Since becoming DRY Soda’s Creative Director, Top Chef Richard Blais has been hard at work deciding which flavor profiles would fit best with the rest of the DRY Soda family as DRY expands to bring better soda to even more fans nationwide. Recently, Richard shared some insight into his flavor development process and collaborating with the DRY team to excitingly expand the DRY Soda flavor lineup. We’re very excited to bring Cherry and Pear DRY Soda to Kroger stores soon, so read more below about how they came to be!
Launch of Four New Flavors Led by DRY Creative Director and Top Chef All-Stars Winner
(SEPTEMBER 18, 2013) SEATTLE – Flavor innovation has been abundant at DRY Soda Co. recently, with the introduction of new flavors spearheaded by DRY Soda’s Creative Director Chef Richard Blais, television personality, restaurateur and author. Blais has been integral to the process of developing Apple and Ginger DRY, and most recently, Cherry and Pear DRY, which are launching in early October exclusively in The Kroger Co. stores.
According to Blais, DRY’s new offerings are inspired by the nostalgia for flavors not often seen anymore in the culinary scene, or less-sweet “riffs” on tried and true flavors in the soda world. Blais worked with DRY to ensure each flavor is true to the specific taste characteristics of the fruit or herb. He also developed food pairings that correspond with each new flavor.
“All of DRY’s sodas are made from just four all natural ingredients,” explained Blais. “So, precision is key in finding the right balance between sweetness and acidity while preserving the aroma and intensity of the featured ingredient. Our team tasted, tasted and tasted again to guarantee each flavor is perfect.”
During development, the DRY team had samples of fruits and herbs on hand for comparison to the natural soda flavors. Apple DRY, at 65 calories, has a balanced sweetness and crisp finish found in Washington Braeburn apples. Blais ensured that Pear DRY was bright and captured the hint of spice that is found in the fruit’s skin. Cherry DRY, with its luscious, rich and juicy flavor, evokes that warm, summer cherry essence. Ginger DRY is more assertive and sophisticated than traditional ginger ales, which can be more than 130 calories (compared to Ginger DRY’s 65 calories per 12 oz. serving).
“Richard’s insight and guidance has been invaluable to our flavor innovation approach,” said DRY Soda CEO Sharelle Klaus. “He is an ardent supporter of DRY because living a healthy lifestyle is so important to him. I’m excited that DRY’s newest flavors bring together Richard’s expertise in flavor development and DRY’s commitment to offering customers a healthier alternative to traditional sodas.”
Blais is the 2011 winner of Top Chef All-Stars. In February 2013 his debut cookbook released, “Try this at Home: Recipes from My Head to your Plate,” which features a simplified approach to adventurous cooking, much like DRY’s approach to flavors. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Blais has learned from some of the masters in the field including Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adria. In 2000, he relocated to Atlanta to oversee a local seafood concept. His creative approach led to the establishment of Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operated some of Atlanta’s most popular eateries including Flip Burger Boutique’s multiple locations, The Spence and HD-1. He is working on his newest restaurant project, Juniper & Ivy, in San Diego.
DRY Soda was launched in 2005, well before low sugar products were part of the national conversation. Klaus saw the need for a less sweet, all-natural soda and created the first soda line with significantly less sugar and made with just four ingredients. DRY, the better for you soda, contains 1/4 to 1/3 of the sugar and calories of traditional sodas, and is only 45-70 calories per 12oz. bottle or can.
DRY’s new flavors, in addition to its current flavors Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, Cucumber, Rhubarb, Lavender, Juniper Berry, Cucumber and Wild Lime, are available across the United States and Canada. To find a complete list of where DRY is available, please visit www.drysoda.com or download DRY’s mobile app for iPhone and Android.