10 Drink Trends
Setting up a bar in a restaurant is very different than it was 5 or 10 years ago. That is because of the drink trends that are sweeping the nation. There are various cooking shows on TV that are presenting certain drinks to the general public, and that means that more people want to see these drinks on menus at restaurants they visit.
There are more than 600 small distilleries around the country, and this is up from about 70 only 10 years ago. There are vodkas, whiskeys, and more being created locally and this allows people to try new and regional flavors. There are also artisanal blends that include more fruits and spices to be paired with all sorts of food.
Local Beer & Wine
There are wineries and microbreweries using local ingredients to create local beer and wine. When restaurants focus on regional cuisine, it is only natural to have drinks that are produced in the region as well.
Many restaurants are choosing to have one or two regional cocktails. These are being created behind the bar to provide more options for diners. These may be twists on the classics, such as a martini, Manhattan, margarita, or mule. Many will include the regional flavors.
There are more ingredients from the kitchen being used in the bar – and the other way around. House made sodas are being seen more often and there are culinary influences to the cocktails. Shrimp has been used to garnish a Bloody Mary and margaritas may be topped with habanero salt.
Moonshine has always been viewed as one of those forbidden drinks and when people see it on the menu, they want to try it. Un-aged whiskey is being used to create various types of moonshine – and many flavors are being added to create something fresh. Outback Steakhouse has even created a trio of these cocktails, muddled with fresh fruits and berries.
Not all cocktails are liquid anymore. These go beyond jello shots and become something much more. The food is served in a cocktail glass and has been infused with the liqueur. This includes such things as boozy marshmallows, and foam that has been created with rum and other items, dispensed from nitrous oxide canisters.
There are more botanicals being used inside of cocktails to provide an herbaceous element. Balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and basil are just some of the ingredients that have found their way inside of martini glasses in recent years.
Gluten Free Beer
Gluten is in everything and there has been a craze of foods that are going out of the way to make themselves gluten-free. Beer is one of them…and that means that they are using brown rice instead of barley to do the brewing.
Many of the adventurous wine drinkers don’t want to see Chardonnay and Merlot on the menu anymore. They would rather drink varietals that go with the cuisine they are enjoying, which could mean Sangiovese with Italian and Tempranillo with Spanish.