We’ve already seen it in restaurants: farm-to-table, seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients have been making their way into meals by five-star establishments as part of the sustainable movement that has grabbed the industry by storm. It seems that the world of mixology will soon be following suit, according to experts at the recent World Class Bartender of the Year 2017 event.
The experts in question are Alex Kratena (formerly of London’s Artesian bar, the three-time winner of the World’s Best Bar) and Charles Joly, World Class Bartender of the Year 2014. The two were judges of the world’s biggest bartending competition, which had taken place in Mexico City recently.
The competition also saw Canadian bartender Kaitlyn Stewart walking away with the title of World’s Best Bartender 2017, beating 10,000 other candidates from 57 countries. Stewart is the bar manager of Vancouver’s Royal Dinette restaurant, where cocktails are concocted with local spirits and seasonal ingredients, from jalapeño-infused pisco to white peppercorn mezcal honey.
It is these unique ingredients of Stewart’s inventive cocktails that had set her apart from her competitors, and Kratena predicts that she’ll be setting an example for many. “I expect to see more switched-on bar operators and bartenders creating unique drink experiences that go beyond ‘what’s expected’ and push signature serves to become the answer to what tasting menus are in the restaurant world,” he said.
“Culinary cocktails” are also set to become the next big thing in bars. Think of them as liquid meals, where solid foods and gourmet ingredients are mixed into highball glasses and tumblers. Expect to see anything from foie gras to Margarita pizza cocktails on the drinks menu at your favourite bars pretty soon.