Well, you know what the Fashion week does? Yes, it predicts what is in the fashion and what is out.
You know what the Tales of The Cocktail does? Haha, the name sound funny but yes, it does what it suggests. It is an annual booze conference. Won’t you want to attend one every weekend? It is held in New Orleans every year and it predicts what you will be drinking throughout the year. So it is basically the Fashion Week of alcohol. The 15th edition of this conference ended on July 22 and has left us talking about the trends of the cocktail industry.
1: Veggies in Your Drinks
This may come as a shock to you but the idea of veggies in the drink has emerged from the increase in awareness about issues of sustainability.
Related to a spike in awareness of sustainability issues, you may see more vegetables in drinks in unexpected ways. Culinary Vegetable Institute chef Jamie Simpson presented a four-course vegetable dinner at Tales, hosted by William Grant & Sons head of ambassadors Charlotte Voisey, with cocktail pairing by bartender Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen in Washington, D.C. The all-veggie meal featured courses separated by color, including dehydrated tomatoes served with a savory tomato sorbet, squash leaf puree with freeze-dried peas and shaved celery, and rehydrated dried carrots with blossom powder. Cocktail ingredients ranged from marigold tea and cucumber blooms to cornflower and black mint.
“Let’s look at ways to prepare for a future where the resources that we currently take for granted might be difficult to find,” said Voisey. “I think we’re in the early stages of the move toward vegetable-forward drink designs. We’re looking at chefs doing full tasting menus with just vegetables, and bartenders doing the same.”
Over the weekend, William Grant & Sons also hosted a tasting room showcasing how fresh produce, herbs and wildflowers can enhance drinks. “I hope the trend for vegetables brings cleanliness to cocktails,” said Chersevani. She says so because she wishes that we move past making drinks that are harmful and try and look at cocktails from a different perspective altogether. Chersevani’s drinks included a memorable nonalcoholic Radish and Watermelon Fizz with just the right amount of heat, and an elegant Hendrick’s gin and Champagne cocktail with cornflower. None of them added sugar.
Well, isn’t that a great idea which is also the right amount of weird?
2: Zero- Waste Cocktails
Now this is altogether a different kind of party: Trash Tiki and The 86 Co.‘s poolside party at the Ace Hotel was anticipated but no one knew that it would end blowing up people’s minds the way it did. This is because the central idea of the party was to reduce waste and reuse ingredients. Guests entering the party were given one silver tin to fill with drinks. Cocktails were made using unsold ingredients, byproducts and other materials destined for the trash, including one case of ripe peaches. The menu wasn’t printed out and the guests had to check Trash Tiki’s social media to view drink options.
Also, you know what… Trash Tiki founders Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage are about to embark on a U.S. cocktail tour around the country to bring their best practices to bars and consumers alike. It is amazing to see their commitment to the cause. It is really inspiring, actually!
3: Vodka Martini
Yes, Vodka Martini is back. It is making a comeback in many high end bars. Tahlin sees this in a different way. He suggested that Vodka Martini is making a comeback because bartenders are expanding their knowledge of vermouth and different variations of the same. At Absolut Elyx House, there was a special Martini corner, spotlighting a spectrum of Martinis, from grapefruit-tinged to briny and dirty.
“You can create so much difference in a Martini with whatever vodka you’re choosing. And a lot of bars are coming up with their own signature Martinis,” Tahlin said.
4: The Paloma
The Paloma is Mexico’s most popular drink. It is a mix of tequila and grapefruit soda.
“I think the Paloma is going to be the next Moscow Mule,” said Q Drinks founder Jordan Silbert. “I see it on a bunch of menus.”
Q Drinks, which offers a range of low-sugar mixers, just introduced a sparkling grapefruit mixer designed to play well with tequila and mezcal.
“The big tequila companies are spending a lot of money, and they’re going to be looking for ways to differentiate themselves besides the tequila shot and the Margarita,” said Silbert. “The combination of fancy bars putting it on their menus, the tequila companies spending money and the consumers saying, ‘This is delicious’—I see it coming in a big way.”
Are you excited about trying these drinks?
Tell us about your favorite in the comments section below.