Sweet, natural and obscure flavors are trending this year. A new generation of drinkers is coming of age and a new set of flavors is in demand, ranging from innovative experiments to traditional tastes which have been mixed with spirits for centuries.
In 2018 ingredients’ origins are more important than ever. Eco-friendliness and being organic is a top priority, so home-made infusions and syrups are a must-have. Because of a fascination with drinks’ background and quality, artisan and craft spirits are gaining popularity.
Cocktails are truly becoming a work of art, even beyond their flavor and consistency; it’s all about the garnish and glassware. In order to mix spirits right, it’s important to match flavors and undertones to other ingredients.
Plant-based Cocktail Trends: Botanicals, Floral and Fruit
Plant-based recipes and ingredients going to be even more mainstream this year, and the drinks industry is matching this with plant-based beverages. From herbs and spices to fruit and veg, a wide range of earthy flavors are becoming more and more prevalent.
Herbal blends such as mint, juniper, and the kind with originally medicinal purposes are being used more and more to add depth to cocktails. Try this twist on a classic to start your journey into the world of the weird and wonderful.
- 30ml Gin
- 30ml Lillet blanc
- 30ml Aromatic bitters
- Lemon twist to garnish
Mix the ingredients with ice. Strain, and serve with the lemon peel to garnish.
Flowery flavors are on the rise. This will stick beyond the spring as a lighter version of classic sweet flavors, to keep you fresh throughout the Summer months. Go beyond the garnish, and shake up another classic by mixing this rosewater martini next.
- 30ml Vodka/Gin
- 7.5ml Lemon juice
- 7.5ml Sugar syrup
- 4 drops Rosewater
- Rose petal/Cucumber to garnish
Shake the ingredients with ice, and pour the mixture into a martini glass. Garnish with a rose petal (vodka) or cucumber (gin).
As cocktail connoisseurs are increasingly in favor of more interesting tastes, sugary fruits are being overtaken by a crisper sort. The Gimlet, originally gin with lime, was developed at sea to ward off scurvy, but has now been given a zesty vodka makeover.
Grapefruit Vodka Gimlet
- 30ml Vodka
- 10ml Grapefruit juice
- 1/2 tbsp Agave syrup
- Grapefruit peel to garnish
Combine, shake with ice, strain. Serve, garnished with the peel, in a martini or champagne saucer glass.
Sweet Cocktail Trends: Maple and Honey
Along with the tart tastes, some more unusual sources of sweetness are starting to become more common, in lieu of classic sugar syrups. Maple and honey can add depth to your drinks, and the next two cocktails are a flexible pair to add to your New Year’s inventory.
A rather autumnal flavor is set to become very trendy over the next year. Wow your guests with this fresh beverage on an evening by the fireside.
- 50ml Gin
- 30ml Lemon juice
- 2 tsp Maple syrup
- 2 or 3 dashes Orange bitters (to taste)
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and serve without garnishing.
Mead-like concoctions are also rising in popularity. They are forecast to continue doing so, and bubbly beverages are also on the way up, so check out this sweet treat.
- 35ml Vodka
- 15ml Honey (runny)
- 15ml Lemon juice
- Champagne (or similar)
- Red fruit to garnish (optional)
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Shake the honey, lemon juice and vodka with ice and strain into the glass. Top the glass up with champagne and garnish it with red fruit.