You can’t deny it, 2017 has been an exciting year for cocktails. We saw frosé; a rosé slushy mixed with vodka and fruit juices like peach (Chicago’s Hampton Social preferred flavor for their frosés) become the hottest drink of the summer. Super tonics, a rum revival, and a love affair with punch bowls also topped beverage trends this year.
But, like any great mixologist, you’re always looking ahead. So, what will be trending for cocktails in 2018?
Here are Industry Juice’s predictions for 2018 drink trends; by the looks of it, it’s going to be another terrific year for mixologists and cocktails. Grab your shaker and let’s get started!
For Your Health – Drinks that better your health will continue to be popular in 2018. Mixologists are opting for cold-pressed juices, kombucha, drinking vinegars and activated charcoal in their cocktails. An obvious choice is Industry Juice which has no added sugars, and with some pretty great healing properties, like our lemon juice, which contains flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, magnesium and more, you can see why there’s a demand for healthier cocktails. For those who want to skip the alcohol completely, mixologists can craft a healthy mocktail with a mix of kombucha and our fresh lemon juice. If you’re not one to part with your gin and juice, you can mix gin and a little lemon thyme, a herb known to boost immunity and soothe digestion. If you are feeling a bit festive we suggest infusing your spirits with botanicals.
For the tequila lovers, we suggest a twist on the classic margarita with muddled yellow bell pepper, which is a source of vitamin C to power your immune system; chipotle, known to reduce blood pressure and protect against heart disease; fresh sage, an antioxidant; and our cold-pressed pineapple juice, an anti-inflammatory that helps heal tired muscles and also aids in digestion. Or substitute the tequila with mezcal “the spirit of choice among those who are health conscious,” says AdrinAdrina, co-founder of craft mezcal brand Gem&Bolt.
- There’s Still Time to Tiki – Caribbean-style drinks made with rum, coconut and pineapple flavors will take top billing on cocktail menus in 2018. Bright-colored, plastic swizzle sticks that were popular in 1970s tiki drinks will also have a comeback. Retool a favorite tropical beverage like the Piña Colada or Lava Flow with our cold-pressed pineapple juice and garnish it with a whimsical swizzle stick. If you’re not into swizzle sticks, you’re doing it wrong.
- Year of The Keg Cocktail – We think pre-batched keg cocktails are the way to go in 2018. Now, this is hardly something new, but keg cocktails are getting a lot better. Why? Because it’s all about the product. Sure, kegging cocktails produces a quick drink, but without premium ingredients they won’t taste good. So, what it comes down to is caring about goes into the keg; quality infusions, tinctures, syrups and of course juice. As Darren Grenia says “It’s a lot of work. But in front of guests, it’s not”. Industry Juice adds premium quality without the time it takes to press the juice yourself, making the process quicker and the end cocktail a work of art.
- Kids, It’s Time for a History Lesson – Vintage cocktails will get new life in 2018 with antique spirits such as apricot brandy and rare rums. Venture back in time at Chicago’s Milk Room and order the Jasmine cocktail made with 1960s Campari. You can also find liquid history at Lost Lake and Longman & Eagle in Chicago, thanks to Sole Agent, a Chicago-based firm that locates and sells vintage spirits like a scarce 1920s bitter Secrestat.
- Frosé All Day – Whether you like it or not, frosé defined the summer of 2017 and it won’t be going away anytime soon. We predict in 2018 it will continue to be the poolside drink of choice. Who knew a wine slushy could be so popular? We shouldn’t be surprised. When you mix rosé with Tito’s vodka, peach liquor, fresh peach puree and ice, how it’s served at Chicago’s Hampton Social, you’re bound to create a winning summer beverage. At places like Parson’s, rosé isn’t the only slushy on the menu. Their Negroni slushy is a favorite of ours, and with a weekly rotating slushy to enjoy, we never get tired of their selection.
What cocktails will you be serving up in 2018? We’d love to hear from you. Maybe one of them will make it on to our recipe page!