This week, The National Restaurant Association released their predictions on what the hottest alcohol trends of 2018 are going to be. To look into the future, they surveyed over 700 chefs, all of whom are members of the American Culinary Federation, to find out what stores should be stocking, bartenders should be making, and customers should be ordering in the new year. Here, we’ve put together their 5 Best Alcohol Trends we’re totally looking forward to. And if you want to know more about what to ditch in the coming months, check out the Top 10 Weddings Trends to Avoid in 2018.
Barrel Aged Cocktails
The latest mixology trend involves putting pre-mixed drinks into barrels for a few weeks in order to lend complexity to the flavor and mellow the mix much in the same way as wine, whiskey, and other traditional spirits. Some of the popular cocktails that are being allowed to “age” are Manhattans, Negronis, and various punches. And if you’re short on time, try one of these amazing two-ingredient cocktails you can make in seconds.
Locally produced spirits
Recent studies have shown that millennials—aka people between the ages of 21 and 38—drink way more than their parent’s generation. And while they’re value conscious, they care more about where a wine comes from and knowing that it was ethically harvested and produced than how much it costs. Combine that with the recent craze of knowing precisely what ingredients you are putting into your body and it’s no wonder that wine, beer, and spirits that are produced locally are gaining mass appeal.
Millennials are all about making a statement, whether it be with your Facebook status, your clothes, or your cocktails. So it’s no surprise that craft liquor from original brands with unique identities is what’s in vogue right now.
In keeping with the millennial love of traveling and the desire to pay for experiences rather than things, these prime alcohol consumers want a little culture with their cocktail. As such, there’s a growing interest in learning about and sampling the signature drink of the region rather than just having your go-to favorite. Think: upscale hurricanes in New Orleans, or great low-country punches in Charleston.
The days of throwing a slice of lime or a sprig of mint into your drink are over. Nowadays, mixologists are bringing the entire kitchen into your cocktail, including delicacies like pink peppercorn, chanterelle mushrooms, sea urchin, or fish sauce.
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