From Nonsolococktails, here are the 5 mixology trends for the upcoming 2024. Creativity extends to alcohol-free options, innovation, and seasonality, combining the pleasure of drinking a cocktail with well-being and consideration for the planet.
Nonsolococktails, the first Italian agency for integrated services in the hospitality world with a specific focus on mixology, captures industry beverage trends and reveals the new proposals that will accompany us in the coming year.
From the trend of new celebrity-owned brands – take Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, Robert De Niro’s VDK 6100, or Sarah Jessica Parker’s Invivo X – to iced red wine and gin emerging from the shadows to dominate the alcoholic landscape, numerous trends have emerged. With 2023 now concluding, here are some previews of sector developments for the next year, presented by th5e Nonsolococktails team, led by Mattia Pastori.
5 Mixology Trends to Watch
The Intriguing World of No Alcohol and Low Alcohol
The trend of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol consumption is on the rise, thanks to the sector’s ability to offer premium non-alcoholic cocktails. In 2024, consumers will enjoy sophisticated and unexpected flavors in non-alcoholic drinks, which go beyond simple fruit mixes with added alcohol, syrups, or non-alcoholic beverages.
“Non-alcoholic cocktails that will conquer the bar counters in 2024 are based on hydrolates, alcoholates, and tinctures that express distillate-like tastes and aromas but are entirely alcohol-free. Alternatively, non-alcoholic infusions blended with water extractions from vegetables seek the perfect balance to enhance the taste,” explains Mattia Pastori. One of Nonsolococktails’ top non-alcoholic proposals is the Pomo Tonic, an elegant blend of 10 cl tomato water seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon, Worcester sauce, and Tabasco, and 10 cl Sanpellegrino Citrus Tonic, giving character to this alcohol-free drink.
A trend that began a few years ago but will revolutionize pairings even more in 2024, disrupting even the most classic combinations, is cocktail pairing.
“In recent years, we’ve experimented a lot with food and cocktail pairings, and now we’re ready to present a complete proposal, from appetizer to dessert, making the dining experience even more surprising. Among the most appreciated cocktails is the Profumo di Bosco, a cocktail based on de-alcoholized Whisky, Cypress, and Mushroom Water, created for ragu-topped small rings,” says Mattia Pastori.
And for the New Year’s toast, whether it’s panettone, pandoro, or lentils for good luck, the trending cocktail is The Gentleman, based on Lillet blanc, Marsala, and pink grapefruit, designed by Nonsolococktails to welcome 2024.
Seasonality in Cocktails
Just like in the kitchen, attention is paid to seasonal ingredients in the bar. Drink lists are increasingly tied to the seasonality of ingredients, highlighting the products that nature offers us throughout the year, not just for garnish.
“The seasonality of ingredients is an attention to respecting the planet and the sustainability journey that should engage the players in the beverage industry. The Autumn Mule, the autumn version of the Moscow Mule replacing Vodka with Chestnut Liqueur from the Liquorificio di Alta Valle Camonica and Redistilled walnut, is already a declaration of care in choosing seasonal ingredients that do not distort the essence of the drink,” comments Mattia Pastori.
Twists on Classics
Negroni, Espresso Martini, and Margarita remain the world’s best-selling cocktails. They are present in all trendy drink lists in their most fashionable variations, exploiting and creating innovative and modern twists on classics.
“The twist on classic is a fundamental technique for the bartender, allowing them to personalize and express their personality starting from an original recipe. For a well-known cocktail like Negroni, an ingredient is replaced, or an innovative technique is used, giving it a new texture. Heartbreak Negroni is an example of how one of the world’s most loved and known cocktails can still amaze and show a new youth. The personal touch we added is a sweet and enveloping aperitif bitter like Marendry Fabbri 1905 or a non-alcoholic Botanical spirit to lower the alcohol level and ‘simplify’ the drink,” says Mattia Pastori.
Artificial Intelligence Lands in the Bar
Will Artificial Intelligence dictate the next drink lists? Thanks to the use of ChatGPT, it’s possible to ask AI to create a tailor-made recipe based on our preferences or needs. So the answer could be yes, but without the expert touch of the bartender, one might be disappointed.
“Starting with a theme or suggestion, AI provides an initial idea. But only the hand and mind of a bartender can make a creation interesting and original: ChatGPT lacks technical skills and the ability to analyze the entire reference scenario. And what’s even more important, the machine can never replace the fundamental bond created between the bartender and the customer: the ability to interpret their tastes, expectations, and habits and mix them into the perfect cocktail,” comments Mattia Pastori.