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Top Five Mixology Trends

Posted September 14, 2016 by Vicki.

The mixology movement may have been born in upscale urban bars, but the craft cocktail has come a long way, baby. Mixology has made its way from the trendiest bars to the local watering hole and, now, into the home.

Mixology is here to stay — and the craft cocktail isn’t just for pro bartenders anymore. Consumers are more knowledgeable and engaged than ever when it comes to drinks, and we’re seeing shoppers become adventurous with in at-home mixology.

Here are the latest mixology trends our brand matchmakers are seeing:

  1. Beer-based cocktails:
    Beer is showing itself off in cocktails. Even beer giant InBev recently hired a top mixologist to explore beer as an ingredient. The trend piggybacks on the explosive growth in artisan brewing, and consumers are tapping into the beer-based cocktail movement. This trend brings beer to a whole new group of consumers: beer cocktails up beer’s approachability factor, so shoppers who thought they didn’t like beer are now finding brews they love.  

  2. The gin + tonic explosion: 
    The Spanish gin and tonic is great because it’s a simple, familiar cocktail, but it’s a canvas for all kinds of twists. Mixologists are adding herbs for a refreshing route, like rosemary and lemongrass. And lime is sharing the spotlight with other citrus flavors, including orange and grapefruit. Cross-promotion in the produce section, anyone?

  3. Coffee-based cocktails: 
    The third wave of coffee is here, and consumers are changing their minds about coffee. No longer a commodity, shoppers are considering coffee as an artisanal specialty. This sets the stage for the barista as a mixologist. Think coffee liqueur, spiked nitro-brewed coffee, infused White Russians and more. Bonus? Brand partnerships based on this trend get added visibility in dramatically different parts of the store.

  4. Variations on classic cocktails: 
    Forget what you think you know about classic cocktail pairings. Variations on the popular Moscow Mule stretch beyond vodka and ginger beer — for example, Mexican mules made with tequila, Irish mules featuring Jameson and Yankee mules with bourbon. This mixology trend breaks the rules. Brands are benefitting from the new twist on old favorites.

  5. Locally-sourced ingredients: 
    Just like we’ve seen in the culinary world, cocktails are featuring locally-sourced ingredients — local plants, edible flowers, even grass. People want local, fresh items and want to know where their food is coming from, and mixology is happy to oblige. Fresher-than-fresh ingredients elevate basic cocktails, boosting a brand’s appeal in upscale markets.

With these mixology trends, there’s so much opportunity for your brand to win — and we at Dovetail can help. Let us craft the cross-merch, tie-in program or promotion your brand needs for big exposure.

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