We are at the beginning of a new year, and it’s a time to reflect and also to look at what might lie ahead. Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions involves taking up a new interest, or even studying for a change of career with an online cocktail making class. Here are some of the very latest trends in the world of mixology to bring you up to date.
According to The New York Times, meal-flavoured cocktails will be the hottest trend for 2024. The paper reports that it is already possible to order a variety of savoury cocktails in the city that never sleeps, including Thai beef flavour; Waldorf salad flavour; or even smoked salmon gin cocktails.
Many of these flavours are created by using umami, which is the lesser-known fifth taste alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The word translates from its Japanese meaning as ‘essence of deliciousness.’ If you have not heard of it before, don’t worry, because the umami taste receptors in the tongue were only identified by scientists in 2002.
Umami is specifically known as monosodium glutamate, and it is a type of amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and is also found in protein-rich foods such as fish, meats, cheeses, mushrooms, and green leafy vegetables. It is a complex flavour that lasts for longer than other flavours, making it an impactful cocktail ingredient.
Fat-washing may be another big cocktail trend that it can take a while to get your head around. The idea is to add extra textures to the drink through the addition of oils or fats such as butter or coconut oil. The oily ingredient is infused into the drink and frozen so that the liquid and the fat separate.
The solidified layer of the fat is then removed from the top of the drink, leaving it with a smooth velvety texture that has a subtle infusion of extra flavour. It’s a way to elevate your cocktail making with a touch of sophistication.
Cocktails can be undeniably complicated to make, with a long list of ingredients that are sometimes exotic and expensive. In 2024, expect to see a trend to use fewer ingredients with a focus on quality rather than quantity. This can bring down the cost of making the cocktail, requires fewer resources and is more sustainable with less wastage.
It can also result in a better opportunity for savouring each ingredient of the drink, and helps to teach new mixologists about the importance of carefully selecting the right ingredients to provide the perfect balance of flavours. Go back to classics such as the martini, the negroni, or the Manhattan, or be adventurous and craft your own versions.