As the season of white jeans and pool parties finally heats up, we’re diving into summer’s hottest cocktail and beer trends headfirst. Popular drinks for summer include British cocktail standards, easy crowd-pleaser drinks, and sustainable beers. Read on for our top drink trends of the season!
British Invasion: Cocktails From Across The Pond
What do the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and a refreshing summer cocktail have in common? Elderflower, of course! Following their beautifully British ceremony in Windsor Castle, Meghan and Harry served a lemon-elderflower wedding cake to the star-studded guests in attendance.
If you didn’t happen to get an invite to the Royal Wedding, don’t fret—the floral essence is blooming in popularity, having found its way into many new summer drinks. St-Germain, an elderflower liquor, is an ingredient that makes adding this trendy flavor easy. Another way to explore elderflower is to replace a soda or tonic mixer with elderflower cordial or elderflower tonic instead.
If elderflower doesn’t quench your thirst for all things England, then try the Pimm’s Cup, a British summer classic. Falling somewhere between a vodka lemonade and a Moscow Mule, the Pimm’s Cup is a cheeky, fruit-forward, summer cocktail that’s as perfect for a warm June night on the patio as it is at a polo match.
Liquid Locavore: Drinking Local Brews
Drinking local is a way to show pride for your hometown and do good at the same time. By choosing locally-sourced cocktails and beers, consumers can help companies reduce their carbon footprint with shorter transports, and make a name for their region’s distinctive tastes while they’re at it. Regardless of the location, Bottleneck’s beer selections are made up of 25%-40% locally produced brews. By choosing local, you’re contributing to your community in a variety of ways, and discovering unique craft beers with breweries nearby.
Savor the Flavor: Exploring Savory Notes In Summer Cocktails
For many of us, the word “cocktail” evokes the idea of super-sugary concoctions (and the head-pounding hangovers they often induce). However, complex flavor profiles are at the forefront of this summer’s cocktail offerings, lending further dimension to drinks with sour, bitter, and salty notes. Everything from fat-washed alcohol to mouth-puckering aperitifs are being included in this season’s beverage menus, giving depth to old standards.
An unusual summer twist on an Old Fashioned, the world’s most-ordered cocktail, is to enhance the citrus flavor by using herbal or fruit-based aperitifs. In our latest version, we pair Cointreau with the rich, bitter notes of charred simple syrup, creating a layered nuance within the bold flavors of the traditional whiskey drink.
Sustainable Sipping: Breweries Utilizing Environmentally Conscious Methods
Being environmentally conscious isn’t necessarily a trend, but rather a movement that’s becoming prevalent behind the bar. Several of our beers on tap are from breweries committed to eco-friendly practices. To make their beers, Lagunitas uses an EcoVolt Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) filtration system that helps the brewery reduce water usage by 40%.
Similarly, the Fort-Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Co. is somewhat of an industry leader when it comes to sustainable brewing—as a Certified B Corporation, they go above and beyond their counterparts’ water conservation efforts, and donate money to “the research and repair of the Colorado river”. One of their more popular beers, Fat Tire, is on tap at many of our locations, and is a great choice for drinks for the summer plus a brew you can feel great about sipping any time of year.
Tried and True (and Tasty!): Classic Drinks for Summer Made With Care
As the fog of trends like vaporized cocktails starts to lift, bars are starting to go back to basics, forgoing high-concept drinks to focus on making inventive versions of old standards.
Our mules are a perfect example of this trend; fresh ingredients and a variety of high-quality liquors make the mules a staple at all of our restaurants.
Other classic summer drinks like the mojito, a warm-weather favorite, show the power of simplicity; sometimes, all you need is a bit of fragrant mint and fresh lime juice for a truly beautiful summer cocktail.