This article has been written in collaboration with Cluboid, the ultimate bar, nightclub, pub booking and enquiry management software.

Hey look, we’ve all been there. You’ve got friends over and you pretend to be a proper host by offering them something of a light refreshment.

Panic sets in when they actually agree because you’ve not done a shop in a week.

Whilst rummaging in your liquor cabinet, madly adding a splash of this and a sprig of that, you wonder if you could even class this as a ‘cocktail’ anymore.

Frankly, it’s beginning to look a lot more like a potion fit for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

But fear not, you are not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last.

We’re here to bring you the most unusual ingredient list to come out of 2017 so far, so next time you’re next left with just a handful of chia seeds, a spruce of pine and half a bottle of Mezcal, you know who to thank.

They don’t call you Harry Potter for nothing.

Magic!

The Strangest Cocktail Ingredients

Camel's Milk
Did you know that camel milk has 10 times more iron than cow’s milk and is even higher in vitamin C?

No? That’s alright, most people didn’t but they might find out this year.

With more and more of us becoming health conscious, we could all be making one major change to our White Russian recipes now that camel milk is making its way into mixologist’s fridges.

Wednesday really can be hump day now.

Cocktail Suggestion: White Russian
MMM, Peanut Butter Mai Tai, how does that sound?

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Speaking of being health-conscious, what better reason is there to drink cocktail after cocktail than detoxification? Am I right?

Charcoal Cocktails

It actually is shown to help cleanse you of all those nasty toxins that you picked up living in the city.

Unfortunately, it’s a myth that activated charcoal can treat a hangover by dealing with the remainder of the night before, but that may just be a good thing.

Cocktail Suggestion: The Heart Of Darkness
CHIA SEEDS
These little things aren’t just for your health-obsessed nutty Aunt.

They can be totally awesome in a cocktail and for anyone slightly gym focused, these bad boys are jam-packed with protein, calcium, omega 3, and can even give you a sports-drink style boost.

We’re more for putting your feet up whilst drinking a cocktail but it’s entirely up to you if you prefer swigging them back on a treadmill.

…Then again, please don’t drink and gym.

Cocktail Suggestion: Chia-politan
 

PINE NEEDLES
There’s nothing like the smell of Christmas, right?

How about a nice cold cup of Christmas tree?

Yeah, we thought it was an unusual cocktail ingredient too, but apparently pine needles contain nearly 10x the Vitamin C of an orange!

That’s why they’re now being used to create beautifully seasonal cocktails, blending with the indulgent sweetness of honey, apple cider and a range of rye whiskeys.

Cocktail Suggestion: The Fine Feller
Winter cocktails aren’t just for Christmas – get some inspiration with these recipes

PEAS
Pea and Mint has been a combo for years.

Peas

That is why it is quite bizarre that mint is a total cocktail front-runner, yet the poor pea never made it past the gate… until now.

It’s all about the fresh taste of spring with the pea, and now they’re being used to not only garnish but actually as an ingredient.

Apparently, they go wonderfully with citrus and elderflower, but we’re yet to be convinced.

Cocktail Suggestion: I Dream Of Greenie
KALE
Kale had enough of cucumber hogging all of the spotlight, and decided enough was enough – there’s a new veg in town.

Kale is now being used to give cocktails more of that extra fresh, natural flavour and perfectly complements the subtle notes of white rum or gin.

You know how Kale gives a smoothie that lovely frothy texture?

Well, it turns out, it also makes a wonderfully airy daiquiri.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: KALE COLLINS
kale cocktails

PAPRIKA
Ahh, the old cupboard staple – you wouldn’t have a Goulash without it.

Well, now you might have to because someone’s used it all up making cocktails.

In a bid to counter that sickly-sweetness that is all too common in the cocktail world, paprika is now being blended with rich liquors like bourbon, white rums and tequila for a warm, Southern American kick.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: MEDICINE MAN
KOMBUCHA

We hear you, what the hell is Kombucha?

No, it’s not a newly discovered animal from the rainforests of  Papua New Guinea but a fermented, fizzy, sweetened, old tea.

Now, obviously, a bottle of tea that’s been left so long it ferments is on everyone’s list of favourite thirst-quenching drinks.

But added in just the right cocktail this ingredient can make a bittersweet, savoury taste that’s hard to match.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: THE SWEDISH TART

MATCHA
With enough antioxidants to make blueberries look as useful as a sandwich in a gunfight, boy is this stuff good for you, but the downside (there’s always a downside) is it tastes good for you too.

Think sweet algae and you won’t be too far off.

But with a little creativity, the health benefits can be distilled to create what are some truly incredible cocktails, so much so that you’ll be green with envy you didn’t make them earlier.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: THE MATCHA MARTINI
BIRCH SAP
That’s right, people are now extracting the xylitol, fructose & glucose from birch trees, boiling it down into a sugary syrup and selling it back to us.

Matcha Martini

Cheeky right?

Maybe so but it’s actually got this great, smokey caramel quality which makes it perfect for blending with Scotch Whisky and varieties of liqueur.

Actually, you might even say, it tastes a bit… woody.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: WILD WHISKEY SOUR
CANNABIS
Legal in only certain areas of the world, this is an ingredient to perhaps carefully lookup with your local law enforcement before attempting to use.

Oh, and the other thing to certainly consider is how to use the ingredient in your cocktail, as it has some side effects that you may not (or might be…) expecting.

Naughty.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: MALIBU MULE
YOUR EMOTIONS
Sometimes when you’ve had a long day dealing with the boss that you don’t really like, you just want to take your shoes off, relax on the couch and have a nice cold glass of blue.

Wait, what?

Yeah you heard us, blue.

2017 is all about cocktails to match your mood in colour and taste.

Ahhh, the sweet sweet taste of a red revenge gin and tonic, or the yellow happy tequila sunrise.

COCKTAIL SUGGESTION: PAINKILLER

So that’s about all for Cluboid’s most unusual cocktail ingredients coming your way in 2017. It’s all very healthy stuff, and we’re loving it. Another kale and cucumber mojito, anyone?

Interested in learning cocktails like these? You will love our bartender courses, check them out!