In a world where originality and innovation thrive, mixologists compete relentlessly to distinguish themselves. From cocktails incorporating espresso or homemade tinctures (cloves, lavender, etc.) to new ingredients and flavours, this trend is not about to fade, in an area where the most daring are rewarded.
The age of technology
Technology is taking a big place in our lives and cocktails are no exception. The British spirits giant Diageo, for example, has developed an online platform with Pinterest that allows access to personalized cocktails through an interactive questionnaire on our preferences. Tools are also being developed, allowing us to perfectly dose the ingredients of our cocktails thanks to augmented reality, using our phone or tablet.
Right here in Quebec, we have a fabulous example of augmented reality with the immersive experience offered by Romeo's gin V. In association with Montréal digital artist Frédéric Duquette, aka FVCKRENDER, an interaction with the bottle unfolds by scanning it with our phone. And this is just the beginning, expect more of this!
Ready-to-drink cocktails: The effortless way
With the pandemic forcing us to stay at home more than usual, the Cooler and premixed cocktail trend has grown exponentially. In addition to the traditional varieties offered by major international players, we now have access to innovative products (including several niche products and some that aren’t too sweet). Made with gin, rum, vodka, fruit juice or seltzer, there’s a growing number of choices. And the stats don’t lie, this category saw a huge sales increase of 42% at the SAQ in 2020.
Far from the wine coolers of the 1990s, the trend is now rather refined with flavours such as pink lemonade and rosemary, amaretto fizz, gin and blackberry soda, parsnip gin and tonic veneziano spritz and the like. A growing variety of these products is available, including many local ready-to-drink product.
Cocktails to go
Taking advantage of the large number of people staying in, several bars around the world and in Quebec have also created take-out mixes (including garnishes, just add the alcohol), whether in Mason jars, plastic pouches or other containers. An easy way to recreate the creations of seasoned mixologists at home. Will that trend go on? To be continued...
The alcohol-free wave
A trend already well underway and very popular especially with millennials and Generation Z, the alcohol-free wave is going strong and shows no signs of slowing down. Whether it's zero alcohol spirits or ready-to-drink cocktails, there are many fans.
Why? For health reasons, to drink without guilt, or simply because zero alcohol isn’t boring or unappealing, but rather great tasting and very pleasurable! By the way, you will find several of these products made in Quebec, including "rums", "gins" and "aperitivos".
Fresh is the way to go
For taste and appearance, fresh ingredients are becoming more and more important in cocktails. Forget the prefabricated industrial syrups, more than ever, fruit purees are taking center stage, with increasingly exotic fruits to wow aficionados. A growing number of vegetable purees, fresh herbs and inventive garnishes are also being used.
In addition to the traditional olives, pickles, mint leaves and other must-haves, more extravagant ingredients are now being included. Think flambé citrus zests, small hot peppers, myrtle branches, Sicilian lychees, peanuts, edible flowers and other ingenious items. At home or at your favorite bar, the bar is set high, and we want delicious cocktails that are also a feast for the eyes.
Cocktail lovers, rejoice!
The best is always yet to come and the future promises ever more avant-garde and tasty concoctions!