Jeff Cioletti of Beverage World ran down 30 new and emerging alcohol trends during his informative seminar at the recent Nightclub & Bar Show. Here we have highlighted some of these important trends to keep an eye on.
Craft spirits represent a category that is “absolutely exploding,” with over 700 craft distillers operating in the United States. That number represents a sevenfold increase over 2010 and 3.5 million cases yearly of product. Another trend seeing big interest is experimentation with the aging process. Many distillers are attempting to speed up the aging process of whiskey and other spirits. While flavored rums and vodkas are experiencing a decline in popularity, flavored whiskey – in particular honey – is a hot trend at the moment that doesn’t seem as though it will stop any time soon.
Keeping with the whiskey trend, single pot still Irish whiskey is experiencing a rise in popularity, as is rye. A great indicator that speaks to the longevity of the rye whiskey trend is the investment made by iconic brands such as Woodford Reserve to enter the market.
Three other top trends are artisanal bitters, super-premium mezcal and sake. Sake in particular has experienced interesting growth. While its popularity has waned in its home country of Japan, it’s seeing a spike in interest in America due to an increased desire for Japanese cuisine. To capitalize on this popularity, sake brewers have taken to rebranding and repackaging themselves for the US market.