With the presentation of mixed drinks getting more elaborate by the day, we investigated what the upcoming year will bring for the cocktail

Did double denim come back in again? Has “Tinder’s spark died out”? Are we really still playing Pokemon in our twenties?! Trends change quicker than the Kardashians move house and the cocktail is no exception to this. Tastes get wilder and more experimental and our old favourite mixed drinks get left in the past. Are cocktails going to get bigger and better or will we see a return to simplicity? We spoke to some of Barcelona’s best bartenders to investigate further.

Cocktails past

“There was no such thing as a cocktail”
-Stephanie, PAX 49

The seventies gave us simplicity, easy drinks that even the most inexperienced mixologist could make at home. A Grasshopper? Easy, a splash of Creme de Menthe will do it. A Harvey Wallbanger anyone? Best served with a fur jacket and flares. A cocktail was seen as a classier alternative to the usual bottle of beer and they impressed guests worldwide. With the eighties came drinks that glowed in the dark and complemented the colour scheme of the Rubik’s cube. Cocktails were mixed to stand out, and what could stand out more than a florescent blue drink on the dancefloor? Despite Rick Astley’s promises, these cocktails were given up on quicker than his career and sophistication began to sweep through our bars in the nineties. Carrie Bradshaw took over our screens, as well as our cocktail choices as girls worldwide perched at the corner of the bar with their Cosmopolitan in hand. The epitome of sophistication. Plus, we all have a big thank you to say to the early 2000s for bringing the mojito back from the land of lost drinks.

“We only saw cocktails in tropical vacation destinations and then we’re talking about mojitos, pina coladas and those kind of drinks”
-Stephanie

cocktail in skull glass

Cocktails present

Today, social media has changed the game. A simple instagram search for ‘cocktail’ or ‘cocktails’ brings us 13 MILLION photos. We’ve seen a huge increase in social media in such a short time, and it is a massive factor in setting trends and influencing opinions.

“The cocktail world is booming and it has come back more popular than ever”
-Stephanie

With the rise of instagram came a change in the once simple cocktail’s appearance. We saw it first with the mason jars in which our drinks were served that we ecstatically photographed and shared online. This was reflected in Google Trends which shows the peak of the jars at the end of 2014. The jars are still clinging on but they’re being outshone by more innovative garnishes, recipes and containers, some which aren’t even relevant to the drink that they contain!

“I see a lot of different cocktails that are served in different glasses that don’t make sense!” -Giacomo, Paradiso

“Cocktails need to make sense! And cocktails that are served in a shoe just don’t! Being innovative is a positive thing, but it doesn’t mean that you can do just anything”
Luca, Old Fashioned

This decade is all about the wow factor, we want to consume something that delights more than just our taste-buds. We want to be impressed, we want to share the moment with friends worldwide, and most importantly, we want the drink to be a memorable experience.

“In last few years bartenders have developed new ways to make drinks, and also we are making many more homemade products like bitters, cordials, liquors… Thanks to new technologies and new techniques, we are growing very fast. What really makes a difference nowadays is how innovative you are”
-Luca

“What you see lately, is that many cocktails are presented with a whole lot of decorations/garnishes, different glassware, smoke guns, crazy preparations etc. On the one hand it’s great for the eye and people are entertained watching the bartender make it, on the other hand some places achieve the look, but not the quality”
-Stephanie

“We have had a huge amount of influence from modern gastronomy, this has changed our techniques and the way we approach mixology”
-Giacomo

bartender making cocktail

Cocktails future

So what does the future hold for the cocktail? After the buzz of summery frozen daiquiris and Frosé dies down, what comes next? This is one thing the industry seems to be in agreement with. Taste is key. We expect to see a trend in how flavour triumphs unnecessarily extravagant appearances in the coming year. The flavours might even be found in the glass itself!

“I think edible glassware will be a new trend! And there will be more focus on the flavour than in the garnish or glass, taste is the most important!”
-Giacomo

“Honestly I don’t know when, but the next trend could be edible glasses”
-Luca

Traditional cocktails are expected to make a comeback, where the ingredients are expertly mixed to provide the best taste sensation, without any distraction. High quality mixed drinks made with high quality spirits, a taste sensation all round!

“I hope there will be more focus on the traditional cocktail”
-Stephanie

“On our menu we have original drinks, but we also have the classics”
-Luca

All trends come back around with time, always a little bit different to keep up with the world’s fashion and technology. The seventies gave us simplicity in their drinks, which has come back full circle over forty years later. Whilst the seventies gave us simple recipes to mix at home, the simplicity we are predicting now is in the ingredients themselves, mixed in an innovative way and served as an all-round experience. So let’s embrace the seventies, but adapt them to 2016. Put your vintage flared jeans on, turn up The Clash on your iPhone, and enjoy each and every tasty sip of your poison.

Pax 49

Carrer Rec 49, 08003 Barcelona

Pax 49 is everything you could hope for in a bar. Great music, even better cocktails, and the warmest welcome in Barcelona, it is quickly building up a reputation for being one of the go-to bars in the city. Nestled in the heart of El Born, it makes for the perfect night out with friends as well as being a cozy date spot. Stephanie is the owner of the bar with over 10 years experience in the bar industry, her favourite drink is the classic Negroni.

Old Fashioned

Carrer Santa Teresa 1, 08012 Barcelona

Tucked into the famous district of Gracia, step back in time as you enter Old Fashioned. Their mantra is that fashion changes, but style is permanent, and this shows in their drinks. With an extensive spirit list, and cocktails from the whole of the last century, you’ll be spoilt for choice here! Luca is the director of the bar, and set up shop here in 2012 after traveling the world with his bartending career. He has worked his way to the top of the bartending ladder since he left school in Italy.

Paradiso

Carrer de Rera Palau 4, 08003 Barcelona

A hidden treasure concealed behind a bakery door in the centre of Barcelona, Paradiso has a New York speakeasy bar vibe that attracts both locals and in the know tourists. Exceptional cocktails from some of the best bartenders in the city, Paradiso is your go-to to impress family and friends. Giacomo is the brains behind the mixology here with over 10 years experience in Barcelona and London and is a huge fan of creativity.