1. BATCHED COCKTAILS
Due to consumers becoming more educated on recommended, standard and historic serves, bars have had to turn their focus on ensuring that the quality and consistency of their drinks stays at an optimum level. One very popular way of doing this is through batching cocktails in large volume and then either pre-bottling completed cocktails or by using the batched bulk cocktail and adding it into a draught system to serve drinks on tap. Benefits also include accurate cost control.
2. SIMPLICITY & QUALITY OVER OVER-COMPLICATION
Recent years have shown an ever increasing trend of homemade ingredients such as bitters, liqueurs and other infusions. Often these house-specialized ingredients take hours of unnecessary and costly preparation when a simple, quality, commercial alternative already exists. A new trend of simple, great tasting cocktails (using great quality commercial ingredients that can be produced at speed without over-complication) is rearing its head.
3. GIN-CENTRIC MENUS
The gin category is ever growing with new brands being launched every week due to the global leniency on legislation on the rectification and flavouring of spirits. Hand-in-hand with every new gin brand, comes a new suggested serve and a signature cocktail to complement each brand. The category shows no sign of serious immediate decline, so expect to see many more G&T menus and ‘ginspired’ cocktail lists.
4. BEER COCKTAILS
Whilst lager-tails are nothing new and drinks like the Michelada and the Beer Shandy had a cult following for many years, with the growth of the craft beer section, there is a direct parallel to be drawn with the growth of the beer cocktail category. More beer types, styles and flavours being produced have and will continue to result in more experimentation within this category.
5. UPRISE OF THE APERITIVO HOUR
Pre-dinner drinks, aka the aperitivo hour, was perfected in Italy and is showing signs of growth globally with bars designing drinks to deliberately help induce your appetite. Drinks like the Negroni, Americano and the ever popular Aperol Spritz are becoming ever more popular, not only under millennials, but right across the consumer base.
6. INTRICACIES RATHER THAN GIMMICKS
Cocktail Gimmick, defined as a cocktail produced or served in such a way as to attract attention, publicity, or trade, have in recent years over shadowed quality and service. Look forward to bars serving cocktails that still focus on enticing the senses, but created more tactfully rather than ‘showy’, whilst ensuring efficient timely good service.
7. LOW TO NO ABV COCKTAILS
Responsible drinking is a global phenomenon and ‘low to no ABV’ cocktails as a category is being cemented into the world’s best cocktail menus. Furthermore, the global health movement has shown consumers being more aware and focused of the long term effects of alcohol consumption and the need has risen for more cocktails with lower alcohol content and for those with the complete omission of booze.
8. INHOUSE SPIRIT BLENDS
As small batch ‘craft’ spirits become more and more available (and more expensive), bars are starting to produce their own spirit blends, using a number of different selected existing spirit brands within a category for the purposes of using this ‘new-blend’ spirit in signature cocktails. This trend not only allows bars to create their own signature spirit blends according to taste, but if done effectively can yield high profit margins to boot.
9. FERMENTED COCKTAILS
Fermenting cocktails and in-house ingredients using specialized brewer’s yeast allows bars to create unique cocktails and ingredients. Whilst consistency is tricky, due to the process needing to be heavily regulated, more and more bars are following suite, creating never before tasted cocktail creations.
10. CLOSED LOOP COCKTAILS
Sustainability in bars has become more of a focus point for leading bar operators – not only from an environmental perspective, but also to ensure increased profit margins. Focused operators aim to use all raw products during cocktail production and to keep waste to an absolute minimal.
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