Intense focus on flair and drama, and the waning of cloyingly sweet drinks — 2017 looks like a great year for tipple trends.
With discerning palates, armed with knowledge and perhaps even more conscious of knowing what they’re drinking, consumers are surprisingly fast turning into trade pundits in the tipple industry. Norms are being defied, unprecedented trends being set and unexpected categories are now gaining popularity.
Whiskey has always been around, always sought by a certain few, but this year will see the list of bourbon and scotch lovers grown. Brown is clearly in, as craft beers, already soaring popularity charts, will still keep growing as a category. More microbreweries will mushroom and quality craft beer is what ale lovers will continue to seek. So are we just scratching the surface of the craft beer potential in India? Perhaps, the answer is indeed in the affirmative.
Wines? Well, these can never go out of fashion. While there are plenty of wine lovers, the drink will continue to have fans, with new drinkers being initiated each day. While imported wines will continue to remain preferred, the good news is that domestic brands will be sought after as well. More people are treating wine as an everyday drink, and are keen to know more about it. However, wines will have to loosen up a bit if they want to wow the young drinkers. Visits to wineries, learning more about how wine is made, grape varietals, wine pairing will definitely increase this year. Rose and sparkling wines especially Prosecco, will gain more popularity.
Rum, for some reason, and even vodka, are on the downslide this year. Of course, loyal fans will always be there, but no spectacular growth expected to be witnessed.
With the cocktail scene exploding, bartenders and mixologists will continue to be important people behind bars. Theatrics, flair, and flamboyance will all be the centre of all attention yet again. But substance and novelty is what drinkers will seek. Locally created drinks will be appreciated — not just drama without quality. Spices will be used extensively by them, as has already been the case in 2016.
Normal is now boring and tipple lovers constantly prefer innovation.Bartenders will make more of their own mixes, infusions, as that is the demand from the consumer, while helping to reduce costs for establishments.
Cloyingly sweet cocktails are surprisingly going to be on the decline in 2017. Adults no longer want to sip sugary sweet drinks when enjoying a tipple. Flavour combinations are acceptable — and will be — but the mix has got to be right and interesting. The fun element will have to be taken seriously by bartenders, as patrons want that.
Bartenders will have to keep fuelling their imagination to churn out new and innovative drinks. Presentation will be critical but not at the cost of the flavour of the drinks. People are price conscious and want value-for-money cocktails.
So 2017 looks interesting and promising where your drink is concerned. No major shake-ups, but some decisive changes, albeit for the better. And there’s a lot to look forward to by way of innovation!
Mini is a food writer