Ahhh, the start of the New Year, so full of excitement and possibility. As many people go about their resolutions and embark into the future unknown making wishes and predictions, we only want to know one thing, “what we will be drinking?”
So we go to two super experts in spirits education from both coasts to get their thoughts on what trends we should expect to see in the drinks world in 2015:
The Predictions on Drinking in 2015
Director of Brand Education
New York City, NY
- Classics (and slight variations of classics) will continue to thrive as they are now appearing on menus at more and more mainstream bars and restaurants across the US.
- Simple cocktails and easy pairings (Boilermaker anyone?)
- Fortified wine (vermouth, sherry, etc) will continue to grow. Hopefully that means that Port wine is next, since I’m a huge fan!
- More savory cocktails will continue to add another dimension to your favorite bar or restaurants cocktail program (sorry Pete Wells!). Herbs, spices, peppers, etc.
- Large spirits producers will continue to innovate in order to keep the attention of their core consumers. You will also see, more limited run and smaller scale/production offerings to compete against the current “craft” movement.
- Consumers are evolving, they want to know more about how their favorite products are made and where the raw materials came from. And if they don’t share those values, they are more likely to more on.
- Bartenders will continue to search for new to world and forgotten spirits/modifiers to help keep their beverage program and drinks menu unique. If you want to stand out, you need to be original. You can’t run the same program or offer the same experience as the guy next door.
- Brown spirits!……And wood. Everything aged. Since oak is notorious for adding depth and character, not to mention its smoothing properties, let’s throw it into a barrel and see what happens. Perhaps leather aged cocktails are next…
- And finally Agave spirits, Tequila, Mezcal, Racilla.
“Bartenders will continue to search for new to world and forgotten spirits/modifiers to help keep their beverage program and drinks menu unique.” — Chris Patino
Executive Director of Mixology & Spirits Education
Southern Wine & Spirits
Las Vegas, Nevada
- We will continue to see a strong tendency to embrace classic drinks with both “global” and artisanal brands, the reason is bi-fold: their simplicity in execution as well as their formulas that enhance/promote the organoleptic characteristics of spirit base (think of Gin in Negroni, Rye in a Manhattan) particularly giving the opportunity for small craft spirits to enjoy their moment of glory in such menus.
- We will see more fruit-based vinegars because they are a great non-alcoholic modifier for drinks, and not largely embraced yet. Also, we can start to see gourmet mustards as a new alternative to fruit vinegars. Check out http://www.hpsepicurean.com to find out more about gourmet mustards.
- Aperitifs such as vermouths and other low alcohol (16-18% abv) aromatized wines are becoming a great alternative to dry gin or vodka martini before dinner.
- Amari will continue to grow as well as aged rums.
- While vodka seems to have found some slow-down moment and gin is quite stable, Japanese whiskies will become a truly hot commodity.
- The underdogs will still be Pisco, Cachaca and Mezcal, but mainstream consumers are slowly but surely more exposed to these beautiful and intriguing spirits then 3 to 5 years ago. Maybe next year guys.
- I want to see flavored ciders be more widely used as a great mixer as well as craft beers, more sorbet and ice cream drinks please! :)
- However, the cocktail recipe itself should not be the only element to be re-visited by bartender and mixologists, but glassware selection should be explored and under bar design will be a big business in the future.
“While vodka seems to have found some slow-down moment and gin is quite stable, Japanese whiskies will be a truly hot commodity.” — Francesco LaFranconi
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