Drinking set to go digital and more eco-friendly in 2018

ELLC Mikey Pendergast

East London Liquor Company brand ambassador Mikey Pendergast (pictured) forecasts his hottest drinks trends for the year ahead

I see the uptake of low-waste, or eco-friendly, bars continuing, and sincerely hope that people start to realise that efficiently using up the ingredients you buy is by no means a new thing (and frankly never should have disappeared). Hopefully the industry starts to put pressure on those who produce the bar ingredients we use to start creating, or helping maintain, actual low-waste options for disposal.

In terms of drinks menus for the new year, expect producers to push more mixer options to both higher-end cocktail bars, as well as pub and restaurant groups. This could be a blessing for adding in more options for consumers to play with various flavour profiles, but it’s also going to take some serious skill on behalf of bartenders to not let this dilute their drinks offering. Beyond mixers, more complex wine and beer will also be making an appearance alongside cocktails, so that menus are catering to some seriously creative palates.

Speaking of cocktails, I expect that “digital integration of customer interaction” will continue to rise. To be blunt: I’m not a fan. Not that fluff and circumstance can’t help a presentation, but unless history is not going to repeat itself, I expect to see mediocre and overpriced drinks flogged on people to get them to add their social media profiles to an ever-growing marketing network that will only serve the lowest common denominator. On the plus side, when this type of thing happens people usually go back to their roots and rework some of the steadfast dynamite drinks that make cocktails famous. Basically if I walk into a bar and see a menu I have to give my email for, expect me to roll my eyes and order a Daiquiri – or three.

For more on East London Liquor Company distillery, bar and restaurant in east London, visit http://eastlondonliquorcompany.com/bar.html.

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