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2024 Cocktail Trends from Vegan Fat-Washed to Japanese Spirits

Check out these new cocktail trends for 2024!

As a new year dawns, it ushers in a clean slate for fresh traditions, aspirations, resolutions, and trends to weave into our lives. After a few years overshadowed by illness and grief during the global pandemic, it seems that we have finally made a return to a semblance of “normalcy”. With the revival of the bar and restaurant industry, it appears life is not just resuming but thriving once more going into 2024.

There has been a noticeable shift in people’s perspectives all around the world, with millions of people thinking more and more about innovation, inclusion, and wellbeing. Naturally, the beverage business is being significantly impacted by this change. Customers are now better at identifying and communicating their needs and wishes. This way of thinking, developed amid the pandemic, is here to stay. In 2023, we witnessed a rise in conscientiousness regarding alcohol consumption, a revival of simple pleasures, robust experimentation with flavors, and the continued elevation of modern cocktails.

Nevertheless, the momentum remains after that. One question that arises is whether these patterns will continue to evolve as the new year approaches, or completely subside.  Examining the industry’s top expected developments in further detail for 2024 will shed light on how these revolutionary changes are going to unfold.

Vegan Fat-Washed Cocktails

The vegan fat-washed cocktail trend has gained popularity in the mixology world, with Denver’s Deviation Distilling leading the charge by introducing an extensive menu of vegan fat-washed options. This innovative technique involves infusing plant-based fats into spirits to impart unique flavors. Among the offerings at the recent USA Today 10 Best Taproom and Best Gin winners, were notable cocktails such as the Mango Lassi with Pistachio-Washed Blood Orange Gin. This drink combines the richness of pistachios with mango purée, lime juice, cardamom bitters, and saffron rose water, creating a harmonious blend of sweet and savory notes.

Another standout is the Sesame State of Mind, featuring Spice Trade Gin fat-washed with house made sesame oil, combined with coconut milk, lemongrass syrup, homemade ginger liqueur, Thai chili tincture, and cucumber for a complex and balanced flavor profile. Lastly, the Hazel & Spice showcases Hazelnut-Washed Citrus Rosé Gin, paired with allspice, Demerara syrup, and a coffee bean, resulting in a cocktail with layers of nuttiness, warmth, and depth. These vegan fat-washed cocktails exemplify the ingenuity and creativity of contemporary mixology, offering plant-based alternatives with sophisticated and distinctive taste experiences. Vegan fat-washed cocktails seem like a new must-have in 2024!

The Japanese Spirits Mecca

The rise in the consumption of Japanese spirits is evident at OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, Colorado, a Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant. The establishment has undertaken a Far East mission to introduce patrons to the diverse world of Japanese alcoholic beverages beyond sake and Sapporo. Over the past year, OAK has prioritized Japanese spirits in its award-winning cocktail program, offering an array of Japanese whiskies, vodkas, and gins. This trend aligns with a 60% increase in Japanese liquor exports in recent years and the growing influence of Asian-Americans in the U.S. OAK’s focus on Japanese spirits is driven by a genuine appreciation for the craftsmanship and attention to detail exhibited by Japanese producers.

Notable cocktails at OAK include the Roku Like a Hurricane with Japanese Roku gin and the Mononke with house made Szechuan-peppercorn-infused Japanese Iwai Traditions Whisky. These creations showcase the versatility of Japanese spirits and exemplify a broader trend of heightened interest and consumption in the culinary and mixology realms. It will be exciting to witness Japan further make their mark in the spirit world this upcoming year.

Functional Mocktails/Cocktails

The increasing awareness of health-conscious choices has driven the rise in the consumption of mocktails and functional cocktails. Consumers are seeking beverages that not only offer traditional taste but also provide health benefits, such as antioxidants and immunity boosts. Functional cocktails go beyond the usual effects of relaxation or energy, incorporating ingredients known for their wellness properties. This trend is exemplified using fermented and pickled foods, like those found in pickle or horseradish jars, to improve gut health in cocktails.

The release of a dozen “Bubbies Bevvies” cocktails from the famous Bubbies’ Fine Foods – the country’s best-selling refrigerated kosher dill and sweet pickles –, including the Pickle Brine Margarita, underscores the intersection of flavor and function. Looking ahead to 2024, the anticipation is for a continued increase in the popularity of mocktails and functional cocktails, with more brands expected to introduce diverse options that cater to the demand for both enjoyable and health-conscious drinking experiences.

The post 2024 Cocktail Trends from Vegan Fat-Washed to Japanese Spirits appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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