What Every Man Should Be Drinking This Summer
Virtuous Vodka Raspberry Spritz. Photograph courtesy of Scotch+Limon
Remember life pre-Aperol Spritz? The bittersweet aperitivo drink has become so ubiquitous across the globe that it’s hard to think of life without it. But, though we’d like to think that we always had the common sense to drink it, it’s simply not true. The reality is the world of drinks has its trends, just like everything else, and we’re very much prey to them.
So, what can we expect to be imbibing this summer? Step forward the experts at Scotch+Limon. Messrs Barrie Wilson and Fabrice Limon launched their drinks consultancy business in 2015 and are at the cutting edge of all that’s current in the world of cocktails. According the them, our tastes are now increasingly discerning. “People see what they drink as a lifestyle choice,” says Mr Wilson. “Gone are the days of the Sex And The City cocktail – people like far more robust drinks now. We want our drinks to taste better than they look, so no more cocktails served out of a welly boot.”
With that in mind, the duo outline three trends we should all raise our glasses to this summer.
Following the gin boom of the past few years, Scotch+Limon see another grandma’s favourite taking the limelight this summer. “We’re seeing sherry make a massive comeback,” says Mr Wilson. “Bartenders love playing around with it, and whether it’s used as a matchmaker in cocktails or served straight from the fridge you can make some really impressive drinks.” A key part of its revival is the shift in the language used to communicate its appeal. “Rather than boring consumers with how it’s made, people are talking instead about flavour and how varied it is – whether that’s dry and nutty or sweet and fruity,” adds Mr Limon. “The Australians did it with wine a few years back and it really helps. From a dry fino through to a Pedro Ximénez and everything in between, there’s so much to appreciate with sherry.”
What to order:
Another trend led by integrity is the growth of quality British vodkas. “There’s been a new resurgence in vodka and it’s led by how well it’s being made,” says Mr Limon. “Rather than how many times it’s been filtered or distilled to produce a flavourless, odourless spirit, now it’s about raw ingredients and these vodkas are unfiltered to keep as much flavour in it as possible.” He points to a shift in how people think about white spirits, led by the growth in artisanal gins, and this new breed of vodkas includes Our/London (from global startup Our/Vodka) and Hereford-based Chase Vodka, which was one of the original British craft vodkas. “They might not be as complex as cognac or whisky but you can definitely tell the difference in good-quality vodkas,” he adds. “Simple drinks over ice or with soda are also low in sugar, which is the enemy right now. The less sugar you have, the better you’re likely to feel in the morning.”
What to order:
Perhaps this year’s most surprising drinks trend is the growth of non-alcoholic drinks, which – according to Mr Wilson and Mr Limon – is long overdue. “The fastest growing demographic is 18 to 24-year-olds who aren’t drinking, so this trend really taps into current habits,” says Mr Wilson. “What’s been available previously has been really bad for you. Mocktails often have no focus and you usually end up with a sugary glass of juice and if you’re not drinking for whatever reason, you feel a bit of an idiot.” He points to Seedlip – a distilled non-alcoholic spirit, which is made in a pot still with plenty of botanicals – as a category-defining pioneer. “This is a sophisticated, complex-flavoured option for grown-ups and is one of the best new British brands we’ve seen for a long time.”
What to order:
“Try Seedlip in a martini with olive brine, or a simple serve with tonic,” says Mr Wilson.
Plus, one to make at home...
For entertaining at home, the Scotch+Limon team recommend fixing up a zesty Raspberry Spritz. “This is easy to make and needs minimal preparation,” says Mr Wilson. “It requires no shaking or any complicated techniques, just pour and enjoy.”
- 50ml Virtuous Vodka Raspberry
- Bitter lemon
- Wedge of fresh lemon
Serve in the vodka a high ball over plenty of ice.
Top up with bitter lemon and garnish with the lemon wedge.