Provenance has been big in the food world for a while now and it is starting to influence drinks choices - with consumers looking for transparency and detail. “They want to know where a product is made, how it was made, where the ingredients have been sourced and so on,” says Funkin chief executive Andrew King.
Some like it hot
Warming, soothing, and bang on trend - hot cocktails are set to be even more popular in the colder months of 2015. William Hinkebein, vice president of marketing for American Beverage Marketers, which manufactures Re’al Cocktail Ingredients, suggests using a craft cider to satisfy the demand for innovative, British drinks.
Time for tea
Tea is tipped to follow coffee as the next big thing in caffeine drinks, with sippers seeking out premium brews for different occasions throughout the day. So expect to see more tea cocktails hitting menus soon. “Green tea makes a delicate, exquisitely refreshing cocktail, here combined with ginger and lemongrass for an Eastern take,” says Hinkebein.
Food trends are influencing the cocktail scene, and gourmet flavours like rhubarb and ginger should prove increasingly popular in 2015.
“These familiar flavours have traditionally been used in gourmet dishes and now are being used for gourmet cocktails,” says King. “In the same way consumers are looking for wow dishes when they are dining out, they want an equally impressive experience with their cocktails.”
Savoury cocktails should also rise up the menu as consumer palates become more sophisticated. “The savoury cocktail is great before dinner with starters and during dinner with a meal,” says King. “This is evident with the most recent trend of the Pickleback,”
Another big trend emerging in the cocktail world is the use of fresh herbs, such as in the herby vermouth – which is currently enjoying a revival in Southern Europe. “Vermouth is fortified wine flavoured with herbs and spices, and premium examples from Italy and France, as well as homemade versions, are going to be everywhere in 2015,” says Hinkebein.
In the midst of all this innovation, nostalgic flavours continue to be an important trend in the on-trade, so don't skip on the Piña Coladas, Sex on the Beach and Strawberry Daiquiris. “There is a lot of fun to be had with cocktails and ones that feature nostalgic flavours give consumers a reason to go to one bar or restaurant over another,” says King.
Whisky is expected to be the big spirit trend for 2015, so expect to see increased innovation around whiskey cocktails. “All the top bars now stock a magnificent wide range of whiskies, not only from Scotland, but America, Ireland and Japan too, and whisky cocktails are big news,” says Hinkebein.
Coming up rosés
With many new cocktail drinkers upgrading from wine, it is inevitable that we will see more wine-based cocktails in 2015 – with rosé in particular set to take the category by storm.
“No one can have failed to notice wine lists turning bright pink over the past few years as sales of rosé - French, Spanish, Italian, New World - went through the roof,” says Hinkebein. “This Spring/Summer expect more rosé cocktails to appear; refreshing, pretty, mouthwatering.”