Below, founding partner of Truman & Orange, Rowan Leibbrandt reveals what South Africans will continue to embrace long after the challenges of lockdown, liquor bans, and pineapple beer.
During the lockdown, when staying in was the new going out, many of us discovered our inner mixologist.
As a result, cocktails have never been so hot, and chic home bars and glamorous cocktail cabinets are having a moment.
Serious home bartenders need a good stock of spirits that includes a single malt whisky, at least three gins, rum, brandy, tequila, vodka, a couple of liqueurs, and an array of cordials and mixers.
Add a cocktail shaker, a tot measure, and an ice crusher and you’re set to be the new host with the most.
And if you’re into pimping your drinks, bring out diced fresh fruit and, dare we suggest it, a few paper umbrellas.
There’s a RUMble in the jungle
Just as gin took the world by storm, so rum is becoming the flavour of the month.
Not just something to add a kick to your Coke, top-quality rum is meticulously crafted by small boutique distillers, and the extensive variety available ranges from trendy golden rum to premium brands such as Don Papa.
This small-batch, single-island-aged rum is produced on the sugar island of Negros Occidental in the Philippines.
It boasts delicious vanilla, honey, and candied fruit flavours, and like other luxury rums, is exquisitely enjoyed neat over ice.
The worldwide wellness trend has meant that many people have decided to steer clear of alcohol.
Younger generations are also drinking less as they show greater interest in holistic wellness and health.
But if you thought that sugary soft drinks were the only alternative, think again, the new non-alcoholic spirits are so palate-pleasing there’ll be no shortage of those willing and able to drive you home.
The ‘drinking better' trend
Increasingly South African drinkers are looking for quality brands, with a strong sense of history, authenticity, and provenance sourced locally and globally.
They have become more connected, well-informed and demand premium products and bang for their bucks.
Hand-crafted and attention to detail are of the utmost importance and consumers should be able to experience exceptional products with unique stories and ways of being made, such as Highland Park Scotch Whisky that’s still made the same traditional way, but by a new generation of modern Viking souls.
The Kraken Black Spiced rum, named after a sea beast of myth and legend, is said to have brought down the world’s largest shipment of Caribbean rum and 100% blue agave Fortaleza Tequila, produced by the fifth generation of the Sauza family at their distillery in Mexico, that still uses the same production methods that were used 150 years ago.
A good ol’ G&T is simply no longer really acceptable and today’s drinkers have a more sophisticated palate and appreciate the unique flavour of a craft gin such as Aviation, the brand that catalysed the global craft spirit revolution.
Local continues to be lekker
While we all know that South Africa is brimming with amazing talent, Covid-19 has brought home the importance of buying local and supporting home-grown enterprises.
In a world full of gins, it’s worth celebrating the fact that award-winning, hand-crafted Bloedlemoen gin is the first blood orange gin on the globe.
Distilled in Cape Town, this classic London Dry-style gin gets its delicious flavour from locally grown Tarocco blood oranges. There’s a reason the expression ‘local is lekker’ never gets tired.
You buy your groceries online, so why not your favourite tipple too? The global market for online alcohol sales increased 42% last year in 2020, according to Forbes Magazine.
With continued Coronavirus safety concerns, consumers have been introduced to the accessibility and convenience of purchasing alcohol online on platforms such as Yuppiechef and Cutler Drinks, and this trend is predicted to continue into the future.
This story originally appeared on IOL