With spring in full swing, guests across the country are raising their glasses to celebrate warmer weather. You’ve probably already updated your menu to reflect this year’s hottest food trends – but are you serving cool new drinks? The top 5 beverage trends of this season are sure to make a big splash with your customers.
1. Ferment To Be
Picklebacks were just the beginning. This trendy drink, whiskey with a pickle-juice mixer or chaser, rose to fame a few summers ago. Now your guests are thirsty for more. As your customers become more and more health-conscious, they’re excited about mixing booze with other drinks that may improve digestion. Kefir, kombucha, and fermented vegetables are finding their way into craft cocktails everywhere. With so many options for fermented ingredients, it’s easy for bartenders to design a drink menu that appeals to everyone, whether they have a sweet tooth or a hankering for hard liquor.
2. Bold Flavors
Golden milk, the non-alcoholic drink that showcases turmeric, has been growing in popularity for more than a year. This popular spice is now finding its way into cocktails. At Zahav, an Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia, turmeric is steeped into a cordial before getting mixed with tequila and other bright flavors like cucumber.
Turmeric isn’t the only bold new flavor on 2018’s cocktail menus, either. At the Library of Distilled Spirits, in New York City, guests can order cocktails made with black truffle. Kyle Tran, beverage director, says that guests “are becoming more aware of what they are ordering, and have a ton of access to information.” Bartenders are experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to keep drinkers engaged.
While floral ingredients and mixology are long-time buds, they’re more popular now than ever before. From botanical-infused gin to actual flowers, like hibiscus and elderflower, the options are nearly endless. Herbal infusions are likely to find their way into the drink menus, as rosemary, sage, and basil-infused margaritas and cocktails are breathing new, nuanced life into saccharine classics.
This beautiful, summery wine has been growing in popularity since 2015. Vanity Fair once hailed it as “a symbol of all that is good about summertime,” and VinePair now calls rosé a “21st-century American success story.” Once upon a time, this pink wine was reserved for ladies who lunch – but its fast growth in the past few years shows us that gender stereotypes just aren’t what they used to be. More and more men are drinking rosé, making it a great candidate for date nights and even large groups at your restaurant. It’s mild flavor and beautiful color have made it a perfect choice to be quaffed on its own, and as the star of many mixed cocktails.
If you’re hoppy and you know it, go for an IPA. As Sean Hale, GM of Barrel Republic, says, “they are the most popular craft style for a reason.” Whether you’re stocking only house-brewed beer or several hundred imported options, make sure you have a good number of IPAs on tap.
Your restaurant can raise a spirit to raising your guests’ spirits with an array of beautifully seasonal beverages. As the palates of diners change, bold new flavors keep coming to the forefront of dining. Pickle juice, herbal notes, and bold hoppy beers have guests entranced. Make sure your menus offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails featuring spring 2018’s hottest ingredients if you want your restaurant to be the toast of the town.