Even though wintry weather sneaked its way in for one last time, spring has technically sprung. Your guests are looking for celebrations, brunches, and hangouts with old and new friends. Make sure you’re attracting guests back with some fresh seasonal flavors in your glasses.
Get your guests to stay longer, spend more, and think of your place as the hangout spot for the warmer seasons. These five fresh cocktail trends are sure to shake up your spring menus.
Floral flavors have been quietly blooming on bar menus for years. Liqueurs such as St. Germaine have become very popular because of their elderflower notes. Malort, a Chicago liquor infamous for its strongly botanical anise flavor, is being poured out in shots and cocktails across the country.
Floral flavors are also finding their way into champagne floats and cocktails, and are bubbling over in popularity. Lighter alcohols pair well with the subtle and sweet flavors of rosewater, lavender, and hibiscus.
In the age of keto and paleo dining, diners are looking for sweet flavors that don’t turn into sugary calorie bombs, which has operators putting the pedal to the metal on floral beverages.
Guests Flock to Mocktails
Americans love to go out for a drink. We are consuming plenty of beer, wine, and cocktails these days. But tastes are changing from the simple five domestic beer menus of 15 years ago. Restaurants are serving up more interesting craft drinks that are flavor-forward and often served without alcohol.
Nonalcoholic drinks are the toast of the town these days. More and more mixologists assert that alcohol is optional for a great cocktail.
As Millennials change their lifestyles to accommodate having kids, improving their health, and becoming more frugal, mocktails offer a fun and refreshing option for guests that let them enjoy the artistry and vision behind drinks without the alcohol. Even distillers are marketing products to the “sober-curious” demographic, and users of all ages are enjoying these creations.
When we were young, plastic straws ruled the world, and using as many paper products as possible was seen as a point of pride when dining out. But no more! Every generation wants to see more eco-friendly solutions on their tables and even in their cocktails.
More distillers are making their liqueurs in house, saving waste and improving the taste. Menus are now showcasing drinks that use ingredients which might’ve gone to waste in past years. Some of these cocktail trends include using beet juice, and simple syrups made from rinds, pits, and seeds.
Pick Up a Pickle
Probiotics and pickles are so popular on food menus that they’re spilling over into cocktail menus. Kombucha, the fermented tea drink, is having a moment right now because of health food advocates and former soda addicts prefer the bubbles of kombucha.
Pickle garnishes are in full swing as artisanal olives, pickles, and even brines are finding their way into drinks like the noble pickleback! The strong flavor of pickles and brines are now often used to replace the taste of stronger boozy notes. These popular ingredients allow foodservice businesses to offer more new flavors and still utilize as much waste as possible.
Wine or Wine Not?
Wine has been climbing steadily on the vine for years. Every generation enjoys it, and Millennials have pioneered wine delivery services, so even Grubhub lets you get your grapes by the bottle. The corking popularity of wine cocktails was only a matter of time.
People prefer drinking wine due to the claimed health benefits and its lower alcohol percentage compared to traditional liquors like vodka or gin. Not everyone pairs wine with restraint, so cocktails like the Rose-jito and decadent port wine cocktails are all the rage for being an exercise in excess.
Any way you pour it, wine makes cocktail menus pop. This trend lowers overhead costs and lets operators use alcohol they already have on hand.
Cocktail Trends Mix up Your Menu
Give your customers the flavors they see on Instagram to capture their attention and business. 2019’s cocktail trends reduce waste and show diners that less booze is more. Flavors are coming out, costs are going down, and alcohol content per cocktail is going down. Every restaurant and bar operator can raise a glass to that!