How To Do Summer Drinking Right
The Debrief: There’s a whole world beyond that Aperol Sprits, don’t ya know
Whether you’re consciously switched on to it or not, we all drink differently in the summer months. As soon as the sun decides to be part of our lives again, fruity ciders become commonplace among traditional ‘a pint of whatever’s on tap’ drinkers. Red wine is usually swapped for rosé and if it’s slushy, primary coloured and has a little umbrella resting against the rim, we’re suddenly willing to pay £10 for it because it’s eight degrees warmer than usual.
But outside of the clichés that we all succumb to in the end, we wanted to find out what’s on the menu specifically for summer 2017? Because drink trends are a thing, don’t you know. There’s a reason no-one’s ordered a cosmopolitan since Sex and The City’s demise, and all those other coffee flavoured cocktails that cropped up just as you’d gotten used to ordering Espresso Martinis with confidence? That was a ‘thing’ too.
So, we racked our brains, did a bit of research, and spoke to a few industry pros to find out what everyone will be drinking over the next few months so you can stay ahead of the game, order what all the cool people are ordering and, you know, be the first to Instagram it.
1. Try the gimmicky variations of the classics
Remember when blue Prosecco became a thing? As stressful as I, along with Italian Prosecco traditionalists, find the whole thing, this probably isn’t going to be the end of companies fiddling with existing products to make something more visually appealing to our Instagram generation. Expect to try orange wine again at least once and be on the lookout for other ‘we’re trying to appeal to millennials’ type drinks. They never last but will have a week or so of being socially acceptable to drink ironically.
2. You can always rely on prosecco
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You’ll be relieved to hear that prosecco isn’t going anywhere my friends. Despite fears of shortages, price increases and the like (#BlameBrexit), sales of prosecco are in fact expected to grow big time. As in, 412 million bottles by 2020, kind of big time. The Drinks Business reported that the UK prosecco market is expected to grow by more than 17% in the next five years. Can’t really say we’re surprised though, can we? This is expected to have an impact on the number of people drinking rose though. Pink seems to be on the way out while bubbles are always in.
3. Waste not want not
An increasing number of bars are finding ways to minimise food waste these days, which is really, really great. If you think about it, those fiddly little garnishes produce a lot more waste that we realise. Think about all the lemon rind and egg yolk that gets ditched at the end of a shift. But rather than sweeping them into to the bin, bars like the White Lyan in Hoxton and Dandelyan at the Mondrian have been trying to pop them into your cocktails instead.
Owner Ryan Chetyawardana calls it ‘closed-loop’ cocktails. For example, excess garnishes might find themselves used to create a syrup for a new drink. There’s a great bar in East London called Scout that has a similar no-waste thing going for it, and we think it could catch on.
4. Long live the pop up
Craft beers have been the ‘it’ thing to pretend to know your shit about for a little while now, and while they’re by no means ‘out’, craft spirits are definitely in. You’ll probably already unknowingly be spending a lot of time roaming around busy pop up bars over the summer months, and it has a lot to do with the huge rise in popularity of small independent, UK based breweries and distilleries.
According to digital agency Kerve’s Alcohol Trend Report for 2017 ‘the craft “bubble” shows no immediate sign of bursting’ thanks to the looming gloom of Brexit having a positive effect on British exports. Who’d have thunk.
5. The new Aperol Spritz
This is the million-dollar question of the drinks world, you guys. Because every now and again a cocktail low key reasserts itself as the drink to drink. Let’s all be honest, it definitely felt like the Aperol Spritz wave swept over all of us out of nowhere and has been lingering for a while. Some bartenders in the biz think it’s time to make way for something else though, and it looks like it’s going to be gin based.
Both Caitlin who works at No. 32 in Clapham and Emma from The Alma in Wandsworth predict the humble gin based Elderflower Fizz is going to be next to take the spotlight. ‘I’d say mimosa margaritas’, said Rey from the Clapham Revolution Bar. ‘They’ll be different everywhere you go. The one we do is gin based, with bubblegum syrup, lemon, lime and then grapefruit soda’.
Stephen, former General Manager at Claredon Cocktail Cellar thinks it’ll be tough to knock the Orange stuff from its pedestal, however. ‘Nothing will quite reach the level of the Aperol Spritz’, he said. ‘But low abv cocktails will be big – they’re cheaper and you can drink more. Rum is having a bit of a revival and I think the Jungle Bird cocktail will explode. At least, if I get my way.’
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