Take your cocktail drinking to a new level in 2019, with upgraded recipes and unique ingredients to delight your taste buds and keep the party buzzing all night long. Ingredients get as experimental as mushroom-infused spirits, pickle juice, even bark powder (it has soothing medicinal properties).
In general, expect more cocktail recipes with healthy, seasonal ingredients, as well as drinks boasting complex flavors going beyond the typical sweet and sour options. The sustainability movement has also been steadily growing in recent years, and bartenders are taking note for 2019.
Take a look at what’s trending for 2019 when it comes to mixed drinks. Your pub crawl cocktails could be set to get wonderfully strange, and ever so delicious!
Bitter cocktails always seem to add a touch of sophistication to a party. Maybe it’s the complexity of the flavor, or perhaps it’s that it sometimes takes a few drinks before you develop a liking for their bitter taste. There’s a dedication involved, a certain commitment that not everyone is willing to make. But for those who do, it’s usually worth the wait: bitter drinks remain popular into 2019.
Aperol is a good place to start when mixing a bitter cocktail. An Italian aperitif with hints of orange and herbs, Aperol is balanced nicely with soda water and prosecco in a spritzer, or with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth in a classic three-ingredient Negroni.
Beyond this aperitif, you can search for dark-chocolate or coffee-based drinks too. Try a dark-chocolate martini at your next dinner party. Mix raw sugar and finely chopped dark chocolate, then combine it with chocolate liqueur vodka, chilled espresso, and a bit of citrus to make this rich cocktail.
Cocktails for the Health-conscious
Forget sugary mixers and alcohol-heavy drinks, start 2019 off with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. The superfood movement has made its way to our palates, and it seems like it’s here to stay. Nutrient-dense goji berries, moringa, açaí, and other exotic fruits are starting to appear on cocktail menus at restaurants and bars the world over. Luckily for us — they pack a ton of health benefits.
Try a twist on the classic mint and rum mojito cocktail with an açaí mojito. Antioxidant-rich açaí berries are muddled with fresh mint leaves and sugar (or use sweet agave nectar instead), then topped with light rum and a splash of soda water.
Matcha is a powdered green tea that’s made the rounds already in cafes as the foamy green elixir of choice. In 2019 it will be featured more often in alcoholic drinks too. You’ll see cocktails with vodka infused with Genmaicha, or Japanese green tea made with toasted brown rice, for instance. These teas offer loads of disease-fighting antioxidants that help protect the immune system and fight off bad viruses. They have an earthy, nutty flavor that blends nicely with various spirits including vodka and whiskey. Experiment with a lemon matcha whiskey cocktail.
Maybe it’s wise to skip the alcohol altogether. The tastiest drinks on the late-night menus in 2019 seem to be mocktails, with special ingredients in unique combinations to make you forget there’s no liquor in sight.
Seedlip and other non-alcoholic spirits are granting more options for bartenders, as well as fermented foods that promote gut health and offer earthy pairings with various juices and syrups. In 2019, less is more seasonal — fruit, herbs, or citrus are paired with a flavored seltzer (with or without alcohol) for a variation on the typical wine spritzers that we’re used to.
You could try a rose elderflower mocktail, which calls for fresh rose water. You can buy it pre-made, though rose water is also simple to make at home: just steep red or pink rose petals in hot water for ten minutes or so, then strain it and voila! You’ll have fragrant rose water ready to add a sweet taste to your next cocktail recipe.
It’s all about taking big risks this year: top ingredients to try in 2019 include celery root and tarragon, and various other savory flavors that you might typically expect to see on your dinner plate.
Spices like turmeric and sage also create memorable flavor profiles that can be interesting alone or when paired with certain foods. Experiment with a turmeric and ginger cocktail, made with cachaça, the Brazilian cane-sugar rum (you can also substitute it with light rum).
Vegetable juices are adding a bit of variety to typical drink recipes, and they can bring nutritional perks too. You’ll see corn, beet, and bean juices finding their way inside your cocktail glasses in 2019, along with some more obscure vegetables like chayote, jicama and tomatillo.
As weird as it might sound, mushroom-infused spirits and teas gained popularity in recent years, and it seems to have become more than a hip trend. Maybe that’s because mushrooms offer a wide range of health benefits — like improving your metabolism, boosting the immune system and getting you much-needed Vitamin D. But serious foodies are all the rage for mushrooms beyond their nutritional value, and more for their complex, earthy aromas. It takes at least three days, but it might be worth the time to learn how to infuse mushrooms with various liquors — and then judge the result for yourself.
Spotlight on Sustainability
Regardless of taste, sustainability is becoming a primary concern for a growing number of people who’ve reached drinking age. What does this mean for 2019? Bartenders are considering sustainability more often when building drink menus, though how that’s incorporated is up to the individual: some useless complicated ingredients, recycle and ban plastic, other use edible garnishes or make room-temperature drinks. Sustainability is a serious consideration for some people, and bartenders in 2019 have caught on.
Whether it’s a fancy turmeric cachaca cocktail or a rose-water mocktail, cocktail trends in the new year promise to surprise the senses and sometimes protect our health and the environment too. Whether at home or on an evening out, or even venturing out on fun-filled pub crawls in Europe
with us, it’s refreshing to think you don’t have to break a New Year’s resolution to get a tasty drink at the bar this year. 2019 promises plenty of daring experiments to shake up the standard classics and create a whole new set of tastes for cocktails.