On trend

30 August, 2017

TP: For me, it’s everything. This is not a trend. This is how it should be forever. Australia’s biodiversity means there’s always something in season. We try to be sustainable to achieve a better GP margin. If you’re buying an orange for 50 cents, it makes sense to want to use the whole product – skin, pith and flesh.

JB: Flavours and ingredients indigenous to where I am working are important to me. I have created a live solera system here in Dubai. The UAE government is seriously committed to creating a green society and I am always looking for new, innovative ways to support sustainability here.

MW: Massively. Our bar focuses solely on British produce. Another focus is always finding ways to use ALL ingredients. They have to be exhausted before they go in the bin.

DO YOU USE ANY NEW TECHNOLOGY OR EQUIPMENT?

VK: Yes for sure. We have a lab in The Clumsies that allows us to work in a very creative way.

SS: We use a high-speed Breville juicer to juice oranges, grapefruit, apples, and pineapples to order.

AL: One of the key elements with Quinary is the multisensory approach, which we build based on innovative tools and equipment such as the Rotavapor, centrifuge, sous-vide and dehydrator.

JB: I use all kinds of technology and I am continually experimenting with new equipment, however I only use things such as the sous-vide, sonic prep and rotary evaporator if it helps create the drink’s concept.

MW: We have a lab in the basement to create all our own flavours and we have different ways of extracting flavour. We focus more on produce than spirit.

DO YOU FEEL CLASSIC COCKTAILS ARE GROWING OR DWINDLING?

VK: Classic cocktails will be always classic cocktails. It’s like the bible of our industry. It’s a big legacy for every bartender and it’s a good way to try to create the future classics for the next generations.

SS: Classics such as the Aperol Spritz, Negroni and Old Fashioned continue to grow in popularity and I don’t see signs of them dwindling any time soon.

JH: In San Francisco, I have always felt original cocktails were favoured more highly than classic ones, as opposed to other cities in the US where it is the opposite. I believe that classics are right around where they always have been in the time of my career, no more and no less.

AL: Classic cocktails have found solid ground in the hearts of the people here, and they are definitely here to stay.

TP: That’s a big debate. They’re not growing or dwindling comparatively to modern cocktails. However, the way they’re being made for the customer is changing. More bars are pre-batching or bottling classic cocktails.

JB: More often I see many classics on menus across the city and at Zuma we have noticed that our classics are extremely popular, especially straighter drinks such as the Old Fashioned.

MW: I actually think they are growing, not within my bars but I think classic cocktails and the recipes should be challenged. Diversity in the industry is amazing and shows how much our industry is growing.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER TRENDS YOU ARE OBSERVING RIGHT NOW?

VK: The traditional trend of fermentation and preservation is coming through now. I also believe, along with the trend of low-abv cocktails, the carbonation techniques will become a new big trend.

SS: Negronis and more bitter flavours. Rosé and flavoured ciders (such as Austin Pineapple Cider). People also love the idea of cocktails on tap and bottled cocktails.

AL: The obsession of putting cocktails in all sorts of glassware, from the whimsical and charming to the ones that are downright bizarre.

TP: Bartenders are too serious. If I see one more picture of a guy or girl behind the bar with their arms crossed staring into the camera looking miserable, I’m going to ice-pick myself in the leg. Cheer up. Let’s have fun.

JB: Barrel ageing is extremely popular across Dubai right now. There are a lot of bars playing with wood, seasoning and ageing.

MW: I think the biggest trend is the guest shift/travelling bartender – this is bringing the global cocktail community closer together. As we move into the future more bartenders will share ideas, which I will champion. I will be releasing a code to my online cocktail database later this year that will have all of my drinks from all the bars I have worked with in the past.





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Joe Bates

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In Cannes last month as I dashed around from stand to stand and from interview to interview amid a whirl of product launches and cocktail parties, I heard one question asked over and over again.

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