages that help spike your energy. While those would tend to keep you up at night, their newest drink is all about helping folks sleep better.

Called Driftwell, this brand of canned “enhanced water” contains aromas and compounds that can help us chill out, relax, and get to sleep after a stressful day.

In terms of aroma, Driftwell’s first flavor uses blackberry and lavender, a soothing fragrance commonly used for relaxation.

The beverage itself is fortified with 10% of our daily needs of magnesium. It’s not just to get us the essential mineral: a 2018 study found that increasing dietary magnesium intake in the long term can help women sleep better. However, it was unable to establish a causation for this, and it couldn’t say the same thing for men.

Driftwell also contains 200 mg of theanine, which is found in green tea and other foods. Theanine has been found in research to increase levels of “feel-good” neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

Since the drink itself contains a variety of compounds that help relax us, it’s natural that it should also provide some aid in sleeping. While we haven’t seen data yet that proves the functional beverage itself does the same, it definitely has the science to back it up.

10-packs of Driftwell will be available starting in December 2020 at stores nationwide. Each pack will cost $17.99.

Categories
#foodbeast Alcohol Drinks FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Recipes SPONSORED

Hard Seltzer’s The Trick To A Perfect Floating Margarita

The birth of the margarita is much disputed. There are various origin stories, stretching from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, but lost among these wildly specific theories is the fact that the margarita may simply be a variation of a Prohibition-era drink, The Daisy.

The two drinks are remarkably similar– the only difference is that the margarita swaps out The Daisy’s brandy for tequila. In fact “margarita” is the Spanish word for “daisy.” So oddly enough, regardless of the true genesis of the margarita’s journey to stardom, it’s likely that it may have been a result of someone playing with the recipe of an already popular drink.

The lesson here, my friends, is that good things can always be improved upon. Inspired by this ideal, our latest recipe, in collaboration with Bud Light Seltzer, is our own twist on the margarita.

Keeping the essence of fruit in mind, we swapped out the traditional orange-flavored triple sec for a Bud Light Strawberry seltzer. This creates a smoother drinking experience, mellowing out the tequila enough to give consistent, well-rounded sips.

We also threw in some frozen strawberries, which helps the drink blend into a fluid, almost creamy, consistency, while giving things a refreshing edge that compliments the acidity of the lime.

With a rim of chili lime seasoning, and a fresh strawberry to garnish, this drink will certainly make me head to the fridge for a seltzer and some frozen strawberries the next time I get a craving for a margarita.

Check out the full recipe below, and, if you’re in California, make sure to enter iHeartRadio and Budlight Seltzer’s sweepstakes, which could land you a $500 gift card to one of your local Hispanic grocery stores. Click here to enter.

This recipe collab is featured at participating hispanic grocers.

Iceberg Strawberry Margarita

Yields: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 can Bud Light Seltzer Strawberry
  • Chili Lime Seasoning for garnish
  • Fresh lime & strawberry for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Prepare 2 glasses with a chili lime rim using lime juice. 
  2. In a blender, combine frozen strawberries, ice, tequila, lime juice and agave and blend until smooth. 
  3. Divide Bud Light Seltzer Strawberry into prepared glasses. Slowly pour blended margarita into the glasses. Garnish with a lime round and strawberry.

Created in partnership with Bud Light.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Restaurants

Red Lobster x MTN DEW Collab Reveals ‘Dew Garita’

Photo courtesy of Red Lobster

Two iconic brands are coming together in a pretty outlandish way. This week, Red Lobster has announced a partnership with PepsiCo. The first result of that collaboration? A MTN Dew cocktail served at Red Lobster Restaurants. 

Yep, that’s right. 

Called the DEW Garita, the alcoholic beverage is said to pair nicely with the restaurant chain’s iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuits. 

While Red Lobster hasn’t revealed exactly what’s inside the cocktail, deeming it top-secret in a statement, it kind of fits the spirit of MTN Dew itself. You don’t really know what’s in it — and you kind of don’t want to know — but it tastes pretty good nonetheless.

Hopefully, that includes tequila, though. 

Fans of Red Lobster or MTN Dew can find their new collaborative drink in restaurants sometime this fall. 

Categories
Alcohol Drinks What's New

Apple Pie Baileys Is Hitting Shelves NOW To Celebrate Fall Early

Photo courtesy of Baileys

Fall is still a bit of a ways away, but that hasn’t stopped brands from starting to roll out the pumpkin spice collections early. Baileys has taken a different approach, however, and is kicking off their autumn early with the launch of an Apple Pie Baileys flavor.

The new creamy liquor is meant to combine the notes of vanilla ice cream and cinnamon with the taste of a freshly baked apple pie. Baileys is introducing the new bottles as a limited edition flavor that can be enjoyed now, but is meant to be paired with Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or other fall feasts.

Photo courtesy of Baileys

Apple Pie Baileys bottles are already available wherever spirits are sold nationwide, but only in limited quantities. Each 750 mL bottle comes in at a price of $24.99.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Sweets What's New

Starbucks Becomes First Major Chain To Include Star Fruit On Their Menu

Also known as the carambola, star fruit has long been a favorite to incorporate in both sweet and savory dishes in various parts of the world. Native to Southeast Asia, you can find it in juices, stewed into desserts, or even steamed alongside fish.

Starbucks is now taking this fruit and converting it into a set of drinks that just joined their permanent menu.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks, star fruit imagery from Marco Verch // Flickr, CC 2.0.

The new Kiwi Starfruit Refresher incorporates star fruit flavored juice and kiwi pieces, serving them over ice. There’s also a “Star Drink” form that adds coconut milk, akin to the previously viral Pink Drink.

In the United States, the star fruit is already quite popular in south Florida, where it’s become a commonly cultivated tree. For those who have never tried them, they have a slightly sweet taste with some hints of tartness and sourness.

The launch of these new drinks makes Starbucks the first major chain to add star fruit to a nationwide menu.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Products Science

Climate Change Will Affect The Taste And Price Of Our Favorite Beers

As climate change continues to have profound effects on the weather around us, will what we eat and drink be affected as well?

One researcher from North Carolina State (NC State) University is arguing that in the case of beer, both the taste and the cost may be significantly affected.

Imagery from Dave Weatherall, Josh Olalde, and Jason Blackeye // Unsplash

In a guest post for the NC State News, associate professor of molecular and structural biochemistry Colleen Doherty discussed how the changing climate and extreme weather patterns we’re witnessing will affect the flavor compounds we find in beer.

When it comes to cost, a 2018 report from Nature has already shown that rising temperatures and drought frequency may increase the price of barley and hops, the two key agricultural ingredients in beer production.

Doherty argues that climate change today is also leading to alterations in daily and seasonal weather patterns that can effect various properties of both barley and hops.

One of the major reasons, according to Doherty, is that environmental changes will affect the terroir of hops. Similar to what you would find in wine, long-term temperature changes will alter a hop’s life cycle and influence to produce differing amounts of defensive compounds, including those that produce aromas in beer, that will change its flavor composition when added to the beverage.

Likewise, that effect on terroir can also change the ratio of protein and starch in the barley used to brew beer. This will change the quality of the extracted malt at the core of the brewing process, meaning that sweetness, carbohydrate count, protein content, and more could be affected too.

It is unclear exactly how the taste of different beers will change over time, there’s just scientific evidence that they will change. Doherty is researching that as part of her work at NC State, and as time goes on, we’ll be able to taste the difference too.

Imagery from Josh Olalde // Unsplash

Professor Doherty does note that not all changes in the taste or quality of beer in the future will be due to climate change; in fact, beer itself has been changing as processes and technology around it have changed over thousands of years.

However, climate change can and will cause changes out of our control that alter beer’s flavor and may increase its cost as well.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Plant-Based

Dunkin’ Beats Starbucks In Race To Launch Oatmilk Nationwide

Over the past few years, oatmilk has emerged as one of the top-tier vegan milk alternatives. Renowned for its texture and sweetness, brands like Oatly! have taken off and spread like wildfire across the nation.

As oatmilk’s hype is continuing to grow, many fast food chains are starting to incorporate it into their drinks, including Dunkin’ and Starbucks. Both began testing the plant-based alternative earlier this year, but it was Dunkin’ who beat out Starbucks to launching oatmilk drinks nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Dunkin’

Dunkin’ has teamed up with Planet Oat, a major oatmilk brand from food conglomerate HP Hood LLC, to make their nationwide launch happen. Starting today, customers can select oatmilk in place of almondmilk, milk, or cream as a creamer for their coffee drinks, including frozen ones. An additional upcharge may apply to that substitution.

An official Oatmilk Latte has also been added to Dunkin’s lineup as part of the launch.

Oatmilk had started to test in California for Dunkin’ in January 2020, at the same time Starbucks began serving up oatmilk drinks at 1,300 stores in the Midwest. Starbucks has yet to release oatmilk nationwide, but has expanded its offering to Canada in the interim.

With Dunkin’ oatmilk beating everyone to the national playground, however, it will only be a matter of time before every major coffee chain has an oatmilk alternative available nationwide.

Categories
Alcohol Brand Drinks Technology What's New

Snoop Dogg’s First Foray Into Wine Is A Surprising Red

Snoop Dogg is no doubt a household name, one that’s synonymous with weed, women, and the West Coast. With his first foray into wine, Snoop may have yet another W under his belt. Expertly weaving his own vision while never forgetting to represent where he came from, Snoop has always been an unlikely face for many of his ventures beyond music, continually subverting our expectations. I suppose one could say gin & juice is to Snoop Doggy Dog as the new Cali Red is to Uncle Snoop, another evolution of possibilities. 

Collaborating with gangsta-adjacent wine brand 19 Crimes, Snoop Dogg brings their first ever California-bottled offering to fans. Sourced from NorCal’s Lodi region, Cali Red blends Petite Syrah 65%, Zinfandel 30%, and Merlot 5%. A complimentary crimson-concoction to Snoop’s canine cool. The blend also uses all-American oak, introducing a distinct smokiness that provides vanilla and chocolate. 

A look into the backstory of the brand reveals that 19 Crimes is based upon 18th century British convicts turned colonists that were exiled to Australia as punishment in place of death. The 19 Crimes were created during the Industrial Revolution as an answer to the growing overpopulation of Great Britain, which resulted in an increase of crime. With an antiquated legal system, grossly overwhelmed by criminal cases and crowded prisons, Britain declared exile to Australia as punishment. Most convicts never survived the trip. In actuality, there were a reported 200 crimes that could seal one’s fate to the land down under. 

Marrying the Northern California sweetness to Snoop’s South California smoothness creates the perfect red and blue compliment at just $12.99 a bottle. The wine also has an AR feature that allows you to scan the label, revealing a special message from Snoop. By downloading the “Living Wine Labels” app, users can hold their mobile devices over any Cali Red label and be greeted by words of wisdom, affirmations and of course, Snoop’s famously known swagger.

Snoop’s Cali Red is now available for purchase online.