Being locked-down has not stopped people from enjoying their favourite drink with friends. Virtual happy hours or aperitifs in fact, were a strong trend all around the world, so much so that bartenders and producers of alcoholic beverages immediately provided the most creative solutions.
First one, is certainly that of the ready-to-drink cocktail: pre-mixed drinks or beverages that propose the most famous drinks in a ready-to-taste version. From timeless classics such as Negroni and Gin & Tonic to the most famous wine-cocktails such as Venetian Spritz. A wide offer that e-commerce platforms have certainly helped to achieve. The explosion of online shopping, because of the pandemic, has certainly helped the spread of ready-to-drink beverages and primarily canned cocktails.
If the ready-to-drink cocktail is quick and easy, being able to mix your drink – in a smart way – will be even more fun! The do-it-yourself cocktails are among the biggest successes in the beverage field of the last year and stand out for innovation. From simple single-dose liquid bags to add to ice-cubes, up to complete kits including spirits, juices, seltz, tonics, garnishes… everything you need to enjoy cocktails, but also to try your hand as a bartender. The make-at-home formula was so successful in 2020 that the “Nielsen CGA On-Premise Survey” recorded that in the U.S. 40% of consumers are interested in cocktail kits, while 37% in prepared drinks or take-away.
Not only physical and virtual shelves were the square of the news of mixology, but certainly also bars, pubs and clubs that had to re-invent their services for the periods where only take-away or home-delivery were allowed. Exactly in this context, the grab-and-go or to-go cocktails got popular: real cocktails ready to drink but mixed by your favourite bartender and collected in the restaurant or received at home comfortably.
Among the latest trends, the focus on ingredients as well as on cocktail styles cannot be missing. From the most followed international bartenders, drink proposals with “unconventional”, almost extreme ingredients are coming. They are the “elevated cocktails” inspired by a shared feeling of need to get out of the box to live new stimulating experiences. Characterized by strong flavours such as chilli or smoked and unusual elements such as mushrooms, eggs or even meat, these cocktails are symbol of the strong research for the new that characterizes mixology today.
From the desire to “escape” to ethical and healthy attention: another important trend is to prefer low-alcohol styles, but also organic ingredients and eco-friendly components, such as spirits or liqueurs produced from ethical and sustainable sources. They are the “ethical cocktails” and will have the purpose of combining the drink with a gesture of solidarity with the planet or society.
For some years, Domus Vini has been ventured into the world of ready-to-drink wine-cocktails. At Vinitaly 2019, we launched L’Aperitivo Spritz, the famous Venetian cocktail ready to drink in a bottle. The drink has found more and more success, so much so that we are encouraged to introduce new cocktails in steel keg, Keykeg and Polykeg formats to be enjoyed on tap: Spritz, Hugo, American Cocktail (“Americano” style), all based on quality sparkling white wine. In the Ho.Re.Ca. the ready-to-drink cocktail has several strengths:
– Quick and Easy: ready to drink, just add ice and garnish.
– Guaranteed Quality: dosed ingredients guarantee a constant taste.
– Marginality: increase of the margin per glass.
– Cost Control: certainty of the cost of the cocktail by the glass.
We foresee that it will also be a growing trend for our cellar, which may involve new recipes, new formats and Private Label projects.