Across the globe, cocktail culture has skyrocketed and innovation and experimentation with serves is at an all-time high. Kate Williams discusses how bartenders and brands are taking to social media to make their drinks stand out in a world where consumers are demanding better experiences, flavours and serves.
Google recently created what it claims to be the “most shareable cocktail,” following a study of 10,000 of the most engaging cocktail-related Instagram posts that featured the hashtag #cocktail.
The results showed that 43% of the top posts tagged #gin over any other spirit (proving the gin boom isn’t over yet) and #flowers made up nearly a quarter (24%) of the top flavours tagged. Google then tasked one of the UK’s leading mixologists with creating the most shareable cocktail. The result was the “Not Pink Drink” – the ultimate ‘Instagrammable’ cocktail, made of gin, elderflower liqueur, butterfly pea flowers, lemon juice, orange blossom water and tonic water.
An activity to promote the release of Google’s new smartphone and its camera features, it also highlights a key ongoing trend – in 2019, the cocktail experience will be about more than just flavour alone, and how drinks look will be just as important as how they taste.
During this year’s Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition, a panel of industry-leading flavour and experiential experts revealed the trends set to shake up cocktail culture. One highlighted to land in newsfeeds in 2019 is #MyCocktail – forecasting that our social feeds will see an influx of beautiful images as digital drinks influencers grow in prominence, inspiring great looking, as well as great tasting drinks in both the on and off-trade.
Many bartenders are turning to social media and Diageo Reserve’s 2019 trends report talks of the emergence of a new generation of ‘drinkstagrammers’ – bringing a fresh vibrancy and diversity to cocktail making and reaching an audience that might never have had the opportunity – or inclination – to get involved.
This means that as we look at the year ahead, the cocktail experience will be about more than just flavour alone – how our drinks look will be just as important as how they taste. Bars and brands across the world are starting to go above and beyond to tap into the ‘Instagrammable’ trend – and 2018 has already seen some fine examples.
· Callooh Callay’s cheeky nod to Apple with its iBevs menu
· You can now watch Nightjar’s new ‘Arts & Crafts’ menu in 60 seconds online
· Little Red Door, Paris, introduced its ‘Menu of Universal Values’ this summer, complete with very attractive cocktails broken down into 10 values which include Self-Direction, Stimulation, Power, Security and Conformity. Every glass on the menu comes from a different supplier and some are even commissioned by a ceramicist to make the cocktails into a quirky, but wonderful, piece of art.
· Bombay Sapphire introduced a paint collection that can be used by mixologists to decorate either the outside or inside of a cocktail’s glass.
· Scrafe’s Bar launched a menu of caricatures, with cocktails inspired by the likes of Amy Winehouse and Prince Harry, to David Bowie, which comes in a hand-printed glass that echoes Bowie’s distinctive make-up
So, what’s next? It’s predicted that brands and bartenders will continue to experiment and push the boundaries. We’ll begin to see increased use of digital technologies, like augmented and virtual reality, taking cocktails (or vocktails?) and their social reach to a whole new level.
Exciting times for cocktail lovers!
Top Picks of London Bars Leading the ‘Instagrammable’ Trend..