In the early 2000s, it was the cosmo, courtesy of Sex and the City. Last year, it was all about frosé. So, as 2018 winds down, we're all wondering: What’s going to the be the hit cocktail of 2019? Well, according to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ fifth annual Culinary & Cocktail Trend Forecast, it’s Aperol frosé.
The classic Aperol spritz took off in popularity over the last 12 months, and frosé was still going strong. Recently, bartenders started to marry the two to create a new Aperol frosé legend. It’s a perfect combo because it combines the texture of a blended slushie with the lightly bittersweet and herbaceous flavor of Aperol.
“Like many great trends (ramen burgers spring to mind), Aperol Frosé is destined for greatness insofar as it combines two popular, delicious, mixable warm-weather beverages into one glass,” says Eamon Rockey, the director of beverage studies at the Institute of Culinary Education. “And drinkers are trending more and more to moderate and low alcohol cocktails; this drink is more sessionable than some of its higher-proof cousins.”
In fact, the report found that 80 percent of bartenders will be featuring more non-alcoholic cocktails on their menus.
While the Aperol frosé is supposed to reign supreme, the forecast also found a few other cocktail trends we should keep our eye on next year. Turmeric and rose are new flavors you’ll find in cocktails, along with tarragon and celery root. Bartenders also said that they would incorporate sustainability into their cocktails. That includes using edible garnishes, having on-site beehives, serving room-temperature cocktails, and streamlining the ingredients that can be incorporated into many cocktails and dishes.
And while last year we saw a surge in vegetable cocktails with ingredients like corn, beans, and beets, expect mushroom beverages like fungi Irish coffee, mushroom-infused amaro and mushroom tea with sparkling wine on bar menus in 2019. According to the report, which is created via an extensive survey of leading sommeliers, general managers and bartenders from over 80 Kimpton restaurants and bars, nearly 70 percent of bartenders are considering featuring a beverage with a mushroom-infused spirit, mushroom broth or tea next year — a food trend we predicted for 2018.