A Look At Upcoming Cocktail Trends For Fall 2017

Bitters have been enjoying a come back for a few years now. Tobin Ludwig, one of the founders of Hella Cocktail Co., is an expert when it comes to crafting bitters and cocktails, so when we wanted to talk about fall drink trends, he was at the top of the list.  There are a few different things he sees happening this fall.

Tropical being one of them. “Tropical flavors like pineapple and banana are very popular because they’re so versatile with a range of spirits, including smokey ones. Milk punches are definitely something to be on the lookout for, pairing the rich fattiness of dairy with a variety of darker aged spirits like bourbon and brandy. Look for updated recipes that include the addition to acid like lemon juice to balance out the sugar. acid black pepper.”

If you aren’t feeling the tropical flavors, but want to keep your day-drinking streak happening, lower proof session-able cocktails are also on the rise. Drinks featuring aperitifs like Aperol, vermouth, sherry and amari will all be making a serious showing.  Another trend?Health minded ingredients. Think cocktails made from fresh pressed juices, and teas, both ceremonial like Matcha to probiotic fermented teas like kombucha. “For spirits, Mezcal will continue to be a favorite,  Scotch and Rum are also on the rise,” explains Ludwig. “All of these liquids tend to veer toward the earthy, bitter, sour and smokey which is definitely where the cocktail drinkers pallet is going. There will plenty of coffee incorporated into cocktails as well – especially cold brew.” bitters_coffee_2048x2048 Master Sommelier and Corporate Beverage Director for Himmel Hospitality Group Brahm Callahan agrees rum will take the spotlight the season. “Rum in cocktails, sipping rum, or swapping rum out in classic cocktails is something that is happening.” He’s so onboard  with this trend one of the restaurants he works with is starting a design-your-own Manhattan cart with your choice of spirit to sub in for whisky. The cart will also have a selection of vermouths and bitters to truly customize your cocktail, another on-trend ingredient you can expect to see a lot of this season. “Because cocktails are more popular than ever, and you really can’t get very far in making cocktails without the addition of this super dynamic ingredient. Before prohibition there were thousands of bitters brands in the US, so expect the trend to continue!” says Ludwig.

If you’re mixing your fall cocktail at home, Hella Cocktail Co. has designed a  series of cocktail kits with the hardware and ingredients to enhance your bar cart. “We’re also launching the Founders Collection, a line of super limited small batch bitters in mixology inspired expressions.”

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So what is the drink of the season?  There are two that come to mind immediately,” says Ludwig. “The Moscow Mule (and it’s countless variations) continues to be on nearly every menu I see. The second is the spritz – another drink with so many variations. This light, bright cocktail is  easy drinking and you can a couple of them without getting into any trouble.