It's hot, hot, hot! What are you drinking?

Restaurants in California are serving less and less water to customers who’ve come in for meals. The obligatory glass of ice water is a faint memory. Customers must ask for it. But, restaurants, from haute cuisine establishments to taco stands, are learning to quench customer’s thirst with lemonade. In fact, the more flavors available the better.

Lemonade with infusions of strawberry, blackberry, peach, blueberry, orange, cranberry, and a few we haven’t mentioned, is growing in popularity and may just become a year round beverage of choice soon.

Two other refreshers that have seen big jumps in popularity are iced coffees and iced tea. But, those are not being delivered in their time honored basic state. Now teas are mixed with pomegranate juice, mango, pineapple, raspberry (and all the other berry flavors) as customers tire of plain old water. Even green tea devotees are blending orange, lemon and basil for new gulps.

This flavored beverage trend is being experienced across America but is certainly being led by Californians. The good news for restaurants is that these drinks are profitable. The good news for customers is that their thirst is being quenched with new surprising flavors.