The hottest cocktail trends for 2018

Professional bartending13 March 2018Tyron Francisca

The hottest cocktail trends for 2018

Let’s talk trends!

The world of bartending & cocktails has seen many trends come and go throughout the years. And 2018 promises to be a year full of surprises, reoccurring trends and out of the box yoda-master like thinking of bartenders mixologists. From low-abv cocktails to sustainability and profiling on Instagram Here at the Bols Bartending Academy we constantly keep an eye out for the up and coming trends. And so we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the three most important trends for 2018.


Squeeze the juice out of the lemon, discard the lemon shell. This pattern is for most bartenders very recognizable. Yet, it’s also very unlogic. Globally we produce mountains of waste in the bar industry. Waste that could still be given a second life if we become a little more creative with it. The lemon shell still has some life to it, so why waste it? Tinctures, cordial, falernum, syrups. There are endless possibilities for reviving your used lemons.

Closed loop cocktails

Bartenders are becoming aware of different forms of sustainability. One of these is closed loop cocktails. Every element of a closed loop cocktail drink, even the spirits, was crafted inhouse and recycled. One of the forefathers of closed loop cocktails would undoubtfully be Ryan Chetiyawardana from Mr. Lyan studio. Ryan opened White Lyan in 2013 and it was one of the most iconic and innovative cocktail bars in the field of closed loop cocktails.

Out with the Disposables

The vast amount of napkins, paper coasters plastic straws used and discarded on a daily basis is just outrageous. At Bols Bartending Academy we started cutting out all straws and reducing the usage of napkins. You can do the same in your bar, or at home!

Local Sourcing

Your imported products used to make cocktails also leave a mark on the environment, commonly known as a carbon footprint. From the agriculture machines used to harvest your product, the energy used in the factories to process them, to the transport by air, sea or land before they get delivered to your working place. All of these steps will have a major impact on the environment. By locally sourcing the ingredients we use to make our drinks, we leave a smaller carbon footprint. The local, independent supplier also gains a lot by us buying products from them.

2)Insta-grammy awards

Bartenders have become more aware of the fact that consumers want to enjoy their drinks by taste as much as by visually flirting with the vessel and ingredients used. Food scientist proved that triggering our senses in different ways will influence our taste. Meaning in theory; if a Negroni would be presented in a beautiful crystal tumbler with a perfectly crafted orange zest and served on a small plate with some botanicals on the side to complement the ingredients used in the drink, it would taste better than that same Negroni presented in a simple rocks glass over small ice cubes with a penny size orange zest in it.

And bartenders are triggering our senses and promoting their bars in any way imaginable. One of those ways is making your drink look appealing. And on what better platform than Instagram to do so. If you want to see what Instagram pages our master bartender Ivar de Lange advises, click here!

3)Watch the A.B.V.%

Low ABV-drinks will be big in 2018. And in our opinion one that needs to stay. Responsible drinking not only means that we are watching the amount of alcohol that we consume on a daily basis, but also the alcohol percentage in the cocktails that we drink. We were sipping large amounts of gin in 2015, bartenders re-discovered the world of mezcals in 2016. 2017 saw the beginning of low abv drinks.

By consuming low ABV-cocktails instead of spirit forward drinks, you are sparing yourself from reaching for some ibuprofen and chicken broth soup the next morning, while Thor is hammering down on the delicate parts of your skull. In general, it is just better for your health…

If you want to learn some inspiring low abv recipes, check this out.

Whether you decide to follow or not to follow any trends, it is important to know what is happening around you in the industry for personal or professional gain. “Never stop learning”

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Tyron Francisca

Tyron Francisca

Tyron is senior trainer at the Bols Academy. He loves genever and brandy and can tell you everything about it.

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