Cocktails have always held something of an air of sophistication and with the evenings staying brighter for longer, it’s the perfect time to try something with a summery taste. The spicy trends of the winter are making way for more floral flavours now the sun is out – think cherry blossom – though the overly sweet tastes of a few years ago are being countered with a dash or two of bitters.
The Independent outlines more trends that roll over from 2014, though some more discerning palettes are looking for purity, with transparency of the distilling process, as The Spirits Business describes.
In a world where convenience is king and none of us ever has enough time, the market for pre-mixed cocktails is also growing. At home, it means that the host does not miss his party through mixing drinks, and in bars, bottled cocktails are bringing some classic recipes to the public in bars where staff might lack the expertise of trained cocktail waiters. Just add ice and a garnish! There is a growing demand for ‘craft’ cocktails to the point where many bars are now advertising that they have a skilled bartender.
Pre-mixed drinks are a marketer’s dream, such is the scope for colour and branding, and they make an eye-catching display behind your bar. There is a range of commercial bottle coolers available with glass frontage that allows potential customers to see the products and make their choice. Specialist retailers such as Fridge Freezer Direct will outline all the features and benefits of different units to make sure you get the right one for your business.
Growth of Lesser-known Spirits
As the trendy names become increasingly expensive – think well-known brands of gin or Scotch whisky – there is a chance for less popular or even unheard of spirits to step up and build a fan base. The smoky flavour of agave-based Mezcal is another Mexican spirit but, in Europe at least, it has always been the poor relation. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but then everyone has their preferred drinks anyway.
Make sure your bar is stocked with something a little different, and educate bar staff about the similarities and differences to empower them to make recommendations. Once you get a convert to a new drink, they will be sure to share their secret.
Drink Like Your Gran
Often seen as the favourite tipple of old ladies, Sherry is a must have on your menu this year, both to enjoy on its own or to add to some cocktails to add a bit of balance. Other fortified wines, like Vermouth, also fall into this category. As a plus for Vermouth and using that in cocktails, it has a low alcohol by volume percentage, which can be a good thing in mixed drinks that might go down too quickly.
However your bar is stocked, encourage customers to drink responsibly.