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Insight of the Day: Thinking differently about cocktail flavours

The world of mixology is evolving rapidly, and bartenders are increasingly experimenting with unconventional flavors and ingredients to create unique and memorable cocktails. Here are some insights and trends emerging from the industry:

1. Tea-Infused Cocktails: Tea is making its way into the world of cocktails, providing a novel twist on traditional drinks. For example, Dilmah Tea has collaborated with Fever-Tree and Little Lon Distilling Co to create tea-infused cocktails such as gin and tea spritzers and tea-inspired cocktails. These unique combinations offer a fresh take on classic cocktails and introduce new flavors and aromas to the mix.

2. Dessert-Cocktail Hybrids: Combining desserts with cocktails has gained popularity, including ice cream or sorbet mixed with alcoholic beverages. A revival of the Sgroppino cocktail, which includes lemon sorbet, prosecco, and vodka, has appeared in Australian bars. Similarly, bars are creating their own variations of dessert-cocktail hybrids.

3. Maple Syrup and Maple Flakes: As part of the movement toward using whole foods and natural sweeteners, mixologists are turning to pure maple syrup as an alternative to refined sugars. Maple syrup offers a complex flavor profile that complements various botanicals and flavors. Additionally, freeze-dried maple syrup, known as maple flakes, can be used to create sugar rims with contrasting flavors.

4. Savoury Flavours: Bartenders are incorporating savory flavors into their cocktails, drawing inspiration from culinary traditions and techniques. Examples include Jai Lyons' Chicken Salt Martini, which features chicken-salt-infused sherry and rice syrup, and Peter Pham's What The Pho, a "Phogarita" that combines sweet, savory, spicy, and herbal elements.

5. Culinary Techniques: Bartenders are using culinary techniques such as sous-vide to create complex and adventurous cocktails. By experimenting with techniques usually reserved for the kitchen, mixologists are creating innovative drinks that combine bold flavors and textures.

6. Fool-Proof Flavor Combinations: Mixologists like Patrick Pistolesi are known for experimenting with unconventional flavor combinations such as whiskey and pickle juice (Pickleback), avocado margaritas, and Adult Chocolate Milk. By pushing boundaries and mixing unexpected ingredients, bartenders are creating new and exciting cocktails.

Overall, the trend in mixology is toward innovation, creativity, and incorporating flavors and techniques from other culinary fields. By experimenting with unusual ingredients and methods, bartenders are offering customers a fresh and exciting experience in the world of cocktails.

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