Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced a plan to launch a pilot beverage program called “Beverages with Integrity” in one of its Denver locations. This program aims to create beverage offerings more closely aligned with Chipotle's philosophy.
Richard Betts, master sommelier, winemaker, and co-founder of Sombra mezcal, worked for two years to design the new drinks offerings, removing all corn syrup from the menu and reducing overall sugar content.
He appears to have discovered the answer.
The new drinks on offer include a frozen margarita made with Betts' Sombra mezcal; the mezcal is made with organic espadin agave, and the resulting margarita is smoky in flavor and very low in sugar, featuring fresh lemon and lime juices, agave syrup, and Astral tequila.
Betts also selected an organic California Tempranillo sangria with pomegranate and blood orange for the menu.
Beer-wise, the Chipotle restaurant will serve a light Vienna Mexican lager on draft. The beer, called Beerito, was crafted by Oskar Blues Brewery. There will also be cans of Modelo Especial on offer, replacing the bottled beers that were once part of Chipotle's offerings.
New non-alcoholic options include watermelon agua fresca and hibiscus tea. Natural Blue Sky sodas and Coke Life, sweetened with stevia and cane sugar, will also be available at the Chipotle restaurant. This is the first time that these sodas are being dispensed as fountain beverages.
Izze sodas and Evolution Fresh juices will also be on offer.
The new drink program is currently being tested at the Denver Chipotle restaurant on Sixth and Broadway. There is no set timeline for rolling out the beverage program to any additional locations, but it's expected to be the next move for the chain.
Alcohol, including beer and premium margaritas, currently make up about 2 percent of Chipotle’s sales.
Chipotle has recently suffered its first quarterly loss after several food-borne illness scares at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.
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