Drinks Ireland, the new name for the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), has published a new report that outlines 10 drinks trends that the organisation has observed in the Irish drinks market this summer.
1. Herb Infusions And Dehydrated Fruit In Cocktails
When it comes to cocktails, Drinks Ireland has noticed that herb infusions, dehydrated and locally-sourced fruit, and unusual flavours have increased in popularity this summer.
Roe & Co Distillery operations manager Niall Molloy said, "[Herb infusions and dehydrated fruit] are used in a number of ways. Often a bartender may want to lift a particular note of a given spirit, something that exists already in the flavour profile, but demands a lift to push through a particular drink. In other situations, complimentary or even contrasting infusions are used to create a signature expression, utilising seasonal or local flora to give the spirit a marriage to the local environment...[Dehydrated fruit is most often used] in the context of garnish, and serves a few purposes. Waste reduction and aesthetic are the most common reasons. However, some creative bartenders manipulate the aromas with oils, tinctures and mists to give contrast and a unique sensory experience."
2. An Increased Focus On Presentation
According to Drinks Ireland, there is an increased focus in bars and restaurants on glassware, ice and overall presentation when it comes to serving drinks, from unusually shaped beer glasses to gin goblets topped with fruit.
Molloy commented, "One would hope that the 'instagramability' of a drink would come as a result of world-class presentation; that a bartender would be proud enough to show the world the high level of execution in which the drinks at their bar are served. Be warned though, putting out such imagery creates expectation, which, if not met, leads to a negative effect. Any bar worth their salt will take all elements of the drink seriously, from the sourcing and selection of the best ingredients to the method and vessel in which it is served."
3. Going Compostable
Drinks Ireland noted that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability in all aspects of life, which has resulted in a huge shift away from plastic straws to cardboard or other non-plastic alternatives.
4. Rise Of The Irish Whiskey Cocktail
Drinks Ireland's report stated that Irish whiskey-based cocktails have risen in popularity this summer as a lot of consumers are migrating away from "traditional" whiskey drinking.
According to the organisation, rosé is becoming an increasingly popular beverage among Irish consumers on sunny days.
6. Pink Gin
Drinks Ireland stated that Irish consumers bought over half-a-million bottles of pink gin in 2018, and asserted that pink gin has continued to be a popular choice among consumers this summer.
7. Infusions And Flavoured Vodka
Drinks Ireland also observed that infused and flavoured vodkas have grown in popularity in Ireland this summer, and that vodkas distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences have become a popular alternative to pink gin.
8. Local And Homegrown Ciders
Drinks Ireland noted that summer cider drinkers have enjoyed a huge amount of choice on the market when it comes to Irish-produced ciders this year.
9. "Experiential Wonder"
The organisation stated that on showery days when people want to escape to a bar, pub or restaurant, consumers are increasingly being met with "experiential wonder", whereby the construction of a drink compliments its setting and enhances the overall experience.
10. Low And Non-Alcoholic Beer
Low and non-alcoholic beer has been a popular option for health-concious consumers this summer, according to Drinks Ireland.
Heineken Ireland marketing director Radina Shkutova commented, "Non-alcoholic beer gives consumers greater choice for a variety of drinking occasions, contributing to the growing cultural trend around the importance of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Delivering a great taste and a quality product is of course important for beer drinkers in Ireland, especially in the low and non-alcoholic category, as beer is the most popular drink here and there is a wide variety of great products on the market. Heineken 0.0 is brewed from scratch and has a perfectly balanced taste with refreshing fruity notes and a soft malty body. Consumers have responded positively not only to the fact that its free of alcohol, but also to the great taste."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.