On trend

30 August, 2017

JB: I love to use mezcal. There are some fantastic producers out there and I love that it’s a growing category. It has been a hit with our customers and it seems to be catching on across the city. In this region whisky-based cocktails are also in growth and Japanese whisky is especially desirable.

MW: I’m using a lot more wine and sake in drinks to lengthen the flavour, and they can also be used to add acidity. I think vodka is growing as more bartenders are using this to create bespoke ingredients. I also believe whisk(e)y is growing as a category, especially with the emergence of world whiskey.

ARE YOU SEEING A MOVE TOWARDS STRONGER OR LIGHTER DRINKS?

VK: I see more light cocktails with a low abv. A person can spend less money per cocktail, can drink more cocktails and, with the creativity of the bartenders now, can have something very tasty.

SS: There’s most certainly a swing towards lighter cocktails, which is perfect for us at Dante. We’ve always focused on more sessionable, apertivo-style cocktails.

JH: I’d say the lighter cocktail is trending right now in San Francisco but this is not unlike many places around the world that I’ve visited recently.

AL: It goes both ways. While there is more interest in lighter-style cocktails, there are still those who love a good old-fashioned (pun intended) drink such as a Negroni and, well, Old Fashioned.

JB: It’s hard to say because here in Dubai there is a mix of strong and light drinks across the city. We have seen a shift to stronger drinks. Consumers are not as afraid of stronger drinks as they used to be.

MW: Definitely a split. There is always a need for stronger short drinks but the low-abv category is taking off and is blurring the line between cocktails and wine.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE LOCAL INGREDIENTS AND SUSTAINABILITY?

VK: They have a basic role. One good thing in Greece is the freshness you can find with fruits and vegetables, especially during their season. Sustainability is becoming more and more useful to my bar. It’s a good way of thinking generally, not only for my bar but for the whole world.

SS: Very important. I personally go to the farmers’ market at least once a week to see what’s available. We have been making strides. Putting systems into place in such a small space has been a challenge, but sustainability is a goal that we continue to work towards every day.

JH: The use of local ingredients is a luxury that has become commonplace in San Francisco. Our area has such an abundance of beautiful fruits, vegetables and herbs. Sustainability is a factor but not our guiding principal. In San Francisco, this is something that many people in and out of bars embrace and apply to different degrees.

AL: Very important – as such, we have actually revised two of our signature cocktails at Quinary to include more local (by cultivation and heritage) ingredients. Not only do the values go in line with traditional Chinese culinary practices of using every part of your ingredient (think pork intestines, ears and trotters), cost percentages also affect the profitability of a business in Hong Kong where rent is sky high.





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David Williams

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