Once upon a time, cocktails used to be simple, with a restrained gin and tonic the go-to choice.
But recently the humble cocktail has segued into a creation of virtually baroque complexity. Many cocktail menus feature such complex choices as Xocolatl Mole Chocolate Bitters or Bonal Gentiane-Quina, which practically need a translation. In terms of ingredients, there is a mind-boggling array of small-batch bitters, obscure spirits and arcane mixers.
Regardless of people’s preferences, the landscape of cocktails is irrevocably altered. The new vista encompasses new spirits (many small-batch and local) with increasingly wacky ingredients.
The staff at cool new bars make these in-vogue drinks with endearing alacrity. In an age of snappy service and fast food, these craft cocktail bars exude a timeless aura where drinks are made slowly and the focus is on quality.
1. Bartending Heroes
Bartending has moved on from a dead-end job to an honourable profession. Today’s bartenders serve with passion and purpose and create loyal followers who move with them. They are knowledgeable about spirits – how they are made and their mixing qualities with other ingredients – and they are forging a new cocktail ecosystem.
2. Culinary Cocktails
Bars and kitchens used to be a case of never the twain shall meet. Not anymore. The larder provides bartenders with herbs, vegetables and even meat (in the form of bourbon infused with bacon) for added piquancy and intrigue.
3. Ice Cool
Ice goes with everything. It can be encountered hand-chipped, cubed, cracked, crushed, spherical or flaming. Better cubes dictate the amount of time dilution takes and ought to complement your drink of choice.
4. New Tiki
These historic tropical drinks are now made with hand-crafted syrups and artisanal rums. Hipsters were the first to mine the past for these kitsch, camp drinks, before the trend spread to cocktail purists. A plethora of tiki bars has sprung up to meet the demand for these playful drinks.
Post Mix Suppliers empireuk is one of the Post Mix Suppliers for the bar industry in the UK.
Meanwhile, Bar Magazine investigates new drinking trends: https://barmagazine.co.uk/ones-watch-2018-trends-drinks-year-ahead/.
5. Terroir Passion
Terroir used to be just for wine – not anymore. Distillers go and forage in forests and fields to suffuse their spirits with the unique flavours of regional earth. Themes include lavender, spruce, thimbleberries and pears.