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6 Trends to Keep in Mind as you Wet your Whistle this Summer

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, flew by and we’re ready for summer. For many of us, that means the return of outdoor barbecues and patio parties—and, of course, the cocktails that go with them.

Like fashion trends, however, cocktail trends come and go. If you’re planning a summer event for your clients or employees, you’ll definitely want to know what’s all the rage. We’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends here. Check them out, then book your event to show off your knowledge to clients and colleagues.

A booming craft scene

The base of this summer’s cocktails is more likely than ever to be a craft spirit. An explosion of local distilleries across the nation is fueling Americans’ love affair with these handcrafted artisan spirits. This “farm-to-flask” movement not only is associated with a higher-quality sip, but also meshes well with the larger trend toward local products.

What’s even better than craft spirits? Craft cocktails made with craft spirits. Taste some of the finest Seattle has to offer at this 10 Degrees event. Or see what all the hype is about by taking a tour of Greenbar Distillery, the first distillery to be built in LA since prohibition.

Mixers made in-house

When it comes to bitters, sodas and tonics, more bars are just saying no to commercially made options. According to Uncorkd Inc., it’s a great way for bartenders to get creative. Experimenting with spices and fruits results in interesting flavor profiles and unique pairings.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Learn how to craft cocktails using housemade bitters at New York City’s Pouring Ribbons.

The return of two classics

Two oldies but goodies, the Moscow Mule and the Old Fashioned, have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Together, they accounted for 30 percent of all U.S. cocktail menu mentions in 2016, the IWSR reports. And the popularity of these classics shows no signs of waning.

Learn how to create the perfect Moscow Mule at Blake Street Vault, a favorite (and some say haunted) Denver waterhole. Or mix up and savor a dignified Old Fashioned at The Boulevardier in Houston.

A match made in heaven

Move over, wine. There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to food pairings. Cocktails have become a more important part of the overall dining experience, notes a Nov. 16, 2016 Forbes article. As a result, many bars and restaurants have elevated the offerings.

Savor a delicious meal with perfectly paired specialty cocktails at Washington, D.C.’s 701 Restaurant.

Creativity from unexpected places

Everyone expects to see cocktail innovation from the likes of Manhattan, San Francisco and Chicago. But a 2017 trends overview from Liquor.com says we should also keep an eye on Pittsburgh, Houston and other cities where “rents are cheaper and thirsty young people are flocking.”

Speaking of Houston, The Moonshiners Southern Table + Bar is just the place to taste an inspired moonshine cocktail.

cocktail trendsHere’s to your health

Herbs and botanicals are also getting attention as consumers seek out flavor innovation and healthier options. In fact, a recent Bloomberg article notes that botanical bars are “popping up all over the world, turning herbs, plants and flowers into show-stopping cocktail mix-ins.”

Sample three different botanically infused gins at Whitechapel in San Francisco.

Show your clients that you’re up on this summer’s cocktail trends. Book a cocktail event and entertain them in style.

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