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2018 drink trends
Your customers may or may not be having a ‘Dry January’ to bring in 2018, but you can’t afford to give up on the most exciting drinks trends that are emerging for the new year.

From intriguing flavour combinations to interesting preparation techniques, what are the 2018 drinks trends that are going to add new tastes to your bar menu?

In this blog post, we round up five alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink trends that will be bubbling up a storm in 2018, as predicted by industry experts. Dry January is only one month, after all!

Refresh your bar with our collection of Glassware & Barware

1. Bold beverage combinations

A secret love affair has been brewing right before our very eyes. Beer, wine and spirits have married for 2018 to produce hybrid drinks. With big names such as Glenfiddich producing some of its whisky in IPA casks, and other smaller microbreweries aging their beer in whisky barrels, 2018 spells a rise in combination tipples.

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Waitrose has foretold of even more collaboration in the coming years, with beer and whisky pairing events popping up in bars from London to Hong Kong. So, think outside the box this year with adventurous drink combinations that go beyond the traditional cocktail.

2. Keep it natural

2018 sees a swell in all things natural – making non-alcoholic drinks more interesting. Consumers’ increasing awareness around what’s in their food has spilled into the beverage industry, instigating a rise in the popularity of naturally brewed teas. Rather than the sweeter flavours of tea extracts, customers will pursue fresh leaves with unique flavours offering health benefits.

Why not test the waters with the traditional South American Yerba Mate tea? This drink is believed to be perfect for enhanced mental clarity and concentration – which may be well-needed by your customers after the excess of the festive season!

3. Up-market mixers

Sales of Fever Tree tonics and mixers increased by 77% in 2017, and this trend runs across other premium brands. Perhaps due to the explosive Gin market, having some luxury mixers on your side is set to be the cornerstone of drink trends in 2018.

Why not introduce natural tonics to your menu? Free from artificial sweeteners, a natural tonic will enhance the flavour of your gin. This particular trend is going global too, with specialist bars such as Ping Pong fuelling the popularity of refreshing gin and tonics in Hong Kong.

4. Textured tastes

A drinks trend from 2017 saw a rise in consumers drinking ‘with their eyes,’ and a demand for bartenders and chefs alike to produce drinks menus that will prove like-worthy on social media. But, what about 2018? In the coming year drinks are set to appeal to even more senses, specifically, our hearing and touch. Bartenders now have the opportunity to inject different consistencies into their beverages, perhaps using pulp, spices or carbonation to surprise and excite their customers!

Season 52, a restaurant and bar in Orlando, has latched onto this trend early with their Botanical Buzz. This cocktail is topped with a Szechuan Button flower, otherwise known as the electric daisy, one sip of this and you’ll experience extreme tingling sensations in your mouth followed by a cooling in the throat.

5. The craft beer renaissance

It’s the craft renaissance with the number of British craft breweries more than doubling in the past five years. Better yet, industry leaders have also spotted pub chains’ interest in stocking local beers. Neil Walker, of the Society of Independent Brewers, says the rapid growth in independent breweries “has been in direct response to increasing demand from beer drinkers, who are demanding better quality, better flavour and more choice”.

Take the opportunity to support your local microbreweries and also capitalise on 2018 trends within craft beer itself, including full-flavoured session beers and lager, double IPAs and malts, as forecast at the Independent Manchester Beer Convention in October 2017.

With the new year comes a plethora of exciting new trends to refresh the menus of bars, restaurants and street food vendors alike. Whether it’s a piping hot Yerba Mate or a cooling craft beer, enjoy experimenting with the latest drink trends in striking glassware and barware, and state-of-the-art beverage machines to keep up with demand.


Lockhart Catering on 6 December 2017 12:00 AM

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