As consumers, we’ve seen the continued growth of craft beer and craft spirits, as well as a huge increase in microbreweries and craft distilleries around the country. These trends are also reflected in catering menus for special events. What’s next? What trends are we now seeing incorporated into our clients’ bar catering menus?
Lesser-known Wines are having a moment
More and more consumers are realizing that high quality has to come with a high price tag when it comes to wine. 2019 is the year of the more educated wine consumer who is looking for more than just well-known producers and cult classics. Look for smaller wineries that are doing more natural viniculture and biodynamic wines. Wineries that are certified organic or biodynamic are seeing a huge upswing. And local is still huge, event planners are incorporating local wines into their bars at a higher rate. Guests love the stories that go along with them, and love being able to take a tip for a great wine home with them.
Educational Experiences Still Rank High
Catering and event guests love educational and interactive experiences. They love to discover and explore new cultural and culinary traditions. Think Japanese whiskey tastings, and or bartenders that explain to customers what they are doing as they do it. Bartenders that put on a show as they shake, mix, and squeeze craft cocktails in front of customers are also incredibly popular!
Florals in Cocktails
The only thing better than a vase full of flowers is a cocktail full of flowers! Edible florals are popping up everywhere in drinks. They are eye-catching and instagrammable! Pop a beautiful hibiscus in a bourbon cocktail, some lavender in gin, and chamomile with tequila, and you have yourself a memorable cocktail! The best caterers have bartenders that can utilize florals in a way that emphasizes the delicate flavors, ensuring the subtle flavors speak volumes.
Event guests aren’t always attracted to the same old drinks they can get at home. After all, when in Rome! Beer, wine and liquor from nearby microbreweries, wineries and distilleries are a must to give guests a truly local experience. Be sure to highlight these local purveyors at your bar with creative signage and through bartender education.
Tapas and Drink Pairings
Small portions are in! It’s all about serving up a gourmet dish with a drink that compliments! Education is part of the experience and it also lends itself as an ice breaker and conversation piece. Think flights of beer or wine to compliment different tapas. Or, for maximum impact, pair each food with its own drink and display them together on the same table. Then place tables in different locations to encourage mixing and mingling.
Health and Nutrition is in Full Force
Consumers today care more about what goes into their bodies. This translates to drinks in the form of seltzers, low-cal cocktails, light beers, and kombucha. Also, a big trend is drinking containing ingredients that we associate with wellness. Think superfoods, medicinal herbs, teas, and cold-pressed juices. The anti-inflammatory spice turmeric is emerging as a popular ingredient, as well as herbs like thyme and tarragon. These earthy ingredients are being used to create visually stunning drinks.
Bold New World
Gone are the days when the bar was the simple part of a catering event. The most unique events offer much more than traditional drinks and mixers. The bar has morphed into a product of locality and beauty. People want something unique and memorable. The best event catering companies stay on top of trends. That’s what separates a good caterer from the best caterers.
Messina’s Catering and Events have been providing full service catering to the New Orleans area for more than 55 years. We have a great deal of experience in implementing trends in our food and drink menus. Check out our article on Catering and Event Food Trends for more ideas!