Bartenders To Be Poring More Classic Drinks As Well As Wines, Industry Experts Predict
If you’re following the trends, then it’s likely to be a classic rather than speciality cocktail – perhaps even one of low alcohol content – or a glass of wine.
That is what two industry experts have told the Nightclub & Bar Show as they prepare to participate in the annual upcoming show in Las Vegas.
Operator, strategist and author Doug Radkey, president of KRG Hospitality and Homan Taghdiri co-founder of supergroup consulting firm Invictus Hospitality provide their insight into the top trends for bar drinks in 2020.
“Zero-proof drinks or low-ABV drinks that are handcrafted and full of flavor are going to continue to grow,” Radkey said. “I believe they’re past the point of being ‘just a trend’ and will start to drive significant revenue streams for operators in 2020, allowing them the opportunity to charge nearly the same price-point as a spirit-forward cocktail with the right execution and beverage program.”
Taghdiri and the Invictus Hospitality team are a bit more cautious in predicting the rise of zero-proof drinks but note that they appear to be gaining industry and consumer support.
“We also seem to be at the very beginning phases of a ‘mocktail’ trend—which is so early in its infancy that it is hard to tell if this is a quick fad or something that may mold into a solid trend for some time,” he says. “But it is worth noting that the major players seem to be playing with zero-ABV ‘spirits’ to help push this trend.”
Whether zero-, low- or full-proof, Taghdiri and Invictus see the end of days in 2020 for fussy drinks that slow down bar teams.
“We have seen the ‘mixology’ trend of super-fancy cocktails which take 10 minutes to make on the way out for a couple years now.
“The classics are making a resurgence as adapted intellectual cocktails that leverage the craft of making drinks to come up with creative and innovative cocktails that are simple, well balanced, and tasty, using three to five ingredients instead of seven to ten. We see a lot of skilled bartenders who have great spirit knowledge coming up with beautiful cocktails which taste amazing but are also simple and easy to make.”
Taghdiri notes that “gin and tequila on the rise,” but predicts that another drink category will take off in the year, continuing a recent trend of the past few years.
“I also see wines coming in strong, and with guests getting educated about different types of wines, the organic and biodynamic wines pushing forward and gaining traction as well.” he said.