One of the many things that London is renowned for is its amazing array of food and drink spots. From Michelin-starred haute cuisine to molecular gastronomy, fusion to street eats, the capital teams with gastronomic inspiration. It’s not just food that London does well however, its beverage scene also pops and everywhere you look, from the evocative streets of China town to the bright lights of Soho, from Brixton to Shoreditch, bar tenders and mixologists are pushing the boundaries of cocktail making.
As a capital city, London foodies are fortunate to have access to a bounty of unusual and specialist ingredients shipped in from around the world on a daily basis – this means that London bars and late night venues are free to let their imagination run wild. Unsurprisingly then, you can not only find the top cocktail trends readily available for your enjoyment around the capital, you can also witness new trends and styles being created before your very eyes.
If you’re looking forward to a night on the town in London town and fancy something a little bit more exotic than your standard G&T, read on for some of the top cocktail trends setting the city alight right now, all within easy reach of your room at the Montcalm Hotel London.
1. Tastier mocktails
If you spend any time at all on social media, you’ll no doubt know that the healthy living trend is exploding right now. It seems that Millennials and Gen Zr’s are much more aware of diet and nutrition than perhaps any generation before them and research shows that younger consumers are consuming less alcohol than their predecessors.
If this sounds like you and you’re visiting London to relax and rejuvenate at the Montcalm spa but don’t want to forgo a night out, you’ll be pleased to know that the mocktail reins supreme at the top of this year’s hottest cocktail trends.
Forget what you thought you knew about mockatils however – there are no weak, unimaginative soft drinks here. The modern mocktail shuns boring fruit juices and the ubiquitous grenadine for an altogether more exciting culinary creations.
Think house-made mixers, own blend syrups, herbs, surprising additions such as onion and fennel plus envelope-pushing non-alcoholic spirits. There may even be a fermented ingredient or two – the perfect pre-dinner aperitif or after dinner treat following your meal at the Aviary London.
2. Less waste
It seems like sustainability concerns and initiatives now touch almost every consumer experience and your Saturday night cocktail is no different. Our determination to be more eco-conscious is great news for cocktail lovers as it gives rise to a whole host of innovative ingredients, combinations and ever serving styles.
From choosing organic and sustainable fruit to making use of items that would otherwise be consigned to the kitchen waste pile, sustainable cocktails are no less bright, exciting or tasty than their regular counterparts. In fact, lots of spaces across London are using this as an excuse to be even more inventive – think unusual drinks vessels, combinations and ingredients you may never have thought to put together and clever mixologists creating things like watermelon skin cordial.
As ever, London was right at the forefront of this trend, with the now closed White Lyan, which was located in Shoreditch, just a few miles from The Brewery London, championing sustainability as far back as 2014. It banned plastic straws, ice and all perishable ingredients including fresh fruit. It may have closed its doors but you’ll find echoes of this throughout the city on any given night of the week.
3. Fermented drinks
Kombucha and other fermented drinks have been popular across the pond for a while now but at last, they’re starting to arrive in London too. You’ll see fermented ingredients and cocktails which hero Kombucha (a fermented black or green tea) popping up on menus everywhere as you set out from The Montcalm London for cocktail hour.
4. Unusual ingredients
We have somewhat touched on this already as unusual ingredients are driving some of this year’s key cocktail trends but we reckon some of the ingredients are so quirky, this is rightly deserving of its own trend status. While you might be accustomed to seeing things like chorizo, mushrooms, anchovy and endive on the menu at the Aviary London, you’ll increasingly see them on cocktail menus too.
It may sound a little odd but trust us, unusual ingredients are rife in the cocktail world and it’s one of the year’s hottest trends. We say, be brave and order something unusual, you might just find it sets your taste buds aflutter!
5. Food and cocktail pairings
It might be that you’re used to heading out for a cocktail after enjoying dinner at one of the Montcalm London restaurants but the latest cocktail trend means you won’t need to find two different venues – the latest in cocktail cool is food and wine pairings. This means you can dig in to a tasty meal with an unexpected cocktail to wash it all down. As you’d imagine there are absolutely no boundaries with this craze, so expect street style snacks like extra crispy fried chicken to stack up next to a long, cool glass of prosecco (with a twist of course).
You can expect to find innovative food and cocktail pairings across London and covering all types of cuisine so this is one trend that you’ll most certainly be able to make your own.
6. Sherry-based cocktails
We’ve had the gin revival, the prosecco renaissance and rum everything – now it’s the turn of the Spanish fortified wine, Sherry. Once only brought out at Christmas by relatives of a certain age, innovative mixologists are starting to explore Sherry as a basis for a whole new generation of cocktails for an entirely new generation of drinkers. If you’re new to Sherry, this is a great way to be introduced to the flavour without knocking it back neat.