International Bar Trends


International Bar Trends

Bar None

with Debbian Spence-Minott

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Over the past weeks, we were happily distracted from our cocktail journey to spend some time with the “rum people”. However, as promised this year, we are not done yet as we continue to discover rum worlds unknown and bringing to the fore some of the nation's great rum products. Keep reading; we are just about to go into higher gear.

As a beverage professional, I am always excited to read about the new trends that are taking shape in the bar and beverage business. There are so many great brands around the globe, but what is interesting is how these brands connect with the trade and what brands are being used by our bartenders and ultimately consumed, as the bartender remains the direct link to the consumer. Throughout the remainder of the year, I will delve into specific category trends. However, this week I highlight from Drinks International the top 10 Bartenders' Classical Cocktails. To our Jamaican bartender community and beverage professionals, let me encourage you to take note of these trends as our international consumers' tastes and discerning palettes are enjoying the classics!


Old Fashioned

Serve me a drink the old-fashioned way. For the fifth consecutive year, the old fashioned has retained its top spot in the hearts of bartenders. The old fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, most popularly whiskey but sometimes brandy, and finally a twist of citrus rind. It is traditionally served in a short, round, tumbler-like glass, which is called an old fashioned glass after the drink.



It all started with Count Camillo Negroni and his request for a stronger Americano. Bartender Fosco Scarselli replaced the soda water in the original classic with gin. Try this version: 1 oz Campari, 3/4 oz Martini Rossi Sweet Vermouth, and 1 oz Beefeater Gin.


Whiskey Sour

It is said that the whiskey sour recipe was first published in the Jerry Thomas book titled The Bon Vivant's Companion, in 1862. The whiskey sour is a mixed drink containing whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and optionally, a dash of egg white. With the egg white, it is sometimes called a Boston Sour. With a few bar spoons of full-bodied red wine floated on top, it is often referred to as a New York Sour.



Internationally, this Cuban classic has been the most ordered rum cocktail. It consists of rum, lime and simple syrup or sugar. Bartenders, did you note that this classic is not the frozen or fruit-flavoured variation? Jamaica has some amazing rums; experiment away!


The Manhattan has become commonplace drinking in cafés and restaurants on the German Fohr island. A Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. While rye is the traditional whiskey of choice, other commonly used whiskies include Canadian whiskey, bourbon, blended whiskey and Tennessee whiskey. Did You Know: The cocktail was said to have been adopted after deep-sea fishing trips to Manhattan.


Dry Martini

The origins of the dry martini might be murky, but what is clear is that this gin-based classic is still popular. Some of you may say “No, martinis are made with vodka!” My response would be a stronger no, as the original classic is made with gin. The vodka version is classified as 'vodkatini' and does not compare with the original gin recipe!


Espresso Martini

Thanks to the renaissance in the bar industry, the espresso martini is now a reinvigorated classic among consumers. The coffee-based cocktail is also known as vodka espresso and pharmaceutical Stimulant.



The margarita has held its own as a tequila-based cocktail. For a complete twist on the recipe, try making Margherita Margarita, by Ben Hardy at Lucky Liquor, Edinburgh, who uses mozzarella-infused tequila, cherry tomato shrub, basil, celery, lime, agave nectar and orange bitters. To all our cocktail cuisine bartenders this could be a treat!


Aperol Spritz

Created by the Barbieri brothers in the 1900s, Aperol was their answer to a lighter pre-dinner tipple. Try Aperol, prosecco and a splash of soda for a refreshing, easy-to-make cocktail.


Moscow Mule

Down to number 10, the Moscow Mule is no longer the top vodka classic on the list, but all is not lost for this simple serve. For a slightly sweeter, oaky version try swapping vodka for bourbon or rum to make a Kentucky Mule or Jamaican Mule. The original ingredients are vodka, fresh lime juice, ginger beer with lime, and mint sprig for garnish.

Next week, we reveal the other 10 classic cocktails rounding out our list. Until then, continue to experiment with these classics and as usual, share them with us! Cheers!


Readers' Feedback:

Imagine if we embraced life's moments big and small, without reservation. Together, we might fill the world with contagious joy. Please share with meyour wines, spirits and cocktail experiences or comments on the above article at, or follow me on IG @debbiansm #barnoneja.


Debbian Spence-Minott

An Alumna of the US Sommelier Association

CEO of the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines

President – Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited

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