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Cocktail trends that will change the way we drink

Sustainability, digital platforms and lockdown-inspired at home drinking are all trends that will shift drinking habits for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

After the recent finals of Diageo World Class, the global drinks producer brought together industry figures to reveal the trends and experiences it believes will shape the future of drinks experiences around the world.

From partnerships with Pinterest to inspire your next cocktail, to leveraging the latest AR technology to make world class drinks in the comfort of your own home, the future of socialising looks full of new ideas, aiming to inspire people to drink better around the world. 

Simon Earley, Head of Diageo World Class, said: “Each year we work with the world’s best bartenders and innovators to discover the future of world class drinks. The past year has seen extraordinary innovation and creativity within cocktail culture; we want to celebrate that and give everyone a taste of what’s next. A Taste of the Future is a fully interactive virtual space, allowing everyone to explore for themselves some of the near-future partnerships appearing at home or in a bar near them soon.”

Among other things, the virtual space sees visitors able to use Pinterest to answer a series of trend-based questions and as a result find a Pin board, including a cocktail match, completely personalised to their taste; explore how using advanced augmented reality technology via a phone or tablet can create a perfectly measured Johnnie Walker Highball and unlock the next generation of drinks personalisation on a Ketel One Espresso Martini with a unique selfie, using Ripples printed cocktail technology. 

In addition, drinks enthusiasts can also hear leading drinks innovators Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan), Tim Philips-Johansson (World Class Winner 2012 /Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador), Benni Lickfett (Diageo’s Global Head of Digital Innovation) and Anna Sudbury (Senior Partner Manager at Pinterest) discuss how elements such as tech and sustainability are central to the future of our drinks experiences in an exclusive Taste of the Future and Johnnie Walker panel ‘The Future of Social Culture’.

Benni said: “There is a huge amount of passion in our industry, with a lot of the magic happening at the intersection of drinks, food, hospitality, tech and media. At Diageo we collaborate with different partners like Pinterest to really understand their insights and perspectives on how consumer behaviour is shifting, allowing us to focus on experimenting, getting things into market and to really be ahead of the curve.”

Discussing the role of sustainability in future bar experiences, Ryan Chetiyawardana said: “There has been a real moment of reflection for the trade over the past 18 months, be it connections to consumers; digital tools and sometimes purely operational shifts. 

“The idea of human connection has become so important – people have been craving something new and exploring new horizons. It’s helped people reassess what’s important and fast-tracked concerns such as sustainability. With people increasingly wanting to find the balance between a luxury experience and protecting the planet – there’s a lot to be optimistic about.”

In addition to AR tech and sustainability lockdowns around the world are inspiring people to improve their at-home cocktail-making abilities.

Technology is also playing a key role in this trend with for instance, a partnership with Verizon and Yahoo Ryot Lab using tablets or phones to enable the perfect highball to be poured, or ThreeDium’s immersive and interactive 3D technology providing the opportunity to view and explore bottles online of your favourite brands.

Artificial intelligence is also being developed to analyse your flavour preferences to match you with your perfect Whisky serve and Google has developed an immersive Talisker Tasting experience transporting users to the Isle of Skye to join a tasting tour.

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