Bartenders Predict the 2018 Trends In Mixology


Another year has come to a close and a new year has begun. That means it’s the perfect time to try something new (like Steve Harvey’s bonkers NYE get up). These include goals of getting back in shape, drinking less alcohol (good luck with that), and finally finishing the newest season of Black Mirror. But, there’s more to the new year than resolutions. It’s the perfect time for experts in various fields to make predictions for the year to come.

After focusing on food yesterday, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us what bartending and cocktailing trends we should expect to see in 2018. So, get ready to see these ideas, techniques, and spirits a lot in the days to come.

Warm up with hot cocktails

Chris Williams, bartender and manager at The Meatball Shop in New York City

“Apropos of this weekend’s weather, I think that hot drinks are in the ascendancy. I’ve started to see places really take pride and put effort into thinking about, reimagining, and improving on classic hot cocktails like hot toddies, hot buttered rums, and ciders. Rather than just pouring a shot of whiskey into hot water and honey, bars are looking to explore and expand on what heat does to flavor and how that can be harnessed for amazing results. I think that ideas like the Dead Rabbit’s absolutely sublime Irish coffee have really opened people’s eyes to what is something of an untapped market.”

Eco-friendly products/facilities

Brett Esler, bartender at Whisler’s in Austin

“Recently it’s become apparent that the cocktail and spirits world has slowly started to become more conscientious about waste reduction, sustainability, and our impact on the earth. From eco-friendly product debates (e.g. straws) to newly-constructed sustainable distilleries (e.g. Richard Bett’s Sombra Mezcal) this is definitely something that will carry over and pick up steam in 2018.”

Mezcal over tequila

Meaghan Levy, bartender at the Lounge at Rose Hill in New York City

“Mezcal is one of the most diverse categories. Often mislabeled as smoky tequila, it is so much more. It is one of the few spirits that really shows terroir. Mezcals can range from super smoky to light and delicate. With such a diversity I only see mezcals continuing to grow in popularity.”