To Top

5 Game-Changing Cocktail Trends

Mixologists are opting for a simple, laid-back philosophy, taking their cues from the garden, the kitchen and the brewery.

By John Roberts  |  July 2017

Small Batch is Still Big – The American Distilling Institute reports the continuing rise in craft and micro distilleries, where true ingenuity is underway. Validating the power of craft, even the “big boys” are now getting into the small-batch business. Consider using Michter’s barrel-strength rye in a classic Manhattan, Roca Patron for your next Tequila combination or Mezan XO rum partnered with tonic over ice.

Simplicity Reigns Supreme – Taking 15 minutes or more to mix the perfect drink isn’t necessary. Now, simple elixirs in unexpected flavors are at the forefront. With readily available ingredients and just a few preparation steps, everyone can create a killer craft cocktail. For example, ginger beer paired with vodka over ice or grapefruit soda with tequila and a slice of jalapeno are refreshing combinations.

Increasing Culinary Influence with Garden-to-Glass Libations – Mixologists in-the-know are taking cues from the kitchen with imaginative cocktails filled with locally grown farm stand foodstuffs. Fresh fruit, roots, nut and herb-laden libations are all the rage. Mixers with all-natural ingredients like Italian lemons and Hawaiian ginger are being used to craft distinctive, memorable and crave-worthy flavors. Watermelon slushies with a splash of limoncello and vanilla vodka, an orchard-fresh peach margarita, or a locally-sourced bunch of mint for mojitos or juleps.

Moonshine Goes Gourmet – Once just a novelty item, distillers are now getting creative, proffering premium spirits that elevate crafted cocktails to an incredible new level. Using fresh, new flavored “shine” in time-honored recipes gives a modern spin and hand-crafted technique to some old favorites. Think about Bloomery’s SweetShine Peach flavored moonshine, fresh blackberries and a bottle of red wine to make sangria or their Raspberry Lemon flavor with gin and ruby red grapefruit juice for a refreshing, not-too-sweet Ruby Slipper.

Beer Cocktails – Elevate craft beer with toppers and mixers to take barley and hops to a new, innovative level. The next time you mix a Bloody Mary, substitute an IPA for the more-traditional vodka (and use fresh tomato juice not canned) or shandies with muddled fresh fruit and tonic or lemon/lime sodas and wheat beer. Feeling adventurous? Borrow the kid’s ice cream float idea using a porter with chocolate notes poured into a tall glass of coffee ice cream.

Photo courtesy of

More in Food & Spirits

  • Sip Your Way Through All 12 Japanese Zodiacs

    The World-Renowned Cocktail Maestro Shingo Gokan, Creative Director of Himitzu cocktail lounge, creates his latest libations with inspiration from the zodiacs.

    IanFebruary 20, 2018
  • A Scottish Twist on Mexican Tequila

    Scotsmen Michael Ballantyne and Ross Davidson, have officially launched Scotland’s first craft tequila company, releasing the world’s only solely aged Speyside...

    IanJanuary 11, 2018
  • The New Hennessy X.O Cognac Decanter

    Marc Newson, the internationally acclaimed designer projects Hennessy X.O to a new frontier with a modern 2017 limited edition bottle and...

    IanNovember 30, 2017
  • Aged to Perfection: Laphroaig 27

    The wait is over, Laphroaig’s newest super-premium Single Malt Scotch Whisky arrives just in time for the holiday gifting season.

    IanNovember 25, 2017
  • The Seduction of Thai Cuisine

    Cooking it up in the Land of Smiles and Chilies!

    IanOctober 1, 2017
  • September is California Wine Month!

    Discover the Award-Winning Wines of Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, Avila Beach, Cambria and San Simeon Along the Highway 1 Discovery Route.

    IanSeptember 14, 2017

Founded in 2007, 19TH HOLE MAGAZINE is an award winning luxury magazine and lifestyle brand – focusing on the savvy people, places, fashion and global trends on and off the course. The publication appeals to a sophisticated new global generation of players, affluent and trendsetting men and women who see golf as an important part of their modern lifestyle. The vision chronicles the glamour, essence, and après-golf lifestyle for today’s modern golfer.