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Mix Things Up With Trendy Summertime Cocktails

Learn what to shake up and pour for summer 2020

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After long months stuck inside, something new – something light – will brighten up happy hour and patio/backyard time.
- Francine Cohen, spirits educator and editor in chief of Inside F&B

As summer 2020 approaches, more and more Americans seek to kick back and relax with an adult beverage or two. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Statista.com, 37% of women prefer mixed cocktails to other alcoholic beverages, while only 19% of men do (it’s no surprise that 45% of men prefer beer, considering the country’s craft brew boom). However, while a “cold one” can be refreshing at times, cocktails provide a fun canvas of creation for those doing both the stirring and sipping. So, if you’d like to shake things up as the temperatures rise outside, find out which cocktail trends to bookmark, along with an app that will help spark your inner mixologist.

Newsworthy Spirits & Ingredients to Bookmark

Spirits educator and editor in chief of Inside F&B Francine Cohen says simplicity and accessibility are key this summer. To illustrate, for those of us electing to stay home and more socially distanced – versus joining the typical crowded lounge and rooftop bar scene – certain drinks have the power to transport us to a different place. “After long months stuck inside, something new – something light – will brighten up happy hour and patio/backyard time,” offers Cohen. For example, spritzes using sparkling wine, beer or soda water, or even a new spirit to discover and share with family, friends, and neighbors, are both simple and enjoyable.

Consequently, reemerging trends of classic cocktails and ingredients are fun to consider. “In addition to Avant-Garde, spirits like pisco and cachaca gaining traction in home bars and more space on retail shelves, sherry, vermouth, and bitter liqueurs are also rising in popularity,” shares Cohen. Recipes that are “equal parts,” like the Negroni or Paper Plane, are also high on the list of drinks people can produce at home. “They are not only delicious, but making them is easy,” she says. Cohen cites The Bamboo, Old Fashioned, Cosmopolitan, and Penicillin as popular throwbacks that have popped up during quarantine.

What About the Winos?

For wine lovers looking for fun twists, while spritzes – like the refreshing Lillet Spritz – are still on trend, the infamous “frosé” has now lent itself to “morphing into a comprehensive frozen drinks trend,” says Cohen. “With the addition of products like Bloomers Frosé on the market in the last year, turning anything in your wine fridge – or cocktail cart – into a frozen treat is easy and delicious." As for the more traditional vino drinkers at heart, Cohen is a fan of the Sancerre, Chablis, and Gruner Veltliner varietals by the pool – when she’s not sipping on Pisco tonics, iced coffee cocktails, and of course, “lots and lots of water.”

Crafting Cocktails? There’s an App for That!

While crafting cocktails is an art in itself, you don’t need a professional mixologist behind a bar to create the perfect drink. “As a cocktail lover, I’m definitely not alone in being intrigued by the myriad cocktails out there; many of my friends and colleagues are, too,” explains Fabian Ng, CEO of Wunderbar Cocktails. “What I noticed was that most of them were daunted by the complexities of cocktails when it comes to taste profiles or preparation processes.” And thus, the Wunderbar Cocktails app (available on both iOS and Android) was born. The goal of the app is to change the perception of cocktail crafting from “abstract and complicated” into one that’s accessible to anyone, including beginners.

So, what does the Wunderbar Cocktails app entail? To start, it features a library of 250 iconic cocktail recipes. Next, users can take advantage of what Ng refers to as a “reverse cocktail search function,” which allows you to discover cocktails you can make based on the ingredients you already have on hand. “Wunderbar is also currently the only cocktail app that has a personalized cocktail recommendation engine, understanding individual preferences in taste and strength to suggest the right selection of cocktails to make," Ng says.

Additionally, other convenient functions of the Wunderbar Cocktails app include a database updated monthly and a cocktail of the month, which highlights the best cocktail to make based on trends and occasions. Want to upload your own inventions to the app? Ng says hang tight – this function is in the pipeline, with plans to release the feature this summer.

“All these great cocktail apps, sites, and video channels out there do more than just help people find and create their own drinks,” shares Ng. “They also encourage learning, experimentation, and self-expression – values that make the community, and the world at large, more diverse and vibrant.”

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Mix Things Up With Trendy Summertime Cocktails