Cocktail Trends to Increase Sales

Cocktail Trends to Increase salesDespite the troublesome news of alcohol sales in restaurants and pubs declining and remaining challenging for 2014 (“Restaurant Alcohol Sales Decline”), capitalizing on some of the cocktails trends can help increase sales.

We covered the boom of Irish whiskey (“Sales of Irish Whiskey Booming”) in depth; however, there is more on the horizon than simply adding choices from the Emerald Isle to patrons.

Fresh Fruits and Spices

Consumers are turning to fresh fruits and spices for their selective choices when ordering cocktails. Trend watcher newBrandAnalytics sees flavors that were considered seasonal now having year-round popularity. Marketing Manager, Jess Knight said, “These trends we’re seeing, the tropical fruits and ginger and fresh flavors, that corresponds also to the trend of millennials who like seeing where their ingredients are coming from. They’re conscious of where the foods are coming from, they don’t like mass-produced items.” (Quoted in SmartBlog on Food & BeverageFresh fruits and spices flavor this season’s hot cocktails.”)

Cocktails choices are also aligning with foodie choices, and low-calorie cocktails are also growing in popularity. Create a low-calorie, high-fruit or high-spice drink, and you may have patrons beating a path to your door.

The Fifth Taste

Move over sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. Make way for a fifth taste: umami. Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda found the secret ingredient to deliciousness after enjoying soup made from seaweed. It turns out it was glutamic acid that he dubbed “umami” translating to “delicious” or “yummy” in Japanese, according to NPR’s “Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter… and Umami.”

Head bartender, Colin Field, of the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris, capitalized on umami when he created an Italian martini made with olive oil and Parmesan cheese (’s Behind the Bar: Drinking in 2014.”)

Other Trends

Irish whiskey is certainly turning up on the radar, and tequila is trending as well (see “High-end Tequilas”). Along the lines of capturing umami, food-flavored cocktails seem to be on the rise. In the Spirits Business’sHottest Cocktail and Bar Trends for 2014,” Rentato De Benedicts, bar manager, Bunga Buna, London, said, “More and more bartenders are focusing on sourcing fresh ingredients and finding well balanced flavors with drinks becoming increasingly similar to desserts and or actual foods.” His establishment will be launching an entire bar menu dedicated to pizza cocktails.

So what does Spirits Business list as the number one trend? Customer service. No matter what ingredients you use or whether or not you can truly capture the essence of umami, you simply can’t beat an attentive and friendly bartender who enhances the overall customer experience. That may be the most important cocktail trend you embrace to increase sales.