Margaritas get spicy, pickles get popular: 8 trendy drinks to try this summer

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Looking for something cool to quench your thirst this summer? Well, there are plenty of trendy drinks for you to try.

This summer, diners are craving spicy alcoholic drinks, savory mocktails and gut-friendly beverages packed with turmeric and ginger.

Social media remains one of the biggest drivers of these new trends, as shareable photos of quirky colored slushies and carefully garnished cocktails have dared diners to test these dishes out themselves and share their experiences with their followers and friends.

Here are eight trendy drinks to taste this summer:

Rose cider

Angry Orchard Rosé cider
Angry Orchard

Just in time for warmer weather, some liquor companies are launching rose hard cider, seasonal hard apple ciders with that familiar, rosy millennial pink hue.

Rose wine was popularized on social media sites like Instagram and has been sold as regular wine, sparkling wine and in a frozen form called frose.

Angry Orchard's Rose cider is inspired by the light and fruity elements of a rose wine and made from six different apple varieties, including a red flesh apple that helps give the beverage its flavor and distinctive color, as well as a hint of hibiscus.

Similarly, MillerCoors, Bold Rock and Strongbow's rose ciders have an apple base, but also include ingredients like pears and rose petals.

Hard Seltzer

Source: White Claw Hard Seltzer

Seltzer and sparkling water have become increasingly popular in the U.S. as consumers ditch soda and other sugary beverages perceived as unhealthy.

Alcohol-infused seltzer is the next step. With fewer calories, these malt-based beverages are taking off with people looking for a refreshing, but light alcoholic drink during the hot summer months.


Anfisa Kameneva | Getty Images

Mocktails are not a new concept, but these nonalcoholic beverages have come a long way from sticky-sweet Shirley Temples. As more people limit their alcohol consumption, bars and even beverage companies are offering juicy alternatives.

The key to the success of this trend is flavor. Consumers want to mimic the sophistication of having a specialty cocktail, but without the hangover or extra calories. So brands and restaurants that adopt this trend will need to make sure their concoctions look good and taste good.

Spicy margaritas

Source: Refinery Rooftop

Summer isn't just for sweet and fruity drinks, it's also a time to kick up the flavor a notch or two.

"Spicy flavors work really well against sweeter flavors you typically associate with summer like watermelon or strawberry," Will Benedetto, cocktail creator at In Good Company told CNBC via email. "They also work particularly well in a shaken refreshing drink with some sort of citrus acid in it, making spicy cocktails all the more appropriate for warm weather."

"But I think what is most driving [Americans'] thirst for spicy cocktails is the explosion of Mexican spirits," he said. "Mezcal and tequila are immensely popular right now and associating spicy Mexican food with these often savory and peppery spirits just makes sense."

Look out for spicy margaritas, smoky gin concoctions and peppery vodka mixers.

Health Tonics

Switchel, homemade drink with ginger, apple vinegar, honey and lemon.
Westend61 | Getty Images

Improving digestive health is a huge trend heading into 2018. In the last year, a number of companies promoted apple cider vinegar tonics as homeopathic remedies and a cure-all for everything from acne to hangovers.

There are already a number of products on the market that are rich in probiotics and micro-organisms and aim to support digestive and immune health. Expect to see more of these gut-healthy food items next year.

Switchel, kombucha and drinks packed with turmeric and ginger will continue to gain steam this summer.

Pickle drinks

Source: Van Holten

You either love pickles or you hate them.

While the "pickleback," a shot of pickle juice to chase a shot of whiskey, has become common in recent years, new forms of pickle-flavored beverages are coming this summer. From Sonic's pickle-flavored slush to pickle-mixed Bloody Marys, the sour green juice appears to be here to stay.

Mushroom Coffee

Source: Four Sigmatic

Mushrooms in your coffee? Yes, it's a thing.

The fungi are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. And they are adaptable. Mushrooms are packed with protein and can be used in baking and cooking as a bulking agent.

Customers can already purchase mushroom-infused products such as Four Sigmatic's coffee, cocoa and matcha blends.

Oat milk

Source: Oatly

You've probably heard of almond milk and soy milk, but the latest trend in nondairy milk is oat.

Oat milk is made by soaking steel cut oats in water, blending the mixture and then straining it. The result is a creamy beverage that can be used over cereal, in lattes or just in a cup.

Oat milk doesn't need as much water as almond milk to make, which is enticing to consumers who are conscious about conservation. While not quite mainstream yet, oat milk will likely make its way across the U.S. soon.