NEW YORK - Hanna Lee Communications, an award-winning public relations and social media agency, has announced the "What's on Tap for 2016 Tastemaker Survey" results featuring master mixologists/bartenders, bar and retail store owners, spirits reviewers, cocktail authors and industry experts from across the U.S.
The survey shows flavor-forward Whiskey, Rum, Aromatized Wine, Sherry, Amaro and Mezcal will enthrall tippling experts, along with newcomer Baijiu from China. The Negroni will maintain its reign, with the Moscow Mule resurging, lower alcohol and Agave-based cocktails continuing to stir up interest, and sustainability and app-empowered consumers an increasing focus.
"We are delighted to share insights from the industry's foremost experts and personalities and connect the media with these trend-setting individuals," says Hanna Lee, President and Founder, Hanna Lee Communications. "This is part of our ongoing initiative to give back to the spirits/cocktail community that we love and respect."
The survey findings are as follows:
Dale DeGroff: "King Cocktail" & Author
Beer is just through the roof. In large format bottles sometimes nudging the wine bottle aside for the meal, mixed in cocktails, made in the home, and in micro, mini, artisan breweries with ingredients and flavors that have never before seen the inside of a beer bottle.
Tony Abou-Ganim: The Modern Mixologist & Author
The Negroni is a staple behind virtually every decent cocktail bar. With the ever-growing popularity of American Whiskey, the Boulevardier, a Negroni variation with Whiskey, is not far behind!
Michael Neff: Holiday Cocktail Lounge
What I think (and hope) for drinking trends in 2016 is that we'll spend less time talking about what we drink and more on how and where we're doing it. Bars are meant to be fun and cocktails are a part of that, but they are not made in a vacuum.
Pamela Wiznitzer: Seamstress
I will be searching for cocktails that take sustainability into account. I hope to see the growth of drinks that show a commitment to less wasteful garnish, as well as better ice and water usage.
Julia Momose: GreenRiver
I would like to see Amers, Amari, Vermouths, Sherries, and other delicious bitter elixirs that are lower in proof being poured into the glass and the tin.
Davey Jones: The Franklin Mortgage
Due to my Southern roots, I have often leaned more towards Bourbon and Whiskey. This year, I'm looking forward to really embracing my name, and going "full pirate" by exploring Rum.
Nicholas Bennett: Porchlight
I want to focus on the celebratory aspect of drinking. Liquor and bars are meant to facilitate a good time and our cocktails should reflect that.
Brian Means: Dirty Habit
I hope to see Calvados continue to grow. It's cocktail-, sipping- and wallet-friendly. Sherry and other fortified wines will become increasingly popular.
Joaquín Simó: Pouring Ribbons
I will be drinking all of the aromatized and fortified wines I can get my grubby li'l paws on, like Vermouth. I foresee 2016 as a year of delightfully civilized imbibing.
Tad Carducci: The Tippling Bros.
It seems to take five to seven years for cocktail trends to cycle around. This year, I believe we'll see "culinary" cocktails coming back and potentially some more science-influenced "molecular" drinks. As for me, I'll be drinking Rye Whiskeys, Mezcal cocktails and Amaro.
Shawn Chen: RedFarm/Decoy
I personally see a continued dominance of whiskies for 2016, particularly peated Scotches. They add a nice and subtle smokiness to cocktails.
Juan Coronado: The Pour Group
The delicate aromas and mouthfeel of Sake cocktails are going to mesmerize our nation. It has always been obvious to me that Sake's rich floral flavor will be incredible in cocktails.
Brian Van Flandern: Creative Cocktail Consultants
This year, I have been paying close attention to the new wave of pot-still, small batch American Whiskeys using artisanal grains.
Brett Esler: Whisler's
My 2016 drinking forecast is looking like it might be pretty heavy on the cider, sours (beer and cocktails) and sippers (Mezcal primarily).
Moses Laboy: Bottle & Bine
On trend are fresh ingredients that will continue to pave the way for imaginative cocktails with fewer ingredients. I believe 10-ingredient cocktails are a thing of the past and I champion this.
Bar and Retail Store Owners
Julie Reiner: Clover Club and Leyenda
My plan for 2016 is to drink hot Whiskey drinks from January through March, and then Gin cocktails in April and May. June, July and August, it's Daiquiris with as many different Rums as possible. September and October, Applejack and Scotch, and November and December, all spirits and bubbles.
Audrey Saunders: Pegu Club
I'll be expanding my repertoire of Inverted Cocktails, where an aromatized or fortified wine takes center stage and a lesser amount of spirit is utilized solely for structure. As we expand our cocktail garden, I'll tinker with integrating more unique flavors into these drinks, as the lower ABV provides a perfect platform for the aromatics to shine through.
Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry: The Dead Rabbit
Irish Whiskey will continue to increase in popularity as bartenders appreciate the flavor it brings to a wide variety of cocktails.
Ivy Mix: Leyenda
I want to try to do some more research on indigenous spirits from Latin America and ideally do a trip or two to do some research and development and see if they can be exported.
Chad Solomon & Christy Pope: Cuffs & Buttons
We look forward to continuing our exploration of flavor and aroma in conceptual, neo-classical cocktails in our projects with Cuffs & Buttons and at the bar we created in Dallas, Midnight Rambler.
Jim Kearns: The Happiest Hour and Slowly Shirley
Bars are embracing their role as fun escapes from the stresses of daily life, while bartenders consciously cater to their guests' spirits and flavor preferences.
Meaghan Dorman: The Bennett, Dear Irving and Raines Law Room
I love coffee and shrubs. They are great on their own, but it is a separate challenge to make them work in cocktails, given their dynamic acid and flavor profile.
Toby Cecchini: Long Island Bar
I see 2016 being a continued rocket year for Whiskey, and Ryes in particular. People now come in asking for Ryes neat, with no idea why they should be drinking them. It's just kind of a zeitgeist moment for that.
Steve Schneider: Employees Only
These days, the Old Fashioned has become one of the most popular cocktails around and the majority of peeps who get it don't necessarily know what's in it. This is a good thing because 10 times a night I get a request for "something like an Old Fashioned." That gives me direction to focus my creative energy.
Giuseppe González: Suffolk Arms
Suffolk Arms has a blue drink, Soyer's Highball, on its menu that predates classics like the Martini and the Manhattan. It's there to show people a different history of how the modern bar came to be. Our beginnings are a lot more interesting than what is commonly known.
Frank Giresi: Whiskey & Wine Off 69
It's all about apps. The new delivery apps have become a vital part of our retail business. Recommendation apps are providing discernment where and when consumers need it the most, for example, at retail stores when they're about to make a purchase.
Spirits Reviewers and Cocktail Authors
David Wondrich: Imbibe! & Punch
I'll be fighting for simple classics, subtle stirred drinks, pleasant, bright sours and properly-aged whiskeys. Grown-up drinks. Plus lots of Americanos (with good, Italian vermouth), just to keep hydrated.
Heather Greene: Whiskey Distilled
Personal ethics will drive choices going forward: Who made this Tequila? Exactly what are the ingredients in this Vodka, and, what practices are the brand using towards a more sustainable environment?
gaz regan: gaz regan's 101 Best New Cocktails
This year will be the year of Baijiu, I believe. It's funky. It's weird. It's challenging, and it's exactly the kind of spirit that bartenders love to play with.
Paul Pacult: The Spirit Journal
Spirits categories destined to rise in 2016 are Cognac, high-end Rum, all American Whiskeys, including those from artisanal distillers, single malt Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Bitters, Amaros and Irish Whiskeys. Higher proof spirits will also continue to increase as consumers respond favorably to them.
Paul Clarke: The Cocktail Chronicles
I'm planning on revisiting Gin. It's been such a dramatic few years for the spirit—with some of the older, mainstay distillers introducing intriguing approaches to Gin, and with small distillers around the world starting to put out some immensely fascinating spirits—that it seems high time to venture into the Gin aisle with renewed interest.
Noah Rothbaum: The Art of American Whiskey
Thanks to the continued and increasing popularity of Whiskey around the world, even more bottles of Scotch and Bourbon will be introduced without stated ages in 2016.
Steve Olson: aka wine geek
Of course, I will be continuing my appreciation of Single Village, handcrafted, artisanal Mezcal, sipped and savored, never as a shot.
Ann Tuennerman: Tales of the Cocktail
2016 is going to be the year of the Moscow Mule. The drink has had a resurgence as we're starting to see more and more copper cups in bars around the country.
Paul Tuennerman: Tales of the Cocktail
In 2016, I will be enjoying anything with Rum. Let's face it, this category is about to get real exciting and I want to part of it, be it neat, on the rocks, shaken or stirred.
Philip Duff: Liquid Solutions Consulting
Spirits-wise, European Vermouths (I'm a traditionalist!), Amaros (especially Ferro-China) and fine Rye Whiskey are in the ascendant. And room-temperature cocktails will have their day!
Robert Hess: DrinkBoy
We're now focusing our spiritous efforts in our garden. What we generally see in the marketplace is "sturdier" produce, which has been selected for its longevity during shipment. We want to move beyond that and experiment in our cocktails with the multitude of stunning yet more perishable varietals that never make it to market. This is the next step in the cocktail as a culinary expression.
Brother Cleve: Music & Cocktails Consulting
I'm excited that with the rising interest in Chinese-Peruvian Chifa and Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fusion cookeries, we'll be drinking fabulous new cocktails combining Peruvian Pisco with the spirits, spices and flavors from these countries and their cuisines.
About Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.
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