Americans looking for an energizing drink are beginning to extoll the virtues of matcha, a traditional Japanese beverage made from powdered green tea leaves, said MatchaBar co-owner Graham Fortung. Fortung enjoyed the beverage at a Japanese restaurant before opening the MatchaBar in Brooklyn, N.Y., this September, citing the tea's 70 milligrams of caffeine as beneficial for busy New Yorkers.
A renewed fervor for cocktails has ushered in a return of maraschino liqueur and its fruity, subtle cherry flavor and bitter finish. Maraschino is an ingredient in several classic cocktails, such as the Hemingway daiquiri, the beachcomber and the Brooklyn, a version of a Manhattan. The most popular brand on the international market is Luxardo, which is distilled in Croatia. A Denver-area distillery called Leopold Bros. has begun producing small-batch maraschino that lends a different texture to cocktails, particularly rye-based drinks, writes Florence Fabricant.
Healthy Beverage Co. has added four zero-calorie flavors to its line of Steaz Iced Teaz. The drinks, made with stevia and green tea and certified as organic and fair trade, are offered in citrus, raspberry, peach mango, and a combination of lemonade and green tea.
Cubebs, popular in the Middle Ages, have added flavor to everything from gin to beef, but the spice is now nearly impossible to find. The relative of peppercorn tastes of juniper berries and allspice, and is being grown by Ben and Blair Ripple on their Big Tree Farms in Bali.
Matcha, powdered green tea from Japan, can be consumed as a beverage or used as an ingredient in baked goods. It is complex and a bit bitter as hot tea, but becomes more subtle and sweet when used in recipes.