Over the past year, many of us have had to create new trends and routines to figure out a “new normal” while still trying to maintain a familiar way of living. Amongst working, exercising and socializing, we have seen new trends in drinking that are here to stay for the long run.
As mandatory closures forced bars and restaurants out of any income, owners and managers had to get creative to keep their businesses afloat. Many establishments started offering to-go drinks. Customers could finally get their favorite cocktails through a walk-up window at their neighborhood bars. Eventually, to-go drinks were offered for delivery service along with food. Liquor brands also took part in this trend selling cocktails in grocery stores and partnering with bars. They would announce on their websites and social media where their products could be found. You could now find to-go drinks in all sorts of packaging, from cans and bottles to pouches and freezer pops that bring us pack to our childhood filled with Capri Sun and popsicles from the ice cream truck. Some bars even have glassware for purchase because certain cocktails are defined by their vessel. If you pour a bottled martini into anything besides a martini glass, it is just basically a cup of gin or vodka. Tiki drinks will not give you that tropical feeling if you are drinking them out of your regular kitchen glassware. A beloved trend that used to only exist in New Orleans and Las Vegas, to-go drinks are available in most places and we couldn’t be happier! Whether you’re going out for a picnic or ordering dinner to stay in, support your local bars by adding to-go cocktails.
If you are feeling a bit more ambitious, cocktail kits are a great way to get hands-on and practice your bartending skills at home. There are a variety of kits on the market that come with all the ingredients you need to make a cocktail. Some bars and restaurants are selling kits that put a spin on the classics or give you your favorite signature drink. Liquor brands and craft distilleries are selling their products alongside fresh ingredients in cocktail kits. This allows them to focus on pairing ingredients that go well with each spirit. Brands are working with bars to create kits for recognition. They may feature one spirit each month with several kit options to create different cocktails. Many brands and bars will even post a video on their social media as a step-by-step guide to help you create the drink. Some kits are customizable to include the tools you need as well. Use your Meltdown Ice Press for the perfect ice sphere to complete your cocktail. There are some benefits of this rising trend like getting to experiment with bartending and new ingredients, it is the freshest option for enjoying a libation at home, and you could stay comfy while doing it. Cocktail lovers have discovered a different way of enjoying a cocktail, other than at a bar, and will continue to do so.
The liquor industry is experiencing a high demand for unique, hard to find spirits. The pandemic brought new work laws to many businesses last year. Distilleries had to cut back their staff in order to adhere to the social distance rule of keeping everyone six-feet apart. That means less bodies working, less product being produced. International shipments have been delayed and lower in frequency, which means a shortage in whiskeys from Canada and Ireland, and tequilas from Mexico. There is a shortage of agave as farmers cannot grow enough to keep up with the demand. This is mainly due to the rise in popularity of tequila. The industry saw the same demand for whiskey about 10 years ago. Now tequila is having its moment. As tequila fans get more and more into the spirit, they are discovering more unique brands and longer aged tequilas like reposado, añejo and mezcal. As these bottles are flying off the shelves, distilleries cannot replace them as fast because these tequilas have to age a certain amount of time. These longer aged tequilas are produced in smaller batches because the longer they age, more and more liquid evaporates during the process, producing less product in the end. The same goes for whiskey. There are more tequila and whiskey connoisseurs than ever due to people finding new hobbies during quarantine, and now they are hooked.
As restrictions drop, more and more outdoor events are taking place. Get ready to see lots of mobile bars at these events. They come in forms of restored vans, trucks and trailers and are fully stocked with tap lines that pour perfectly chilled beer, prosecco, draft cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. They are aesthetically pleasing for your unique event and offerings are customizable to cater to the hosts specific needs. Mobile bars allow bartenders to take the show on the road at nontraditional, more authentic and interesting venues. They are following in the tracks of food trucks and are expected to be just as big of a hit.
We love all of these trends and are looking forward to seeing what comes next!