Cocktail culture across the world has grown over the years, ever changing with the times, whilst conventional drinks have taken a backseat to these new and exciting concoctions.
This is especially so with cocktail enthusiasts constantly searching new flavours to excite their palates and surprise their senses.
So, what sort of bar trends will we see in 2017?
In a joint statement, two bar professionals believe that the newest trends in 2017 will be a follow up to the ones from 2016 - with influences from big cocktail cities like New York, Chicago, London and Sydney leading the pack of trendy cocktail innovations.
Roberto Gonzales, CEO of In2bar Consultancy, and the UK’s most experimental Bartender 2016, Oliver Pluck, have looked into their crystal glasses and perfectly rounded ice balls to tell us what they foresee…
To the pair, our ever-evolving palate has grown our thirst for life and new, exciting nights out - making ‘The Experience’ the most important trend in 2017.
According to Roberto and Oliver, “The Experience” is the holistic approach for cocktails that creates remarkable moments and elevate your senses on sophisticated nights out.
Bartenders and expert mixologists have been teaching this at Diageo Bar Academy, the top training and networking hub for bar professionals. Their “Remarkable by Design” lectures have been encouraging bars to think outside the bottle and create menus from scents, tastes, design, ambience and anything else that creates an ‘experience’ for customers.
“Being innovative is something we all want to strive for - and learning to balance a good drink can sometimes be the first step. Many a cocktail menu has 15 ingredients, but if you cannot taste each individual one, what is the point!” says Roberto and Oliver.
“Using unique ingredients or specialized glassware is great - but being able to balance everything along with a good design and scent is the step in the right direction,” added the pair.
That being said, they believe that in 2017, speakeasy culture will start to wane. This is due to customers preferring “The Experience” of consuming a good cocktail without having to feel like they’re stuck in prohibition - savouring the story of the bar or cocktail alongside your sips.
Craft beer will continue to excite taste buds in the coming year, continuing the record highs of 2016, as more breweries have been bubbling up around the world - all to satisfy the diversifying and demanding consumer palate. According to online portal Beverage Dynamics, which cited The Beverage Information & Insights Group, craft beer has surpassed a 10% share of the overall beer industry in the United States alone.
Tequila and Mezcal in particular have a shot at the top spot this year - mainly due to the boom in small batch distilleries, which has allowed the industry to move away from the monopolization of dominant well-known brands. The growth of these two spirits may also help boost other agave-based spirits being used in cocktails, so look out for more latino-spins to your cocktails this year. Olé!
Ironically, the dynamic duo also foresees bottled cocktails becoming a popular alternative in order to save time and costs. Bottled cocktail drinks used to be awful, but they are gaining respect - as popular mixologists around the world are starting to develop and brand their own bottled cocktail lines. It’s like college all over again, but classy this time!