It’s fun playing a soothsayer, specially in foreseeing drinking trends. Although significant changes and surprising trends emerge every year, the art of correct prediction lies in deciphering what trends are beyond topical and end up defining the tipple calendar. Here is my list of the top 10 drinking trends for 2021.
Home Bartending: The home bar is the new kitchen! As lockdown and social distancing have curtailed the number of bar visits, we have a cocktail movement brewing at home. Get yourselves the essentials for a home bar: jigger, muddler, two piece shaker, quality ice cube tray, bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer, vermouth, flavoured bitters. Experiment with fresh fruits, home spices and stir up some Whisky Old Fashioned, Cinnamon Plum Gin Martinis or Fresh Orange Mimosas! WhiskySamba and a host of high end bars have also created premium mixes for the home bar.
Gin with a choice of Premium Tonic: Upgrade your gin with flavoured tonic. A Gin Tonic is 30-60ml gin and 300ml tonic. The quality of tonic can greatly impact the final drink. Some of my favourite tonics available in India are Svami Cucumber, Grapefruit Tonic, Sepoy & Co Elderflower, Hibiscus or Mint Tonic, Jade Forest Tonic. Options are also available in low calorie tonic.
Go local with great Indian Wine: Indian wine producers have tremendously upped their quality. Each of the top wine houses has premium labels that is a treat to the palate. Fratelli’s Sette brings Tuscany home with its fabulous Sangiovese blend. The Grover ZampaChêne Grande Réserve is a signature blend of Tempranillo and Shirazaged for a minimum of 15 months in French oak barrels. Chandon is the first offering from Moët Hennessy to be made in India and their Brut has a fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, tropical fruits and vanilla.
Appreciate your whisky: We all drink whisky but how often do we end up appreciating whisky. Big difference! And no, I am not advocating being a whisky snob but how lovely is it to know your drink, its flavours and what notes does your palate pick up. Do you like sweet Bourbon whisky, peaty Islay malts or the rich sherry oaked speysidemalts. It’s time to romance your whisky. Check out the internet for whisky appreciation tips.
Year of the Craft Beer:In 2021, craft beers across will be much in demand. The brew masters are experimenting with many styles and flavours. I recently tried SusegadoGoancraft beer and was blown away by their Tropical Wheat with hints of Alphonso mangoes and the Kati Patang zesty amber brewed with the purest Himalayan spring water. Craft brews with notes of saffron, lemongrass, stouts; that’s what the new crop of beer entrepreneurs will be brewing in the year ahead!
Best Indian tipples: Support local producers and taste great Made in India alcohol. Some of my favourites areHapusaHimalyan Dry Gin – Juniper taken from the Himalayas and the rest of the botanicals like turmeric, mango, cardamom andgondhoraj limesplucked from within the country. Bengaluru-based Paul John’s Mithuna was named the third best whiskey in Jim Murray’s revered Whisky Bible for 2021.KRSMA, a premium boutique wine estate leads the way for India’s best Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is best summarized as ‘Brilliance in a Glass’.Old Monk – “The Legend”, a limited edition rum created for connoisseurs, comes with a quirky bottle and is a winter delight!
Coffee Cocktails: Artisanal coffee mixed with premium alcohol makes for killer cocktails. Sleepy Owl cold brews made by slow brewing the Chikmagalur Arabica beans and then stirred with bourbon whisky, hot water, honey and lemon make a brilliant Cold Brew Hot Toddy. Try the Attikan Estate Blue Tokai medium dark roast with notes of chocolate, figs and roasted almonds shaken with aged rum and Kahlua. A Coffee Martini that even Bond would approve of.
Celebrity Alcohol: More celebrities are investing in premium alcohol and if you want to sip like a star get your hands on some of these celeb backed brands. Cameron Diaz’s vegan friendly organic wine, AVALINE. Michael Jordan’s Cincoro Tequila. Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt’s Miraval RoséWine, which is distributed in India. Kate Hudson’s gluten–free King St. Vodka. Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Whiskey, a brand of award-winning hand-crafted American whiskeys.
Edible Beauty Cocktails: Drink tasty collagen cocktails and get youthful skin. Sounds too good to be true! Well it’s a reality made true by Beautywise Natural Healthy Collagen that is being used by top–end bars in the country to make Beauty Cocktails! With a scoop of natural collagen peptides available in flavours mixed with premium alcohol, you get set for a night of edible beauty.
Wine in a Can: Yes! How Cool! Utterly practical and let’s you taste great wine without the fuss of buying bottles, wine openers or the right glassware. Globally, the younger generation has embraced this style, which complements a more active lifestyle and takes the snobbery out of wine. In India, Fratelli recently launched 5 variants of Wine-in-Can under the brand nameTiLT.
A red wine, white wine, bubbly and bubbly rosé with low alcohol content of 11%. There is also NOI Spritzer-a very low alcohol, slightly sweet bubbly with only 8% alcohol. The wines are vegan and gluten free!
About the writer: Ashish Dev Kapurhas created a chain of 51 restaurants across India includingtheWhiskySamba, The Kimono Club, The Wine Company, The Wine Rack, Antares Restaurant & Beachclub in Goa, Dimsum Bros. & Yo! China. Ashish also runs thepopular YouTube channel, VinoTribe.