As summer fades away and the colder, darker weather which is synonymous with autumn and winter slowly starts to take hold, many of us are increasingly looking for a different type of cocktail than we sought out during those balmy warm months of the year.
This season offers a wide variety of flavours and cocktail choices which are uniquely suited to the autumn months, with trends becoming simultaneously more experimental and more traditional across the city. London’s finest bartenders are forever at the forefront of new cocktail trends, and the following popular options are the ideal way to warm up this fall. On your next visit to the city, be sure to add some of these seasonal flavours and ideas to your foodie itinerary…
The ongoing trend for new flavours means there’s increased demand for savoury options, such as mushroom martinis, celery margarita’s and the inclusion of umami, a flavour profile in the form of amino acid which provides a savoury taste to cocktails.
Part of this trend is driven by the need for novelty, but after a summer of sipping on tried and tasted staple drinks, is it any wonder people are on the lookout for something a little more offbeat? Some of the better-known cocktail varieties can be replicated at home, so when heading out to a bar while staying at the Montcalm Royal London House, audiences want to revel in the experience of trying something different. A savoury cocktail can offer just that.
One of the easiest ways of adding savoury flavours is to swap fruit juice for vegetable juice, making even the most established cocktail more experimental and earthy.
After a summer of indulgence, many of us are increasingly looking at ways to cut back on sugar before the influx of chocolate and sweet treats which will surely accompany winter dining and drinking!
This means there’s lots of healthy cocktails to try while staying at the Montcalm, and fall is the ideal time to discover new flavour combinations which are both delicious and a little lower in calories. Going out for cocktails needn’t involve incorporating a cheat day into your diet, and there’s plenty of ingredients which can be switched out for healthier options. Aloe vera and cucumber are both tipped to be particularly popular this Fall.
One of the key reasons why cocktails have traditionally been so sweet is that in their earliest days, they were made very cheaply – meaning poorer quality for every inclusion, and the need for a strong dose of sweet flavour to cover up these harsher inclusions. Today, higher quality ingredients are used, and this is frequently a big concern for health conscious cocktail fans during the chillier months of the year where overindulgence is all around.
Spices are an ever-popular option during the fall, as they seem to suit this colder time of year far more than some of the more simplistic flavours of summer. Turmeric, an ingredient which has been used in cooking for centuries, is currently particularly in vogue, thanks to its golden yellow colour and its strong flavour and aroma.
In addition to helping your drink looks great, it’s also packed with antioxidants and inflammatory properties, which helps it meet some of the requirements of the healthier, experimental cocktails which are on the market.
While staying at the M by Montcalm, look out for some of the richly spiced varieties on your cocktail menu – and don’t be afraid to try out new and unusual flavour combinations.
This has become one of the most important concerns for cocktail fans throughout 2019, but the mood of sustainability is growing in popularity this fall. Bars are turning away from waste, so look out for fewer plastic straws and more home-sourced liquor and in-season fruit.
This approach to sustainability is as practical as it is tasty, as it allows people to try out flavours which match the time of year and location they are visiting – particularly important for Hankies diners and drinkers who want to experience a real taste of London living.
Some bars are taking sustainability one step further and creating vegan cocktails aimed at endorsing an animal-friendly lifestyle, or specifically choosing ingredients and non-wasteful practices which are designed to help tackle climate change.
By taking their carbon footprint seriously, these venues are attracting a new clientele whilst also staying on-brand and relevant in an increasingly eco-friendly climate.
Great for your gut and pretty trendy to boot, fermented ingredients are popular in cocktails all year round, but really come into their own during the fall. Some of the city’s top bars are already dabbling in fermentation, adding a stomach-friendly edge to some of the more liquor-heavy inclusions to their drinks menus.
Getting accustomed to a tangier taste in your autumnal cocktails is not only seasonally appropriate, with ingredients such as carrot juice, ginger and lemon all rising to increased prominence, but it’s also a healthier way to indulge.
Cocktails as desserts
In contrast to the sour or savoury flavours of the season, some cocktails are taking a more excessive approach, adding ample fruit and strong flavours to help create a dessert in a glass. This suits autumn (and is likely to continue into the winter), whilst also helping to encourage and harness added creativity across the city’s top bars and restaurants.
Exploring cocktail history
The fall is a time for reflection, as the year begins to draw to a close. Some of the best menus increasingly include cocktails which date back a couple of centuries to the earliest days of cocktail-making, or even earlier!
This nostalgia-heavy approach is the ideal opportunity to try drinks which would otherwise be out of reach, including ingredients and combinations which you may not have heard of before. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s sure to be lots of great locations to indulge on your next stay in London.