In 2017, cocktails are ruling the beverage sector – at the forefront of American dining. Simply put, people want to drink with their meal. Sometimes a lot. By staying ahead of the game, you can really hone in on a cohesive cocktail and beverage program that is fitting with the times, while still maintaining a classic feel that regulars won’t tire of.
Homemade & Herbaceous
Fresh is the name of the game as it pertains to the current cocktail climate. Take a look at the hottest and most cutting edge programs. You will immediately notice that nearly every famous restaurant takes a similar approach to their cocktails as they do their food. That means making things fresh and in-house will not only follow the current state of the industry, but also make your drinks taste better. Whether it’s homemade shrub vodka or a fantastic new infusion with of-the-moment summer herbs, a cocktail should follow a restaurant’s ethos, and in this day and age doing everything locally and sustainably from scratch will set you light years ahead of the lower end establishments/bars.
Freeze me Baby
The frozen drink is always in season. The Frosé, a slushie wine drink, has been sweeping the nation. There are currently more Frosé t-shirts on Amazon than most restaurants have cocktails on their menus. Cool and refreshing, a frozen moscow mule transforms something rather ordinary into something extraordinary. By crafting frozen cocktails, you can easily adapt whatever it is on your menu into something that is altogether different. I know that if I saw an icy option for a special cocktail, I would jump at the chance for a brainfreeze. Not only limited to Pina Coladas anymore, the market for frozen drinks is quite endless, with masses of different combinations. Here, the more unique the cocktail, the better.
Where has it all gone? Interestingly enough, rum has made a resurgence in these past few years, becoming a welcomed favorite in cocktails of all sorts. New tiki inspired cocktails are making a breakthrough into the mainstream, with rum at the wheel of their vessel. Normally seen as a warm weather sipper, the days of rum taking a backseat to whiskey may be over.
Cocktails are an important part of what makes a restaurant special, and helps secure an image. If your beverage program is not cohesive with the rest of your establishment, it will definitely put you behind.