We remember having said here that there will be an increase in alcohol sales in 2012, right?
And to be able to do so, restaurant and bar operators are encouraged to continue improving their beverage programs—making sure that they constantly seek differentiation from the rest and continue to listen to what the market has to say.
Listening to the market means being aware of today’s trends—what’s in and what’s out. We’ve already heard from Andrew Freeman when he released his The Passion Collection 2012, specifying how cocktails and infusions will be frequently offered on tap; the expanding popularity of vintage beers and fruit infused beers; the emergence of cocktail trucks; the offering of mini-cocktails to restaurant diners, along with a lot more forecasts.
We also got fresh ideas for next year’s trend from Baum+Whiteman in our post The Multi-Culti Trend and More Forecasts for 2012, pointing out how beer gardens will pop-up across the U.S. and how customers will now love early-afternoon drinking and late night dining.
Now we got here another report from Nation’s Restaurant News as they give us more trends from drink professionals in the restaurant arena, helping us meet our alcohol sales goals for 2012:
There will be a growing enthusiasm for aged tequilas, according to Sandy Block, beverage operations vice president of Boston-based Legal Sea Foods. “We’re talking about reposados and añejos in cocktails, as long as the bartenders in cool bib aprons make sure that the spirit has adequate structure, zip and agave flavor that would balance the sweet elements.”
Wine, Cocktails, Vermouth – All on Tap
Andrew Freeman has said it before. And now Jim Meehan, the head mixologist of New York’s PDT, is saying it again—drinks on tap are getting more popular than ever.
Wine consultant Doug Frost says that Portugal’s cooler atmosphere allows it to create wines that are fresher and crisper than the others.
Herbs and Spices
“America Walks into a Bar” author Christine Sismondo says that spices and herbs on drinks—anise, caraway, cumin, fennel and Kumme—are the current rage in England, and is bound to hit America this year.
Lower-alcohol, High-flavor Beers + Pale Ales
Michael Roper, owner of Chicago-based The Hopleaf, says that the demand for lower-alcohol, high-flavor beers will rise, the same way that there will be a growing popularity for pale ales—black IPA (India pale ales) and white IPAs.
The go local trend will extend to drinks, as people will look for local spirits that are produced by local craft distilleries. This, according to Liquor.com editor-in-chief Noah Rothbaum.
Light, Thin Wines
Wine consultant John Szabo forecasts that thin wine will be in, embracing lightness.
Casual, Unpretentious Bars
David Wondrich, who wrote “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl,” predicts that mixology will now be on a dive-bar, fun level, allowing unpretentious and casual bars to stand out as their bartenders in elegant bib aprons prepare real drinks for the customers.
Whiskey with Names
“Unlike before where whiskies often come with age statements, whisky producers will now prefer to release their products with names, and 2012 will see the rising of that,” said John Hansell, publisher and editor of the liquor magazine “The Whisky Advocate.”