Vegan Barbecue, Lower-Proof Drinks Set the Stage for Summer

Aperol Spritz
If you've had an Aperol Spritz, you've had amaro even if you didn't know that's what it was. (Photo: Dulin/Shutterstock)

Summer is here, which means there are certain food and drink options you'll probably be seeing more than others. As far as trendy foods go, some this season's trends are pretty appealing.

Session cocktails

cocktail, beach
When you start drinking early in the day, session cocktails are a smart idea. (Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

Session cocktails are category of lower-alcohol drinks that are meant to help keep you from getting blotto if you start drinking during the day, and PureWow says they're hot this summer.. The super popular Aperol Spritz, made with Aperol that has a low 11 percent ABV, Prosecco and soda water is an example of a session cocktail.

Another popular low alcohol ingredient that's taking center stage in session cocktails is vermouth, usually 11 to 15 percent ABV. For decades, it's been relegated as seasoning for martinis and Manhattans, but now vermouth-forward cocktails are becoming popular, like the Addington cocktail — one part dry vermouth, one part sweet vermouth and two parts club soda served over ice.

Vegan BBQ

jackfruit pulled pork
That's not pulled pork. It's pulled jackfruit with barbecue sauce on it. (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

It's not just meatless that's going to be popular at summer parties, it's full-on vegan, meaning all plant-based options. Foods like jackfruit "pulled pork," will be the star of a vegan barbecue this summer, according to New Food Magazine. You can still fire up the grill for slices of zucchini and other veggies.

Gut-healthy foods

A bowl of miso soup with tofu and green onions
Miso soup is made with fermented soybeans, giving it plenty of good bacterial strains. (Photo: AS Food studio/Shutterstock)

Good bacteria is hip, and foods like tempeh, miso and kimchi are showing up on restaurant menus in new ways, says CNBC. At home, you can ferment your own vegetables, by making something as simple as fermented pickles or sauerkraut. These foods contain probiotics and micro-organisms that support digestive health.

Flavored sparkling water

sparkling water
Flavored sparkling water is refreshing, unsweetened, calorie-free, and refreshing, making a popular summer drink. (Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock)

Food Business News says the flavored sparkling water craze isn't going anywhere. This summer these unsweetened, zero-calorie drinks made with natural flavors are everywhere. Bottled water brands like Dasani and Aquafina have gotten into the flavored sparkling water business, giving super-popular La Croix some competition.

Diet-friendly ice cream

ice cream
Low-calorie ice cream that's packed with protein is trendy. (Photo: Gtranqillity/Shutterstock)

When an entire pint of ice cream has about as many calories as a single serving of other ice creams, people get excited. So last summer when Halo Top became super popular — a brand that uses several organic ingredients, stevia to lower the calorie count, and ups the protein amount in its ice cream — other brands took notice. This summer, expect to see competition for Halo Top from other brands.