Looking to give your next event an edge? Whilst styling and food are crucial to the success of an event, pushing the boundaries with your beverage offering is another way to create the wow factor and leave a lasting impression on your guests.
We asked our award-winning Group Sommelier, Andres Aragon, for his insight on what’s hot in mixology right now and the trends to expect for the festive summer season ahead.
Q: What are the upcoming trends for cocktails/beverages?
Andres: We find that increasingly, people are drifting away from classic cocktails and more towards bespoke and themed cocktails. Clients want something unique at their events so that they can establish a point of difference and surprise their guests. As a result, we often get requests to use specific colours or flavours for the cocktail menu or to design drinks that reflect a company’s values. It’s all about working with the client to create a fun and memorable experience. There is also a huge demand for Australian produced spirits, a trend that can be seen at restaurants, bars and at events.
Q: With Christmas just around the corner, what are some creative cocktail ideas for festive parties?
Andres: Christmas is a great time to experiment, play with different ideas and really push the boundaries with your cocktail offering. For example, at 360 Bar and Dining and STUDIO, our Bar and Sommelier team are currently doing a lot with coffee, chocolate and cinnamon in our cocktails. Whether it’s served cold, warm or hot, these ingredients have proven to be a hit with our restaurant customers and event guests - they’re also perfect for the festive period.
Q: What kind of cocktails work best for events in summer?
Andres: Definitely fresh, easy-going cocktails with a tropical twist. However, the trend is now slowly drifting away from the use of classic fruit ingredients like mango and passion fruit. Instead, it’s about adding more herb components like fresh basil, coriander, lemongrass and hibiscus to make the cocktails fresh with a bit of an edge. Combining ingredients that aren’t commonly found in classic cocktails is a great way to excite and surprise people.
Q: Can you share a simple but fun summer cocktail recipe?
Andres: If you’re after a summer cocktail with floral and fruity notes, try combining a blend of French brandy with amaretto, passion fruit and orgeat. Make it well shaken and serve in a vintage Collins glass. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.
Q: Last question…what’s your go-to summer cocktail?
Andres: I can’t go past a classic Mojito. Nothing like some good rum, mint and sugar!