What is trending in cocktail world?
As the Lucas Bols Master Bartender I have the luck and privilege to travel all over the world to talk about Bols Genever and cocktails. This gives me the great opportunity to visit the most trending cocktail markets and -bars. These are the most noticeable trends I encountered on my journeys.
Amaro’s and bitters
The rise of the amaro is an evident one. This classic Italian herbal liqueur was mainly drunk as a digestive. Recent years have shown a fastly growing popularity amongst bartenders and consumer. Almost every cocktail menu I see has an amaro based drink on it. Amaro’s are great as modifier of base spirit in a cocktail. The complex collection of herbs and spices gives it a lot of flavors to work with for a bartender. One of my favorites is Galliano L’aperitivo. This newest addition to the classic Galliano range, combines the subtle bitters tones of the quinoto, with the sweet flavors of lavender and rhubarb and the nice citrus tone of grapefruit. Perfect to mix with tonic or in a classic negroni.
Be aware! Amaro is something else than amaretto. Often this mistake is made. Amaretto is a sweet almond liqueur, whereas amaro is a herbal bitter.
Less ingredients, and easier to make
Bartending doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be quite easy actually. Just like cooking, we mix ingredients. Something you can do at home! Where bartenders used to use up to eight or nine ingredients, you see the worldwide trend that cocktails contain less ingredients. Three to five ingredients. The ingredients used are more complex. Like the aforementioned Galliano L’aperitivo. Mixed with a more complex soda like tonic water, it’s a drink full of flavor. You only need a garnish that matches the ingredients and you have a great tasting drink that is easy to make.
We don’t think in girl- or boy drinks anymore
Boys drink beer and girls drink wine. That is something you used to hear a lot a couple of years ago. Luckily that old stigma is slowly disappearing. Take the gin & tonic for instance. A drink that is drunk by everybody, no matter what gender. The same goes for whisk(e)y and classic whiskey cocktails like the old fashioned. A great example of the disappearing of gender differences in drinking is the classic Dutch tradition of drinking a ‘kopstootje’. The ritual of drinking beer and a shot of genever on the side. In Dutch bars you see both men and women enjoying this drink.
Almost every bar has a gin & tonic menu nowadays. Gin is one of the fastest growing spirit categories around. The real early adaptors are already looking for the next trend though. And if you think gin, it makes total sense to think genever. Genever is the grandfather of gin. This traditional Dutch spirit was taken to England in the 17th century where they tried to reproduce it. They couldn’t make the key ingredient, malt spirit, and didn’t know how to pronounce genever. That is how gin is born. You see more and more bartenders that dive into the history of gin developing an interest in genever and lots of bars have drinks like the Holland Gin Cocktail. This is one of the first recipes ever made in the 1830’s and based on Bols Genever Original 1820 recipe. Easy to make, but complex in taste.
Low alcohol cocktails
Drinks with a little less alcohol are gaining popularity rapidly. This is so popular that I have written a separate blog about it. Click here and read all about it.
Do you want to make these drinks at home? Here is what you need and how you make them:
Holland Gin Cocktail
Galliano & Tonic
Written by Ivar de Lange