This week is the Billboard Music Awards, and what goes on in front of the camera is just half of the party. Celebrities like Iggy Azalea, Katy Perry, Charlie XCX, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith will also be privy to some of the best in food and cocktails backstage in lounges and private suites.
I had the privilege to create an exclusive cocktail recipe for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, and as summer sunshine and heat are upon us, decided to go with something cool, refreshing, and hydrating for guests to enjoy.
Trends, Tastes, and Ingredients
This year’s 72nd annual WSWA trend talk, we heard that the biggest trend in cocktails is ‘Fun’, with fresh ingredients like watermelon, spice, and smoke hot on the cocktail menu list. Healthier drinks are rising in demand, as are low ABV cocktails-providing a way for consumers to imbibe more, and for longer periods, without feeling the effects of drinking too much alcohol, or overindulging.
When creating a cocktail for a large event, using fresh, simple ingredients and staying on trend can not only make your booth a hot spot for guests, but also provide a ‘better for you’ cocktail experience that they’ll remember.
Creating an Antioxidant Cocktail
When you’re looking to add health benefits to a drink recipe, fresh ingredients are a must. Having studied much over the years on topics like TCM (Chinese medicine), Ayurveda, food as medicine, and plant based diets helps, but you don’t have to have a background as a nutritionist to make a better cocktail.
I like to start with what’s in season, and then do a little research. Websites like WebMD, LiveStrong, and others provide a wealth of information about the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and spices, and can point you in the right direction, inspiring recipes and flavor combinations you might not have considered previously.
For the Billboard Music Awards cocktail recipe, I wantedto go with something we knew was on trend (watermelon), add antioxidants, and give guests a fresh, summery taste that would appeal to a wide variety of ages and drink preferences.
Like red berries and tomatoes, watermelon contains lycopene. Additionally, it is high in antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamin C, as well as its own natural water content. Mint is great for digestion, reduces inflammation, and has been proven to stimulate weight loss and improve memory. Lime juice, when fresh, is chock full of vitamin C, and has been shown to also help with weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, and can even regulate blood sugar.
Serve this agua fresca with a splash of vodka, gin, or rum, or on it’s own as a mocktail.
Antioxidant Cocktail: Watermelon Mint “Agua Fresca”
Get the Recipe