By Sam Rubenstein, Principal/Managing Director
Whether its 3 ounces of Fever Tree tonic, ½ an ounce of Royal Rose Syrup, a couple drops of Fee Brothers Bitters or a Luxardo Cherry, specialty non-alcoholic products are on the rise. In an age where flavored vodka is under pressure and terms like “flavor fatigue” are thrown around, this growth may come as a surprise ... but it shouldn’t.
Consumers are gravitating toward premium spirit products. They research where it’s from, what’s gone into it and where it’s been. If people want to know the mash bill, the type of barrel(s) used, and the length of time it’s been in the barrel, it makes sense that what else goes into a cocktail with that spirit is just as important to them.
Then there is the added flexibility. Specialty mixers and bitters provide the option to add just the right amount of flavor personalizing a cocktail to a specific preference. This allows bartenders to perfect their craft and individualize their menu. However, an unexpected amount of these products are being used at home. In 2015 over ⅓ of our sales occurred at retail.
So whether you are building a drink in your kitchen or ordering one at your favorite bar, pay attention to everything that goes into your cocktail. It may surprise you.