Cocktails are a’ changing

From flavours to gender attitudes, the culture is shifting

SPIRITS giant Diageo has released a new report which makes predictions on the future of the cocktail industry, arriving just in time for operators to implement changes ahead of the festive season.

• The flavour profile of popular cocktails has changed with a shift towards more bitter drinks.
• The flavour profile of popular cocktails has changed with a shift towards more bitter drinks.

The firm, which counts brands such as Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker and Gordon’s gin amongst its stable, has highlighted a number of trends including the increasingly widespread demand for cocktails across a variety of venue types.

Leave gender at the door; the days of ‘manly’ or ‘girly’ drinks are over.

Diageo’s World Class: Future of Cocktails report found that cocktail culture “has moved out of its traditional high-end venues and into places where everyday life happens, from local pubs to a friend’s Sunday afternoon barbecues”, with bartenders “pushing cocktails using a wider variety of flavours and textures” to suit the occasion.
The report also found a “clear shift” in cocktail flavour profiles from sweet to bitter, a shift which Diageo reckons has been spurred on by bartenders “introducing drinkers to well-rounded flavours to help digestion after a meal, as cocktails find a new place in different parts of consumers’ lives”.
“This clear shift from sweet to bitter can be clearly seen in Drink International’s list of the most popular cocktails of 2015, with the Old Fashioned, the Negroni, the Sazerac, the Manhattan and the Dry Martini in their top five,” the report found.
Drinks that target a specific gender were also flagged by the report as a thing of the past, with Diageo encouraging operators to “leave gender at the door” when it comes to cocktails.
“The days of drinks being considered ‘manly’ or ‘girly’ are over,” the report found.
“Boundaries are blurring and as society evolves beyond traditional gender norms, people are feeling liberated with their choice of tipple.
“Bartenders are now using ‘gender neutral’ language to describe, name and serve cocktails.”