What's New in Mixology in 2013This week’s video is a little bit longer, but I wanted to cover a lot of ground. There are so many great new trends and ideas appearing in Mixology today I wanted to take the time to point out the biggest mixology trends I’m seeing today.

If you want to know what I think is “up and coming” behind the bar, definitely check it out!

 

 

New Trends in Mixology, 2013:

 

Pre-Batched Cocktails

One of the focuses right now is how we deliver cocktails to our guests. Many bars have bottle-carbonated pre-batched cocktails that they can give to their guests table-side. While it takes more time in advance, it definitely makes the execution quicker at service time while still looking great to the guest.

 

Cocktails on Tap

Jaspers in San Francisco has a very unique way of serving their Negronis. They pre-batch their drinks, place them in a keg, and serve them on tap.  You can be in a busy bar and have amazing cocktails at the same time, all while continuing to interact with your guests.

 

Soda Programs

Similar to pre-batching cocktails, I’ve been seeing bars (especially restaurant bars) complimenting their cocktail program with a soda program. This is a great way to serve interesting and specialized drinks during lunchtime, or to guests who do not drink alcohol.

 

Nitro Infusion

This is a new technique intended to reduce the time required for infusion.  We actually did an experiment on this topic here, seeing if it’s as good as all of the hype!

 

High Quality Tools

This trend is rapidly booming nowadays. New glasses, bar spoons – you name it, everything has improved and some we never really heard of before.

 

Vermouth

Vermouth has gained a lot of traction in the mixology community due to the fact that classic cocktails are becoming so popular. It’s made bartenders get hands-on with these products as well as gaining knowledge on how to use them.

 

Clarification

Clarification is a byproduct of soda carbonating and I’m really excited to tell you about this! It strips away any pulp and color out of the citrus juice to preserve the acidity by aid in cutting down the forming of bottle carbonation.  Check out our video on clarifying lime juice here!

 

The New Standards in Mixology:

These used to be “trends” but now they’re generally agreed to be required for any high level cocktail program.

Fresh Juice

When I first started tending bar, one of the hottest trends was to utilize fresh juices. Seems kind of silly and common right now, but that was revolutionary back in the early 2000’s. Now it’s an absolute must to use fresh juice, especially citrus.

Cocktail Ice

Good quality ice is absolutely vital to a great cocktail program. The difference between good ice and bad ice can be a watered down, ruined cocktail, slower cocktail creation, and generally lower quality drinks.

Local Sourcing

Bartenders and distillations are sourcing their ingredients for drinks and distillates as close to home as possible. It’s great to see that people are trying to make every effort to be responsible and minimize their carbon footprint.

Homemade Ingredients

Many bartenders are creating a lot of their products within house. Obviously simple syrups and fresh juices, but even tinctures, bitters and vermouths.

Keeping it “Down to Earth”

Last but definitely not least, I feel the pendulum has started to swing back to where it should be – the focus of Mixology should be the guests. Recently I’m seeing a lot of other leaders in our industry saying the same thing – don’t be pretentious, don’t look down on your customers. Make them a great drink because you want them to enjoy their evening, not because you want to look good. In this business, we always have to remember that 100% of what we do is for the guest!

 

 

This is why we love doing what we do. We get to be creative, we get to be social, we get to be the life of the party, and we should be having a great time every day we go into work. If we do that our guests are going to have a great time, and we are going to love our jobs even more.

 

Did I miss anything?

Come join us on our Facebook page and let me know what you think are the newest trends in Mixology!  We are always looking for new things to try in our videos, so definitely let us know what you’re seeing!

 

Click Here to Read the Transcript

Hi this is Chris from Abarabove.com. Today we will be exploring the new trends in mixology and examining some of the new standards that are out there, so stay tuned.

New Trends in Mixology

Pre-Batched Cocktails

One of the new trends that we are seeing in the market right now, is focused on how we deliver our cocktails to our guests. Pre-batched cocktails are becoming a new trend out there. One example is Canon in Seattle who bottle carbonate pre batched cocktails so they can give to their guests table-side, or if you are in a busy bar you can have this in your back pocket. When 15 people walk up and say what do you recommend? “We have these amazing drinks, that are in these cool bottles, they are fantastic and I highly recommend them.” It cuts down on your execution time and they are still fun.

Cocktails on Tap

Another place that comes to mind is a place called Jaspers corner in San Francisco. What they are doing is unique and different and following the same path that wine has taken over the last few years. They will pre-batch their Negronis and place them in a keg and have them on tap. So with the same philosophy, you can be in a busy bar and have amazing cocktails and still be able to interact with your guests.

Soda Programs

Another trend that we are seeing in the market now is that many of the high end bars are complimenting their amazing cocktail program with an equally amazing soda program. There are quite a few of them out there right now that are doing this. Slanted door is one of the first that comes to mind. There is new establishment that opened a little over a year ago in San Francisco called Ice Cream Bar that focus strictly on these old soda Fountain style sodas and creating this cool experience. Definitely keep an eye on this trend.

Nitro Infusion

One of the new techniques that I’ve seen that is making its way through the mixology community is a technique called nitro infusion. Essentially what you are doing is you’re cutting down the amount of time that an infusion takes from hours, days, months down to literally seconds or minutes. How you do it is to put your ingredients that you want to infuse into an iSi whip cream canister, with your alcohol. Next close the canister and add a nitro charge to it while shaking. Then add one more nitro charge and shake it a little more and let it rest for a few moments. Next you will release the pressure from the canister and after all the pressure has been released, then open the canister and you’re done. This will give you a lot of freedom to concept out drinks and create infusions and bitters on the fly. This is very powerful technique to have and master behind the bar.

High Quality Tools

Another trend we’re seeing these days is just the quality of the tools that we have at our disposal is definitely increasing. This is just a few examples of what’s out on the market right now – from the Yarai mixing glass that you see everywhere in San Francisco in all the major cocktail bars. (It’s actually called that for the Yarai pattern that’s cut into the glass.)
We have all kinds of new bar spoons – this is just to show an example of where we were in the beginning when I started tending bar, to where we’re at now, seeing some of the trident spoons and some of my personal favorites, the Alessi bar spoon. We have an improved look on some of the vermouth, bitter and tincture spritzers, and even the strainers now are definitely elevated now in both form and function.
One good place to look for any kind of high-end bartending gear is CocktailKingdom.com. They have a collection of some of the finest tools out there from Lewis bags to mixing rods to all kinds of shakers. So I highly encourage you to visit the site – www.CocktailKingdom.com.

Vermouth

Vermouth has gained a lot of traction in the last few years in the mixology community, mostly due to the fact that classic cocktails have become so popular recently. It has afforded Bartenders the opportunity to get hands-on with these products and really gain a lot of knowledge on how to utilize them. I remember when I first started tending bar about 10 years ago, there were only a couple companies out there making quality Vermouth. Back in 2000 that started to change when Vya was released to the market and was one of the first new Vermouth companies out there. Now over the last two years, there have been about 8 new vermouth companies started and distributing products, so we have that to look forward to.
Now if you’re one of the bartenders or mixologists who likes to create your own ingredients and own liquors and stuff, you can look to a gentleman by the name of Jackson Cannon who owns he Eastern Standard out in Boston. He’s been known for his vermouth programs that he’s been making over the last two years or so. You can definitely look at what he’s doing over there as a nice resource and a guide for how to do it yourself.

Clarification

So one of the newest techniques that I’ve seen out there that I’m really excited about and tat I think is going to become a lot more popular over the next couple months is a process called clarification. It’s actually a byproduct of the soda carbonating that we’re seeing out there right now. Essentially what it is in stripping away any of the pulp and color out of citrus juice to preserve the acidity but aid in cutting down the forming of bottle carbonation. There are some people out there who have used this technique to make clear beverages. Definitely stay tuned t that – I’m actually going to be exploring this technique here in the next couple posts, so I’m very excited to see some of the benefits and drawbacks of this and to be able to share that with you. So those are all the current trends out there.

 

The New Standards

Fresh Juice

So some of the ideas and techniques that we’ve seen over the last few years developing in the mixology community are going to make the leap from being hot and trendy to being the new standards in the bar. One of the best examples I can give you is – when I first started tending bar, one of the hottest trends was to utilize fresh juices. Seems kind of silly and common right now, but that was revolutionary back in the early 2000’s. This is what I mean by becoming the new standards in bar programs.

Cocktail Ice

Some of the new standards that I have seen develop is San Francisco and couple other places in the country is the utilization of cocktail ice. What I mean by cocktail ice is the square ice that we see in high end cocktail bars and restaurants. Some people have taken this to a whole other level and utilized block ice. They have to prepare the ice hours before by chipping away at it, by chainsaws and take a lot of care in their ice, which is really cool to see. So a decent ice program is one of the new standards in bars.

Local Sourcing

The next standard is that bartenders and even carrying over into the distillation world is that bartenders and distillations are sourcing their ingredients for drinks and distillates as close to home as possible. It’s great to see that people are trying to make every effort to be responsible and minimize the carbon footprint that they are putting out there. This is really great to see being one of the new standards out there.

Homemade Ingredients

The last one that I see that has become a new standard is that many bartenders are creating a lot of their products within house. Obviously simple syrups and fresh juices, but even tinctures, bitters and vermouths, like the gentleman from Boston. Bartenders are elevating their craft within their own bar and restaurant, which is why we are all here. We love to learn, to experiment and have fun. So that is really cool to see.

Keeping Mixology Down-to-Earth

One of the last trends that I will leave everyone with is something that I am really excited to see, something that really means a lot to me and I care a lot about, and that is take care of your guests. Don’t be pretentious. We’re not being rocket surgeons, we’re not brain scientists, and we’re not curing cancer, we’re making cocktails. We are having people over, playing host and creating an environment around us. This is the message that I heard, and that’s the message I’d like to give everyone else. Have fun, this is a fun job. This is why we love doing what we do. We get to be creative, we get to be social, we get to be the life of the party, and we should be having a great time every day we go into work. If we do that our guests are going to have a great time, and we are going to love our jobs even more.

That’s it, I hope you guys have a great shift, and thank you for watching and stay tuned. One of the things we will be doing in the future is going deeper into each one of these trends and give you as much knowledge and information that I am capable of giving. It’s not going to be that much. Hopefully you’ll stay tuned, so cheers.