Cocktail Making at Home – The Next Big Thing?
There is little doubt that the popularity of cocktails has exploded over the last decade, with many drinkers now choosing a Mojito or a Daiquiri over the traditional choice of beer or wine. However, the key difference between your typical cocktail and glass of wine is that a cocktail will require a certain degree of knowledge and specific ingredients, tools, garnishes etc in its creation, as opposed to pouring the wine into a glass. As such, people have been much more reluctant over the years to try and recreate their favourite cocktails at home. However, with the emergence of the on-line cocktail store, selling everything the amateur mixologist could possibly need, plus the greater availability of cocktail ingredients in the supermarkets and drinks stores, it appears that that cocktail making at home is now becoming a reality for the more adventurous drinker.More and more people are moving out of their comfort zones and attempting to make a Mint Julep or Negroni that they enjoyed at their local cocktail bar, in the familiar surroundings of their own kitchen.
To help get a better understanding of the current climate, we decided to speak to a few experts in the cocktail arena. Firstly we spoke to Lloyd Brown, Manager and Head Mixologist at the popular Venner Bar in Briport and asked whether cocktail making at home was really becoming the new trend:
I think even though we’ve seen that people have a greater knowledge and understanding of spirits, there won’t be an increase in people making cocktails at home, although I would love to see some classic punches at parties.
People go to a cocktail bar for the ambiance, the show and for a treat. Unlike a cuppa a Martini always tastes better if someone else makes it.
Next we spoke to Michael Kostin, who manages Parati Craft Bar, and asked him whether he thought there would be a boom in cocktail making at home over the next decade.
I think Cocktail Making at home will catch on in a limited capacity. There have been several great cocktail books that have come out in recent years, but the biggest limiting factor for the home cocktail maker is going to be cocktail ingredients. The ingredients for classic cocktails are certainly within the realm of the home cocktail maker, but the more complex cocktails, requiring specialty cocktail ingredients like amari, infusions, speciality syrups and bitters may be a little more difficult for home cocktail makers. As such, I feel that those cocktails will remain in the realm of cocktail bars and professional bartenders. The average home cocktail maker isn’t going to spend thousands of dollars/pounds to have a well stocked home bar to be able to make the creative kinds of cocktails that we see in cocktail bars.
At Tails, we believe the trend towards drinking cocktails at home will continue to grow in line with the general increase in demand and passion for cocktails. However, we are not fully convinced the widening availability of cocktail ingredients, recipes and tools will necessarily increase cocktail making at home, as there are still some basic hindrances. Great cocktails, often require numerous and unusual ingredients. If one is only making a few cocktails these specialised cocktail ingredients can be costly and furthermore, become obsolete or simply wasted. Moreover, it is a real skill to balance and blend brilliant cocktails. The smallest ingredient error can have dramatic results on the taste profile of a cocktail. It takes us several weeks and sometimes months to perfect and develop our own cocktails, using premium spirits and liqueurs alongside natural juices and flavours. But the results are worth it, particularly when we receive amazing feedback from consumers or recognition and awards from industry experts. Thus, whilst we believe expanded ingredient options will favour those who are already making cocktails at home, top quality bars with great mixologists will always attract crowds of cocktail and fun lovers.