Cocktails Around the World are Going to Get Sustainable: Industry Experts
Cocktail experts talk about the trends that will dominate bar menus across the world
The Snake Charmer cocktail from London's Artesian bar (Image courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)
Food trends are spilling over into the world of haute cocktails, with sustainable and gourmet ingredients making appearances on bar menus around the world. Those are among some of the findings revealed at the world's biggest bartending competition which took place in Mexico City recently, where a Canadian woman from Vancouver was crowned the winner.
Between judging, some of the industry's most influential leaders including Alex Kratena, formerly of London's Artesian bar, a three-time winner of the World's Best Bar, and Charles Joly, World Class Bartender of the Year 2014, brainstormed the trends they predict will become increasingly popular in the world of mixology.
Some of the same sustainable movements in the restaurant world -- farm-to-table, seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients -- are being applied to cocktails. Experts cite a survey by Cellar Trends, which found that nearly one in two customers said they'd be willing to pay a 10 percent premium for sustainable goods.
"Sustainable and re-usable methods and ingredients are becoming increasingly important. The mixologists who embrace this new reality are the ones who will flourish," said Dre Masso, who has worked in some of the trendiest watering holes in London, Singapore and Indonesia.
Kratena, whose interactive, boundary-pushing cocktails at The Artesian in London were made with everything from gemstones to leather, lit aflame and spritzed with perfume, predicts that demanding, increasingly sophisticated clients will drive bartenders to create "signature serves" that go beyond shaking, stirring and pouring.
"I expect to see more switched-on bar operators and bartenders creating unique drink experiences that go beyond 'what's expected' and push signature serves to become the answer to what tasting menus are in the restaurant world," he said.
In another trend identified as "culinary cocktails," experts also foresee what could be described as liquid meals, in which solid foods and gourmet ingredients make their way into highball glasses and tumblers. Think foie gras, salted caramel and Margarita pizza cocktails.
"From shock cuisine and hard core fermentation to extreme locality and the growth of restless "palate syndrome" there is so much the culinary and bartending worlds can learn from each other," added Matt Preston, "MasterChef Australia" host and judge.
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