Just as in any industry, trends come and go. In the bartending industry, seasonal preferences go along with bartending practices to establish trends in service and in selection. Professional bartenders, such as the experienced mixologists at The Bartender Company in the San Francisco Bay Area, know that the successful drinking establishments stay tuned to emerging industry trends and practices. By catering to their patrons and their unique tastes, the best bars continue to provide memorable drinking experiences regardless of industry shifts.
Holiday Cocktail Trends
With the changing of the season, flexibility and skill on the part of the bartender comes into play. This is especially true during the holiday season, where carefully-crafted holiday cocktails are perennial favorites.
In recent years, the bartending trend has been to incorporate holiday flavors into classic cocktail preparations. Spices like cinnamon and cloves impart delicious flavors to cocktail staples, while variations in spirits can breathe new life into traditional cocktails. Examples of this include replacing whiskey with aged rum in a hot toddy, turning the cocktail into something new and festive. Another is the time-honored champagne cocktail, adding complexity by including a dash of Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters.
Garnishes are a great way to respond to emerging holiday trends. Studding a lemon wheel with whole cloves, or garnishing a cocktail with a cinnamon stick, imparts holiday flavors in new and unexpected ways.
Bartending and Industry Trends
In many ways, the bartending industry parallels the food service industry, and many trends that appear in one market segment bleed over into the other. Sustainability is a perfect example of this industry trend; in the food industry, sustainable farming practices and sourcing ingredients from responsible producers has transformed the industry. Likewise, sustainability has become a more important component in bartending. Sustainable practices such as eliminating waste, incorporating organic and locally-produced ingredients, and providing a more natural experience are all features that some of the very best bartenders are adding to their repertoire.
Perhaps the most important trend to emerge in recent years is in the experience itself. The most successful bar owners and operators know that consumer demand for incredible experiences is at an all-time high; for bartenders, simply delivering a well-made cocktail is no longer sufficient. Impeccable patron service, inviting bar environments, and signature cocktail preparations are the keys to success in this competitive market arena. A bartending staff that prepares its own syrups and mixers from fresh ingredients will stand out from competitors.
Signature or “theme” cocktails also help differentiate quality drinking establishments from others in their area. Obviously, this trend requires the expertise of a professional mixologist to pull off. Highly-skilled and professional bartending staff are in demand by event planners, bars, and clubs. For special events, the skills of a professional bartending service like those provided by The Bartender Company are a sure way of creating memorable experiences for party guests.