It’s a balancing act!
We’re not simply talking about the flair bartender. Delighting his customers with gravity-defying shakers and tumblers.
Every moving bar needs to also travel with changing customer tastes. Yet at the same time, serving those modern cocktail classics, such as Aperol Spritz, Margarita, or Negroni.
The balancing act is in the magic of mixing cocktails most wanted on the day, or night. Whatever the occasion, wherever a cocktail bartender is asked to perform.
Blending past and present
Bartenders love to blend the past with the present – to conjure up the future. All cocktail lovers are on their own taste journey of experience and discovery. They’re always up for hearing about how new blends of spirits and ingredients are the season’s hot trend in the most hip drinking circles.
Despite of recent disruption to the world of hospitality caused by the epidemic, the cocktail bar scene is back. But with a twist…
A new age of cocktails appears to have arrived in the last two years.
Seeking a “high-quality” drink experience
And it appears to be changing everything. From the kind of cocktails we want to drink, when to drink, and the flavours we expect to taste. Underlying these emerging trends is the idea of a more ethical approach. One that also includes the way that cocktails are to be created.
So what exactly is going on?
It appears that more people are now seeking a “high-quality” drink experience.
- Around half of bartenders, worldwide, claim their customers are asking for more “premium” drinks.
The change is also reflected in an uplift in quality spirits and premium canned cocktails, too.
Bartenders with their mixing fingers on customer drinking tastes point to the rise of the superior crafted spirit, such as cognac, bourbon and particularly, tequila.
Tequila top trending spirit
Bartenders say that tequila – distilled made from the blue agave plant – has been “upgraded” from the party-time hell raiser to a more sophisticated drink used as a “base” for the ever-popular cocktails, such as margarita and negroni.
- Nearly two-thirds (62%) of bartenders said Tequila was the top trending spirit.
- Tequila-based cocktails ranked fourth most popular to drink.
A striking example of how bartenders perform a balancing act between the old and the new.
Ethical ingredient sourcing
One of the biggest shifts noted by bartenders is the customer concern for ethical ingredient sourcing and how cocktails are made. Sustainability is now a big part of the cocktail scene. In the UK for example, nearly half of cocktail drinking customers now look for natural ingredients as a factor in their choice of cocktail.
A survey of more than 25,000 consumers across 12 countries also found:
- 88% felt buying ethically sourced or produced products is important.
- 83% of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for a product they were confident was ethically sourced.
- 17% willing to pay a 50% premium.
(Source: OpenText, 2021)
Sustainability – the bartender’s role
Bartenders too, play a central role in driving forward sustainability throughout their professional practice. More than half of bartenders say their focus is more than ever on:
- Using local ingredients.
- Working with more local partners and businesses.
- Zero-waste cocktails.
- Eliminating single-use plastic and other packaging waste.
(Source: Martini Bar Cocktail Trends Report, 2021)
Growth of home cocktail mixing
Another transformation in cocktail drinking has also taken place, said to be the direct result of the epidemic – home mixology.
The trend appears to have continued.
- Nearly half (47%) of cocktail drinkers reported to be exploring mixology at home, according to the CGA, global hospitality data firm.
The growth of home cocktail mixing is also supported by a Bacardi Consumer Survey 2021.
In the US:
- 50% of consumers have a cocktail shaker, jigger, and strainer at home.
In the UK:
- 43 % of consumers have a cocktail shaker at home.
- 37% own a spirit measure.
- 35% have a strainer.
The top cocktails highlighted for exploring mixology at home during 2022 are:
- Gin and tonics
- Vodka sodas
Among the ever-popular vodka-based cocktails being mixed at home are:
- Espresso martinis
- Moscow mules
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On your own journey of mixology at home? Check out our latest home cocktail mixing products