Skip navigation

The year in beverages: Notable thirst-quenchers in 2021

Innovative drinks from Black Tap, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chevys Fresh Mex, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Del Taco, Dunkin’, Dutch Bros, First Watch, Hard Rock Cafe, Jamba, Lemonade, Outback Steakhouse, Peet’s Coffee, Piada Italian Street Food, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Shake Shack, Starbucks, Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Studio Movie Grill and Which Wich

It was a year of lemonade, milk alternatives, butterfly pea flower, tequila and more as restaurants sought ways to energize, relax, thrill or simply quench the thirst of their customers, all while boosting check averages and profit.

Black Tap introduced a new line of cocktails, Del Taco, Dunkin’ and other brands launched their versions of boba, Starbucks rolled out oat milk, Studio Movie Grill developed drinks with themes to match new film releases and Shake Shack introduced cocktail-inspired soft drinks.

Which Wich joined the club of chains with proprietary MTN Dew beverages and Hard Rock Café offered a “Momosa” Bar for Mother’s Day.

Piada Italian Street Food introduced an acqua fresca — which is Italian for agua fresca — made from local honey, and Lemonade, the fast-casual chain, introduced a new line of its namesake drinks.

There were pumpkin spice lattes, obviously, but also drinks with apple, gingerbread flavor and caramel.

Read on to take a look at some of the notable beverages of 2021.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

TAGS: Menu
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.