This article first appeared in the 15 September 2007 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
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Chamomile tea spiked with vodka, orange bitters and organic agave nectar stands out on the Bar Drake specialty cocktail list at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. At Nectar (shown) in Berwyn, Pa., hot tea selections include light-caffeine, caffeine-free and organic varieties such as Green Tea Passion.
Iced tea, the beverage of choice for nearly one-third of diners the last time they ordered a beverage at a restaurant for dinner, according to R&I's research, is taking on new twists as well. A take on traditional afternoon tea from The James Hotel in Chicago offered guests a pitcher of specialty iced teas, such as lime-mint and mango-hibiscus, with a selection of tea-sandwich-style bites. Corporate-services accounts of Gaithersburg, Md.-based Sodexho USA now feature iced teas infused with flavors such as pomegranate, raspberry, lime and mint.