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Want to know what’s hot in the world of drinks? Not just the flavour of the month cocktails and spirits that we’re sipping right now but the ones look set to impact our drinking habits in the near future? We’ll take that as a yes. Anyone who’s serious about bartending which, we’re assuming includes you if you’re reading this, all insights into that side of things are always welcome.
Distilled think so too. That’s why they’ve built a team of 10 evangelists who are dedicated to sharing the spirits love. Not au fait with Distilled and what they do? Shame on you. You obviously haven’t read our first post. Check it out here. But just to recap, Distilled is the specialist spirits division of Carlsberg UK. They’re not exactly new to the scene either – in fact, they’ve been selling spirits to the UK on-trade for the last 25 years. Which is shorthand for saying, they really know their stuff. And they’re super keen to share their passion and knowledge.
The way that manifests itself comes in many forms, from discovering new innovations that can add extra profit to your bottom line to advising on staff training and education. There’s also a super-cool series of limited-edition downloadable guides packed with all kinds of info to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in the world of drinks. In the latest edition the focus is on Global Trends. And when they say global, they mean it. Writers Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland have dug deep in their contacts books, checking in with key bartenders everywhere from Australia to Turkey, Kenya to Japan to check out what’s going down in their part of the globe.
The regional winners from last year’s Diageo World Class Cocktail Competition kick the chat off. Patrick Kempinski from Kenya, Carl Dalton from Ireland, Gökhan Kusoglu from Turkey, Laura Newman from USA, Daniel Warren from Great Britain and winner Orlando Marzo from Australia all give an overview of the spirits, serves and drinking styles that they’re embracing in their bars.
There are more words of spirits wisdom from one of our favourite bartenders in Madrid, Diego Cabrera who explains why the thirst for gin shows no signs of slowing down, while Timo Janse from the Flying Dutchmen in Amsterdam bigs up the case for mezcal. No matter the tipple Tim Philips from award-winning Bulletin Place in Sydney shares his (very strong) views on why the biggest new trend will be a return to simple, stripped back drinks with an emphasis on technique and classic flavours. He also gives his tips on the core drinks every bartender should perfect and why.
Then there’s International Bartender of the Year Joe Schofield, talking about how he approaches the creation of his revolutionary award-winning menus, and Hiroyasu Kayama from Ben Fiddich in Tokyo shining a light on the trends that are making waves in his much acclaimed bar as well as further afield in Japan.
All this and we haven’t even got to the drinks… We won’t reveal everything here otherwise there would be no need for you to download the guide. Clue: mix yourself a Highball, made with Scotch preferably and enjoy the read.