GIN-OVATION! NEW TRENDS & TWISTS ON CLASSIC COCKTAILS
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes.
Author: Lidiyanah Keller, Head Bartender at Atlas in Singapore, voted no.16 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022.
Need some gin-spiration? Head Bartender at Atlas, Lidiyanah Keller, explains how to use cutting-edge drinks trends to create classic gin cocktails with a twist.
As Head Bartender at Atlas, a world-renowned bar in Singapore, an important part of my job is to stay on top of the latest and greatest gin trends. Why? To make sure we’re offering our guests the best possible experience at our venue. And it’s fair to say we’re kept on our toes when it comes to the everchanging world of gin
But what are the current trends and how can we use them to create delicious cocktails? Below we'll explore current gin cocktail trends and I’ll be sharing some exciting new serves – from simple to more advanced – using Gordon’s gin.
Gordon’s is a world-wide favourite and a staple on any back bar for a reason, with distinct, juniper-led botanicals that lend themselves well to a huge variety of cocktails, way beyond the classic G&T.
A GUIDE TO GIN COCKTAIL TRENDS:
From spritzes and alcohol free cocktails, to using umami in cocktails and going zero-waste, bartenders and distillers are experimenting with all kinds of unusual ingredients and innovative techniques to give guests the most unique gin drinking experiences we’ve ever seen. Here we explore a few of these key trends:
1. GIN SPRITZ
While gin hasn’t traditionally been associated with spritz cocktails, in recent years, the classic spritz recipe has evolved from a just a sparkling cocktail made with bitter liqueur and soda water, to include a variety of ingredients including gin as a base spirit.
From using classic juniper-led gins to flavoured gins such as Gordon’s Premium Pink, gin really lends itself to spritz cocktails. Classic ingredients like lemon enhance the citrus flavour profile in Gordon’s London Dry, whilst fresh raspberries and strawberries bring out the fruity notes in Gordon’s Premium Pink. Couple that with prosecco and a flavoured soda, and you’ll have a simple, yet delicious gin-based spritz!
THE GORDON’S FIZZ RECIPE
Try making this classic gin fizz with a herbal touch, combining Gordon’s London Dry Gin with lemon and a rosemary sprig.
2. USING UMAMI INGREDIENTS IN GIN COCKTAILS
More and more mixologists are using umami ingredients in cocktails. Umami is the savoury fifth flavour of the five basic flavour groups mixologists refer to when creating balanced cocktails: salty, sweet, sour and bitter. And recently, umami ingredients have found their way into the hands of gin distillers. A current big trend is to use oyster shell in distillation. The shells add minerality and a subtle hint of the sea – these are known as oyster shell gins.
So, to enhance the umami notes in these styles of gin, we’re adding ingredients such as seaweed, mushrooms, and fermented products like miso to our cocktails.
Scroll further down for a unique Gin Fizz recipe, created at Atlas, that plays on these innovative umami flavours.
3. ALCOHOL FREE COCKTAILS
There has been a huge increase in demand for alcohol-free, and low alcohol drinks, also known in the drinks world as ‘Low and No’ options.
Gen Z, the current 21-27 year old generation, are leading the way with this trend – particularly in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. And recently, Low and No drinks have seen a real shift in quality, with new technology improving production methods and creating almost like-for-like drinks as a result. You can now find more exciting Low and No options than ever before, such as Gordon’s 0.0% Alcohol-Free gin. You can simply swap out Gordon’s London Dry, or a flavoured gin with its alcohol-free alternative, and customers will benefit from the same signature botanicals without the alcohol.
Try this innovation alcohol-free cocktail using Gordon’s 0.0% Premium Pink gin.
0.0% PINK PALOMA
Fruity and sweet with sour notes, the Grapefruit Fizz is a cross between a Paloma and Gin Fizz, bursting with fragrant flavour.
4. CREATING ZERO WASTE GIN COCKTAILS
Bartenders are now using zero-waste practices, which involves using every part of the ingredient to minimize waste. They are repurposing fruit peels, herb stems, and leftover cocktail components to create in-house syrups, infusions, and bitters. This not only ticks the sustainability box, but also introduces unique and eco-friendly flavours to cocktails.
A technique that we use on a regular basis, for example, is oleo saccharum. It dates back over centuries and has made a recent revival with the zero-waste movement. This method involves extracting essential oils from leftover citrus peels and combining them with sugar to create a flavourful and aromatic syrup. It provides bartenders with both a sustainable and unique way to enhance the taste and complexity of cocktails.
As you will discover in the recipe below, oleo saccharum is a great method for emphasising the citrusy notes in Gordon’s gin.
FURTHER TWISTS ON CLASSIC GIN COCKTAILS:
Looking for a challenge? Based on some of the trends mentioned above, why not try at least one of these more advanced classic gin cocktails with a twist, each of which features at Atlas bar:
Classic Gin cocktails with a twist
Add a touch of umami and extra depth to the classic gin fizz with an in-house sour plum syrup.
FIVE KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- Bartenders are now adopting zero-waste practices, which means using every part of the ingredient to minimize waste such as fruit peels and herb stems to create house-made syrups, infusions, and bitters.
- Ingredients like seaweed, mushrooms, fermented products like miso, can be incorporated into cocktails to enhance umami notes.
- For garnishes, opt for ingredients that complement the flavours of the cocktail. Citrus peels, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, and edible flowers all add visual appeal and enhance the aromatics of the drink.
- Tap into the alcohol-free trend to satisfy the growing number of guests who are looking for a low / no alternative.
- By incorporating some of these key trends and experimenting with creative twists on classic cocktails, mixologists can embark on a flavourful journey that will wow customers