Like fashion and food, the landscape of cocktails is largely predicted by popular trends. Thanks to the resurgence of tiki drinks like the Jungle Bird, refined disco sips like the Harvey Wallbanger, and concoctions that questioned everything you thought you knew about a particular spirit (hello, Sherry cocktails!), 2016 was a fun time for liquor lovers. But with a new year comes new trends and new techniques. Here are three things to look out for in 2017.
Latin American and Caribbean Influences
For decades, tequila was the only native spirit served outside the borders of Mexico. That is, until a few years ago. Thanks to the introduction of mezcal, bartenders and consumers have been eager to get their hands on more obscure Mexican spirits like bacanora and sotol. South American and Caribbean influences will also make their way into drinks, with spices such as chili powder, Jamaican jerk, and smoked paprika popping up in unique and savory creations.
Cocktails Made with Fermented Beverages
Gone are the days of saccharine sodas and sugar-laden juices. Instead, the use of fermented beverages — a trend we’ve already seen gaining steam this year — is only going to get more popular in 2017. Expect to see libations with ingredients like kombucha, cultured tea, and coconut kefir. On top of being delicious, fermented food and drinks are full of enzymes, vitamins, and probiotics that do wonders for your health. You can also expect more health-conscious cocktails in general — drinks made with everything from leafy greens to chia seeds to activated charcoal. (Yes, that’s a thing people consume.)
Mood and Personality-Based Cocktails
Perhaps the weirdest yet most interesting trend of 2017? Cocktails based on your personality and emotions. The traditional menu may be a thing of the past as bars around the world are forgoing names of cocktails in favor of moods. Order up a red drink to stimulate confidence or black for discipline. Some bars are using scents such as cut grass and smoked pine to evoke nostalgic feelings of certain times of the year. Others, like Trick Dog in San Francisco, haven’t used typical cocktail names in years, instead creating menus based on record albums, astrological signs, conspiracy theories, and even Pantone color swatches.
What are you excited to see in your glass in 2017?