It’s that time when we start looking to the year ahead to grasp what’s going to be happening in the world of cocktails and mixology, where new trends and innovations emerge each and every week. And this is on a global scale: Euromonitor estimates that there will be 400 million new consumers for luxury spirits by 2020, while consumption of spirits has risen by 15% to 26% in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
With the explosion of cocktail culture we’ve also seen the evolution of the role of the bartender. WORLD CLASS has been training and supporting bartenders in over 60 countries since its launch in 2009 and has just held its annual Bartender of the Year competition in Miami, won by Jennifer Le Nechet of Paris’s Café Moderne (the first woman to ever win the title). Here are their tips for the biggest cocktail trends to come in 2017.
5 cocktail trends for 2017
The best mixologists have always understood the importance of theatre, without going over the top (no-one wants to get smacked by an errant shaker because the hot shot bartender has attempted one too many flair tricks). In 2017 you’ll be seeing more and more theatre in the glass, as drinks makers seek out ever more interesting ingredients, like the butterfly pea flower, which is ph sensitive and will change the colour of a drink when mixed with citrus, or the Szechuan Button (below), an edible flower that delivers an electric hit.
Why bother naming cocktails in 2017? Bars are increasingly using scent, colour and even astrological signs to identify cocktails. We’ll have the fuchsia Capricorn that smells of freshly cut grass please.
Bars may soon be doing away with the traditional menu and listing drinks by mood – red to stimulate confidence, yellow for friendship, and black for discipline for example.
Drinkers increasingly want a story behind their cocktails, and mixologists are responding by utilising local spirits brewed to ancient recipes, such as Chinese Baijiu, or creating bespoke cocktails to match the drinker’s own recent experiences, such as holidays or special occasions.
A bartender is no longer just a bartender: they can also be a barista, patissier, a highly trained sommelier and, of course, a confidante.