Four trends will shake the cocktail scene in the near future, claimed aficionados at the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Final in Mexico yesterday (24 August).
The competition, which has been running all week, secured its four finalists from an initial group of 10. Diageo World Class GB winner Jamie Jones from London’s experiential cocktail bar the Social Company was among the final 10, but is not in line to win the overall Bartender of the Year title.
The winner was announced today (25 August) as Canada's Kaitlyn Stewart.
However, the competition has raised questions over the future of cocktail and what is next, much like The Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Spirits event will, which is to be held in London this October.
Four trends will rise to the top, claimed a panel of experts including Diageo Global cocktailian Lauren Mote, mixology legend Dre Masso, Australian MasterChef judge Matt Preston, three-time World’s Best Bar winner Alex Kratena and Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 Charles Joy.
The four trends are:
- Sustainable serves:
Sustainable cocktails are the next big thing, say the world’s top mixologists
- Signature serves:
The rise of the signature serve is putting bars on the map
- Culinary cocktails:
Cocktails reach boiling point as bartenders delve into the world of culinary mixology, where food and cocktails collide
- Cocktails at home:
Why you should be more ‘Old Fashioned’ when hosting friends
Cellar Trends research showed the international cocktail culture is skyrocketing, with 88% of young drinkers now imbibing one on a night out.
In a recent consumer poll, almost half of those asked said they would pay a 10% premium for a drink made in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
Bartenders are already tapping into this trend, including those at London’s Dandelyan which has cut waste by as much as 75%.
Panellist Dre Masso said: “The world is waking up to the impact that their choices have, both on their bodies and the environment.
“Sustainable and reusable methods and ingredients are becoming increasingly important. The mixologists who embrace this new reality are the ones who will flourish.”
A rise in people looking to buy into luxury experiences, for which they will pay 5% more, can be tapped into with a signature serve, according to Kratena.
‘The world’s best bars’
“The world’s best bars are already established destinations for drink-savvy travellers,” said Kratena.
“In 2018 I expect to see increasingly more switched-on bar operators and talented bartenders creating unique drinking experiences that go beyond ‘what’s expected’ and push signature serves to become the answer to what tasting menus are in the restaurant world.”
Yet, cocktails are already becoming more like food, according to Preston, who cited serves such as foie gras and salted caramel infused Manhattans and a Kobe Old Fashioned made using beef fat as drinks of interest.
He said: “With the rise in the last decade or so of celebrity chefs and the increased interest in cuisine, the most enlightened mixologists will explore and experiment with flavours, textures, ingredients and techniques borrowed from their peers in the world of fine dining.”
Meanwhile, a trend not so good for the on-trade, was the rise of cocktails at home. Cellar Trends research revealed 73% of younger drinkers enjoy cocktails at home on special occasions.