Move over, frosé, there’s a new sheriff in town, and her name is friesling — you know, the same icy wine concept with a new sexy name and shade.
I know, I know, and we’re telling you this just after you mastered casually inserting the phrase “Frosé All Day” into your summer lingo. But in the cocktail world, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling backward. The new, hot thing is rarely that for long.
In 2017, we saw (and drank) some exciting developments in the Twin Cities: the explosion of rum and mezcal, the emboldened tiki revolution and the wild-and-wacky movement that turned drinks into sandboxes and slushees into serious sippers.
In 2018? We won’t be surprised if bars shake things up once more with the emergence of these eight trends.
The prediction: As it turns out, frozen wine is amazing, but since (let’s be real) we are as into the name as we are the bev, shall we turn our gaze to another obvious contender? Meet friesling, aka frozen riesling. Yeah, that name is too good not to happen.
Hot: bottled cocktails.
Not: drinks that take 15 minutes to make.
The prediction: Listen, we’re thirsty over here and we’re not as concerned about the bartender’s ego as he is. So enough with the elaborate buildup and just get us something to wet our whistles, please! P.S. cocktails, pre-made and pre-bottled, taste just as delicious.
Hot: aquafaba, gum syrup and coconut cream.
Not: egg whites.
The prediction: Egg whites have this magical ability to add body and texture to a drink, so we’ve been using them for years, even though they make your drink smell … like a wet dog. Yep, we said it. But new substitutes are coming into vogue, including coconut cream, gomme syrup (made from a natural tree gum) and aquafaba — also known as the liquid from canned chickpeas.
The prediction: Honestly, gin has had a good run, and Minnesota has reaped the benefits with new local juniper-derived spirits cropping up everywhere. This is not a claim that we’ll stop drinking it, of course — it’s quite tasty, after all — but a suggestion that vodka will start tilting back the clear-liquor scales in a notable way.
Not: all alcohol.
The prediction: Boozy drinks are great and all, but these days most of our socializing happens in bars and restaurants. And, if we’re going to chit-chat for a few hours over a few drinks, they’d better be a little lighter or else we’ll be ubering back to our car in the morning. Low-alcohol options still feel like a splurge while allowing us to try a few things — and stay upright on our bar stools.
Hot: free-pouring and flair bartending.
Not: jiggers for everything.
The prediction: Consistency is great, but it’s also slower and less entertaining. We’ve watched all things 1980s return in a steady trickle for a few years now, so why not bring back another relic of the era in fast-and-loose bar slinging involving zero measuring devices but plenty of snazzy spins and tossed bottles. Oh, and did we mention Instagram is a thing now?
Hot: mismatching, retro and antique glassware.
Not: practical, identical glassware.
The prediction: Never have thrift stores been cooler. With restaurants and bars suddenly showcasing a patchwork collection of vessels from the past, we’re seeing those back-of-the-vintage-store relics in a new, hip light.
Hot: quaint, whimsical cocktails.
Not: loud cocktails.
The prediction: Tiki cocktails, boozy milkshakes and wacky constructions were super fun in 2017, but when we finally come down from that serious sugar rush, we might be looking for something a little more composed. This shouldn’t indicate a lag in creativity, mind you. Expect bartenders to continue pushing the limit with drinks — but maybe in ways that don’t involve sprinkles.