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2020 cocktail trends from our bartenders.

Every year sees new trends born, some will stick while others are destined for the dust bin. Last year, low and no alcohol continued its incessant spread. Meanwhile, clarified cocktails and a more simplistic style of drinking shows no sign of slowing. 

Here, we’ve polled a number of drinks professionals on the movements that have defined the previous year in drinking, and racked their brains in pursuit of what the next year will hold for cocktail trends. 

Patrick Cannon – The Mayson

“Sourcing local ingredients and sustainability will continue to be huge in 2020. We have so much amazing produce & incredible spirit producers on this Island. I think the direction of mixed drinks will err towards complex flavor profiles that are simplistic in style of service. There will be a lot of batching and inspiration from the culinary world (pre-mixing drinks to specific ratios to speed up service). I also think we’re going to see a lot of forgotten/obscure classics being re-imagined. Low & no to remain a strong trend.”

Ronan Barrett – Isabelle’s 

“I think classics like the margarita, old fashioned and espresso martini are going to be big sellers, people are starting to care less about spin off or twist drinks and just ask for what they know is good. Tipping your Bartender is starting to be really cool too”

Kevin Cannon – The Liquor Rooms

“Championing Irish products (poitín, whiskey,Killahora ice wine, honey) is going to be massive.

Locally sourced ingredients will continue to feature on cocktail menus. A return to complex simplicity. Three to five ingredients, less fuss, more time to talk and engage your guests. Sustainability is a given, if you’re not being sustainable at this stage then you’re doing something wrong. Clean cut presentation of drinks is going to be big – no more naff garnishes. Highball style drinks, long, fizzy & flavorful, are going to be huge. My brother and I spent a night experimenting with scotch highballs and the results were mind blowing. Shout out to the fresh apple soda & Talisker. All about showcasing the base spirit. 

Tequila. I’ve never poured as much Tequila in my life.”.

Matt Dodd – The Lucky Duck

I think we’ll see creativity kind of level out. The use of new methods has been climbing so rapidly over the last couple of years, so naturally the rate of innovation is now slowing down. 

I reckon there’ll be a lot more simplicity in cocktail creation, on my end for definite anyway. 

Guests aren’t too fussed with crazy 10 step homemade ingredients anymore and I think a lot of bartenders will recognize that this year. 

Sustainability will be a huge factor. There are very little down sides to having a closed loop drinks program. Owners are also recognizing the financial benefits obviously.

Gareth Lambe – Vintage Cocktail Club

“Low and no will stay steady.

A Return to three to five ingredient cleaner drinks. 

Shorter Menus & Smaller offerings.

Fading out of fancy equipment and terms.

Simple or no garnishes.

Return to white spirits, Pisco, Poitin, Blanco Tequila/Mezcal, and Rum.”

Denis Bourbon – Stella Cocktail Club

“Low & No for sure. Simple 3 ingredient drinks with known spirits/liquors & vermouth.” 

Stephen Duffy – Sophie’s at The Dean

“I think there will be quite a shift this year that may run for a couple of years, less drinks with egg whites etc. Drinks are going to be stripped right back to the bare minimum, key spirits being the highlight with clarified punches etc. Classic and stirred drinks, and possibly a resurgence of old classics reinvented. Definitely a shift towards home spirits, Gin will remain strong with Irish whiskies and Poitín seeing strong growth, closed loop will see some increase also with zero waste a factor. All about simple elegance. Clear drinks, great glassware with a well thought out garnish.