Wine, beer, cocktails and coffee are not just delightful and satisfying drinks, they have also become a part of the urban lifestyle in this day and age. Millennials in general enjoy their drinks in a manner of which it has already been synonymous to chilling out with friends. Master Sommelier Frank Kämmer is taking a look at the trendiest drinks this season!
Orange wines, first and foremost, are named after their colour, not their ingredients. These wines are made from white grapes in which the skin is used as well. Think of Rosé, they are also ‘skin-fermented’. And because of this process, the wines get a stronger colour and more intense spicy structure.
This is definitely the season’s must-have drink! It’s elegant, light and full of flavour. Up and coming vintners, sommeliers and wine journalists have been quickly hyped with this type of wine. But conservative connoisseurs and experts had some reservation about it. Nevertheless, the trend has been going strong and nowadays only wines of questionable reputation quickly disappear, while serious contenders are establishing their market position.
Make way for champagne’s cooler cousin, Pét-Nat! Its name is short form for Pétillant Naturel, which literally means “naturally sparkling”. The wine is bottled after the first fermentation. Vintners have very little control over the carbonation – hence the name. A wine-making method going back centuries is an emerging craze on the natural wine scene. The residual yeast in the bottle sometimes makes for a slightly cloudy appearance in the glass, it also provides for a rather ‘wild’ aroma.
Even though this is by far the oldest method of making sparkling wines, known in France as méthode ancestrale (ancestral method), it is currently considered a novelty, especially among alternative vintners. Starting out in the Loire Valley and South of France, Pét-Nats now also hail from Austria, Northern Italy, California and New York State.
Not too long ago wine aficionados were worried about the wholesomeness of acid accentuated wines, especially the racy Rieslings from the German Rhine and Mosel valleys. There has been reconsideration about this lately. Now, the vivid acidity of Rieslings is sought after and appreciated. The acid of a good Riesling is not simply sour, it plays a major part in the wine’s zestiness and buoyancy. Sommeliers find that patrons discover or appreciate these characteristics, especially in combination with a good meal!
The Negroni is a classic apéritif which became popular in 1920s Florence, Italy. This ruby-red Italian charmer has been popping up everywhere since having entered the mainstream mid-2015. Looking for something to replace the now ubiquitous Aperol-Spritz, millennials are giving this specialty cocktail a new lease on life. This bittersweet pre-dinner drink made from gin, vermouth and Campari answered their call! Such is its popularity, it has been named London’s ‘Drink of the Decade’ in 2014.
The Negroni being on trend and the global resurgence of the Gin &Tonic have opened the way for a new generation of distillers. Back in our home in Germany, not traditionally a gin country, over 75 distillers are now competing with the traditional brands. Artisan brands in the UK, putting their own spin on this classic, are credited with making gin more popular among millennials and gin is hot on vodka’s heels in terms of popularity.
A few years ago craft beers were a belittled niche product in a market dominated by a few big brands. Now, craft beers are an established part of beer culture, even being offered in fine restaurants and sometimes appearing on their own menus like fine wines. With individual styles, craftsmanship and high quality ingredients, local brewers got started to take on the interchangeable big brand beers. Craft beers are now a global trend and even the big breweries are now marketing some of their products as craft beer. For the most part, this is still a very local scene though and when you visit a new place it is always worth to look out for local breweries or ask your bartender or waiter for a local craft beer.
Cold Brew Coffee
Iced coffee has long been a staple drink for a hot summer day. The ‘traditional method’ of preparing this refreshing beverage is quite straight forward. Simply pour regular coffee over ice, and done! Cold Brew Coffee is the coffee enthusiasts’ preferred method and is now gaining global popularity. As the name suggests, it is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water at room temperature for an extended period of time – up to 12 hours. The concentrate resulting from this can be served as Iced Coffee. There is even a trendy variety involving tonic water. The process’s show stopper? A fruity, full bodied taste with minimum acidity. This makes for a very gentle on the stomach drink.
Which of the above trendiest drinks is your favourite? Let us know, comment your answers below this post or discuss with us on Facebook.