On this week’s podcast we’re looking back at the emerging trends from 2015 in terms of bars, spirits and cocktail flavours, as well as taking a a look at where I think 2016 will take us.

Bar Trends 2016

As bars become more and more specialised offering menus based on single spirits, Gin parlours, Whiskey bars and Tiki bars to name but a few, as well as the proliferation of Speakeasies and other bars really taking a hold of the classic and pre-prohibition drinks, 2016 will see this trend continue with bars getting even more specific in their offerings.

Gin and Tonic specialists will branch away from cocktail focused Gin parlours for example, craft beer specialists will continue to thrive and perhaps even fork into stout bars, IPA bars etc.

Spirit Trends 2016

Following on from the increase in craft spirits and beers in 2015, more boutique distillates will come to market in 2016 and beyond, but moving away from the un-aged spirits like vodkas and gins and into segments like rums and whisk(e)y, with non-scotch single malts and single barrel craft style offerings gaining ground.

Quality Tequilas and Mezcal will gain far more following outside the Americas.

Cocktail Trends 2016

While 2015 has popularised the use of salt in cocktails in the craft movement, 2016 may well see it move into more mainstream outlets like Friday’s and other chains.

Use of Sherry and Port in cocktails will continue, along with an increase in the use of specific vintages of wines called for in recipes. Batching and barrel aged cocktails will also flourish, and there will likely be commercially available versions of these coming to market before the year is out.

Bartenders will continue to take cues from the bleeding edge of cuisine making use of the high end equipment like centrifuges and sou vie, but more will begin to spill over in the other direction with Chefs taking advantage of bar techniques such as creating perfectly clear ice for use in deserts.

The Gin & Tonic Experiment

In the coming weeks we’ll be creating a video testing as many service styles for the humble Gin & Tonic as possible – trying different garnish fruits, zests, herbs and production techniques to find the ultimate G&T. I’d love your contributions so please, drop us a message on Facebook or tweet me your favourite service for the classic gin and tonic!

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