Posts Tagged ‘cocktails’

Is Your Bar Keeping Up With the Times?

June 4, 2012

No restaurant is complete without a comprehensive drink menu.  That means going well beyond the traditional house wines and a few cocktails.  A new clientele, one that is interested in imaginative and innovative drink choices, is pushing many restaurants to expand their bar services in remarkably unforeseen directions.


What’s Hot


Smokey flavors have topped the trends in cocktails this year.  While the drinks themselves don’t have to smoke, many products, from Scotches to mescals, have taken center stage.  Well paired with red meat and barbequed cuisine, these savory drinks are very popular with the cocktail set.


Another trend revolves around ice production.  The goal is to produce perfectly formed ice which melts more slowly, resulting in a lower rate of dilution.  Custom made ice, available in unique shapes or molded around ingredients such as herbs or fruits, is in high demand.  Whether the bar makes its own ice or purchases it, all bartenders agree that the ice makes or breaks the drink.


Historic cocktails are also making a comeback and the wise bartender will make sure to have a number of recipes on hand for such demands.  Shrubs, acidulated beverages that are made from fruit juices, sugar, and other ingredients, are often used to whet the palates of eager diners.  The goal is to create a drink that is both tart and sweet at the same time so as to stimulate the senses.


What the Future Holds


No trend holds on forever and a good bartender keeps his eyes open for what will be coming next.  The culinary world has moved to a model that features food from “farm to plate” and that appears to be the direction that bars are heading as well.  Connecting with local growers for the best and freshest drink ingredients may be the best way to stay on the cocktail cutting edge.