culinary-arts
2 min read

Cocktail Trends: What to Watch Out For in 2020?

EHL Insights
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The culinary and cocktail trends forecast (that last year accurately predicted the popularity of cult classic Aperol Frosé) have once again unveiled their vision for the year to come. Thanks to a survey of more than 130 chefs, sommeliers, general managers and bartenders, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, we now know what trends to watch out for in 2020. From whisky highballs to Pét-Nat wines, here’s a taste of what’s in store.

Ingredients on the horizon

Topping the trending cocktail ingredients charts are grilled, roasted and fire-blasted fruits along with tea-infused spirits and syrups. Also look out for runners-up: bitter vermouth and wine.

 

Who says it all has to be edible?

Quirky touches to cocktails in 2020 will feature aromatic inedible garnishes, with Kimpton bartenders much looking forward to experimenting with this up-and-coming trend next year. Brace yourself for sachets of cloves and allspice or burning sticks of wood. Decorative flourishes adding a scented note, absorbent squares of paper clipped to glassware, say, are also set to give cocktails a tantalizing edge.

 

Mixologists roaming the kitchen

Increasing kitchen collaboration will see bartenders learning from chefs and leveraging culinary techniques in cocktail preparation. Incorporating culinary flavors into drinks and maximizing preparation efficiency will be rendered that bit easier thanks to kitchen equipment, not to mention cocktail ingredients creeping into kitchen storage.

 

Whisky highballs

Kimpton predicts a cult following next year for whisky highballs, made with lighter Japanese whiskies in particular. Spiked seltzers and the Paloma (celebrating a revival) will follow closely behind.

 

Alternative liquors

China, Japan and Korea are set to provide us with next year’s on-trend spirits: Baiju, Shōchū and Soju, respectively. These alternative-grain spirits will join mezcal, which will enjoy continued popularity in 2020. This smoky spirit lends itself well to experimental twists on traditional favorites, paired with rum, for instance, macadamia orgeat, espresso and caramelized pineapple.

 

Spritz culture

The staple spritz will get a spruce in 2020, sourcing its inner Mediterranean spirit to give us light, refreshing, largely low-alcohol beverages. Expect to see lower sugar content and a crisp finish.

Coffee too, will follow this trend, with Espresso Tonic expected to be a year-round hit.

 

Non-alcoholic beverages

Speaking of coffee, spritzes aren’t the only variant likely to take off next year. Nitro coffee on tap, cold brew alternatives and CBD coffee are trends to watch out for.

The survey found bartenders most likely to experiment with botanical infused sparkling drinks. Alcohol-free spirits will also lend themselves well, as will exotic fruit flavors like guanabana, lulo and passion fruit, taking teas to the next level.

 

Beer and wine

Sour beers are generating the biggest buzz, with hazy or juicy IPAs coming in second. If you’re looking for a beer alternative in 2020, consider alcoholic kombuchas.

Less is more when it comes to Kimpton’s top wine trend for next year: more natural wines, farmed organically and largely left unaltered in the wine cellar are predicted to be sought after. Unadulterated wines, naturally low in alcohol will stand out. Wine aficionados are also acquiring a taste for orange wines and Pétillant Naturel sparkling wines.

While we wait with bated breath to see whether Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants has once again nailed its predictions, let’s have a tipple or two. Cheers!

This article is based on the 2020 Culinary & Cocktail Trend Forecast by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants: click here to view source.

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