Cocktail Trends Around The World

19 December 2016Denzel Heath

Cocktail Trends Around The World


Due to consumersbecoming more educated on recommended, standard and historic serves, bars havehad to turn their focus on ensuring that the quality and consistency of theirdrinks stays at an optimum level. One very popular way of doing this is throughbatching cocktails in large volume and then either pre-bottling completedcocktails or by using the batched bulk cocktail and adding it into a draughtsystem to serve drinks on tap. Benefits also include accurate cost control.



Recent years have shownan ever increasing trend of homemade ingredients such as bitters, liqueurs andother infusions. Often these house-specialized ingredients take hours ofunnecessary and costly preparation when a simple, quality, commercialalternative already exists. A new trend of simple, great tasting cocktails(using great quality commercial ingredients that can be produced at speedwithout over-complication) is rearing its head.



The gin category is evergrowing with new brands being launched every week due to the global leniency onlegislation on the rectification and flavouring of spirits. Hand-in-hand withevery new gin brand, comes a new suggested serve and a signature cocktail tocomplement each brand. The category shows no sign of serious immediate decline,so expect to see many more G&T menus and ‘ginspired’ cocktail lists.



Whilst lager-tails arenothing new and drinks like the Michelada and the Beer Shandy had a cultfollowing for many years, with the growth of the craft beer section, there is adirect parallel to be drawn with the growth of the beer cocktail category. Morebeer types, styles and flavours being produced have and will continue to resultin more experimentation within this category.



Pre-dinner drinks, akathe aperitivo hour, was perfected in Italy and is showing signs of growthglobally with bars designing drinks to deliberately help induce your appetite.Drinks like the Negroni, Americano and the ever popular Aperol Spritz are becomingever more popular, not only under millennials, but right across the consumerbase. 



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 efficienttimely good service.



Responsible drinking isa global phenomenon and ‘low to no ABV’ cocktails as a category is beingcemented into the world’s best cocktail menus. Furthermore, the global healthmovement has shown consumers being more aware and focused of the long termeffects of alcohol consumption and the need has risen for more cocktails withlower alcohol content and for those with the complete omission of booze.



As small batch ‘craft’spirits become more and more available (and more expensive), bars are startingto produce their own spirit blends, using a number of different selectedexisting spirit brands within a category for the purposes of using this‘new-blend’ spirit in signature cocktails. This trend not only allows bars tocreate their own signature spirit blends according to taste, but if doneeffectively can yield high profit margins to boot.



Fermenting cocktails andin-house ingredients using specialized brewer’s yeast allows bars to createunique cocktails and ingredients. Whilst consistency is tricky, due to theprocess needing to be heavily regulated, more and more bars are followingsuite, creating never before tasted cocktail creations.



Sustainability in bars has becomemore of a focus point for leading bar operators – not only from anenvironmental perspective, but also to ensure increased profit margins. Focusedoperators aim to use all raw products during cocktail production and to keepwaste to an absolute minimal.

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Denzel Heath

Denzel Heath

Self-appointed #travellingbartender, awarded bartender Denzel Heath is a firm believer in the craft and graft of Hospitality. Hailing from South Africa, he has spent his most recent years travelling the continent of Africa to share his love and passion for bartending as a career with likeminded individuals of the trade. Currently he resides in Dubai where he is the Head of MMI Bar Academy responsible for Spirit Education and Bar Consulting and is also the Ambassador for Bartender Brands that fall under the Maritime and Mercantile International Portfolio.

He has 16 years local and international bar experience predominantly gained in New York, Florida and South Africa and has in previous years, managed Africa’s largest training program, the Master Bar Academy, through his role as Head of Thirst Bar Academy. Having been involved in every level of successful bar operation, including ownership, he has also provided training in several African and the Middle Eastern countries such as Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Egypt, Angola, Oman, Qatar, Maldives and Mauritius. Satisfied clients include FIFA, Four Seasons, Sun International, Tsogosun, Starwood Hotels, Grand Hyatt Hotels, Protea Hotels and the International Hotel School.

He is a global top 8 finalist of Bacardi Legacy where he represented South Africa in Sydney in 2015, the Bols Around The World 2013 and 2014 South African Champion. In his most recent successes represented South Africa in international cocktail competitions such as the G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program in Cognac, France, Olmeca Tohana Society International Tequila Cocktail Competition in Mexico, Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge, Trinidad and Tobego and the Pink Pigeon Cocktail Competition Global Finals held in Mauritius. He has also repeatedly advanced as a top finalist in the South African National Bartending Championships.

Off of the back of his success in the cocktail competition arena, he has been an appointed judge regional finals for global brand lead cocktail competitions in South Africa, Dubai, Lebanon and Cyprus and as a guest bartender, he has enjoyed the privilege of working behind the stick of some of the best bars in the world in London, Dubai, Greece and Amsterdam.

In 2014 he was selected to complete the Cocktail Apprentice Program at the acclaimed Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and he is making his return in 2016. He has completed his Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Spirit Educator Programme, as well as the acclaimed Beverage Alcohol Resource BAR 5Day Course – the most prestigious Spirit and Mixology Program on the globe. He is currently completing his USBG qualification to become a certified Spirit Professional.

He finds himself a part of the esteemed judging panel for World’s 50 Best Bars and holds holds a seat on the Tales of the Cocktail Seminar Selection Panel. All said and done, behind the brass is his happy place, serving the thirsty and cocktail-enthused.


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