This week’s video is a little bit longer, but I wanted to cover a lot of ground. There are so many great new trends and ideas appearing in Mixology today I wanted to take the time to point out the biggest mixology trends I’m seeing today.

If you want to know what I think is “up and coming” behind the bar, definitely check it out!

New Trends in Mixology, 2013:

Pre-Batched Cocktails

One of the focuses right now is how we deliver cocktails to our guests. Many bars have bottle-carbonated pre-batched cocktails that they can give to their guests table-side. While it takes more time in advance, it definitely makes the execution quicker at service time while still looking great to the guest.

Soda Programs

Similar to pre-batching cocktails, I’ve been seeing bars (especially restaurant bars) complimenting their cocktail program with a soda program. This is a great way to serve interesting and specialized drinks during lunchtime, or to guests who do not drink alcohol.

Nitro Infusion

This is a new technique intended to reduce the time required for infusion.  We actually did an experiment on this topic here, seeing if it’s as good as all of the hype!

High Quality Tools

This trend is rapidly booming nowadays. New glasses, bar spoons – you name it, everything has improved and some we never really heard of before.


Vermouth has gained a lot of traction in the mixology community due to the fact that classic cocktails are becoming so popular. It’s made bartenders get hands-on with these products as well as gaining knowledge on how to use them.


Clarification is a byproduct of soda carbonating and I’m really excited to tell you about this! It strips away any pulp and color out of the citrus juice to preserve the acidity by aid in cutting down the forming of bottle carbonation.  Check out our video on clarifying lime juice here!

Cocktails on Tap

Jaspers in San Francisco has a very unique way of serving their Negronis. They pre-batch their drinks, place them in a keg, and serve them on tap.  You can be in a busy bar and have amazing cocktails at the same time, all while continuing to interact with your guests.

The New Standards in Mixology:

These used to be “trends” but now they’re generally agreed to be required for any high level cocktail program.

Fresh Juice

When I first started tending bar, one of the hottest trends was to utilize fresh juices. Seems kind of silly and common right now, but that was revolutionary back in the early 2000’s. Now it’s an absolute must to use fresh juice, especially citrus.

Cocktail Ice

Good quality ice is absolutely vital to a great cocktail program. The difference between good ice and bad ice can be a watered down, ruined cocktail, slower cocktail creation, and generally lower quality drinks.

Local Sourcing

Bartenders and distillations are sourcing their ingredients for drinks and distillates as close to home as possible. It’s great to see that people are trying to make every effort to be responsible and minimize their carbon footprint.

Homemade Ingredients

Many bartenders are creating a lot of their products within house. Obviously simple syrups and fresh juices, but even tinctures, bitters and vermouths.

Keeping it “Down to Earth”

Last but definitely not least, I feel the pendulum has started to swing back to where it should be – the focus of Mixology should be the guests. Recently I’m seeing a lot of other leaders in our industry saying the same thing – don’t be pretentious, don’t look down on your customers. Make them a great drink because you want them to enjoy their evening, not because you want to look good. In this business, we always have to remember that 100% of what we do is for the guest!

This is why we love doing what we do. We get to be creative, we get to be social, we get to be the life of the party, and we should be having a great time every day we go into work. If we do that our guests are going to have a great time, and we are going to love our jobs even more.

Did I miss anything?

Come join us on our Facebook page and let me know what you think are the newest trends in Mixology!  We are always looking for new things to try in our videos, so definitely let us know what you’re seeing!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.