As we settle into the new year, our sights are set on all the fresh and exciting things we are going to drink in 2019.
Our Chilled 100 team is looking ahead too, as they plan their bar menus and decide which spirits they want to experiment with these next 12 months. We asked eight Chilled 100 members what they think the biggest bar, cocktail and spirits trends will be this year. Check out their responses and get ahead of the booze curve in 2019.
Owner of Pangea Alchemy Lab, Sarasota, FL
“I think we will see the use of lesser-known spirits categories in cocktail creations (i.e. shochu, l’eau de vie, sake) as well as low alcohol fermentations like kombucha, jun, tepache and kvass. I hope to see a focus on building healthy/safe spaces for industry professional and guests. And sustainability—I think a lot more programs are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Manager of Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas, NV
“I believe less time engaging on social media and more time and effort in getting to know each other in person. This applies to our guests at our respective bars as well. Turn your regulars into friends. Sitting down with people we like and getting to know each other beyond persona.”
Bartender at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, NV
“Bespoke cocktails! Not so much the cocktail menu, but actually speaking to the guests, getting to know their likes and dislikes, and creating on the fly or matching them up with classics that will give them that WOW experience.”
Bartender at Sunset Tower Hotel, Los Angeles, CA
“In 2019, we need to focus on the hospitality aspect of the job—really making genuine connections with the guests and providing individualized experiences.”
Bar Manager at Bit House Saloon, Portland, OR
“One thing we are doing @bithousesaloon is expanding the boundaries of Old Fashioneds and increasing their approachability for a more diverse style of drinker. Exploring the highlights of unique, single barrel, and most importantly, American single malt spirits, while being playful of our definition of ‘bitters’ and ‘sugar.’ We have more than a dozen Old Fashioneds on their own menu, including one with the world’s first and only Oregon Pinot Noir barrel aged American single malt. It’s incredible.”
Beverage Manager at Hotel Bennett, Charleston, SC
“Acid replacements for citrus and large format bottled craft cocktails. We’re doing a 750 bottled cocktail program for my hotel and magnums using acids to help with sustainability. I also think tea-influenced low ABV cocktails are becoming more popular.”
Barkeep at Glai Baan, Phoenix, AZ
“This will be the year of Asian ingredients in cocktails. We will see a growth in tropical fruit usage, savory sauce, and hopefully some more Asian spirits other than sake and Japanese whisky.”