White rum is growing in popularity thanks to the recent launch of flavored brands such as Koko Kanu coconut rum; while darker rums are increasingly seen as a sipping alternative to whisky.
“Rum cocktails are getting the retro twist treatment in hybrids such as a Piña Colada Old Fashioned in London’s hottest cocktail bars. The stories behind rums and their cocktails can be fascinating and feed into customers’ interest in provenance,” according to Waitrose’s Food and Drink 2017 report.
“And the variety is astonishing; sugarcane grows at different latitudes and under different conditions across the Caribbean and Central and South America, meaning that the molasses used in regional rums all produce distinct flavors. All in all, this trend looks like it’s here to stay.”
Meanwhile, other drinks trends Waitrose notes include:
Craft porters & stouts: Darker beers containing roasted malts or barleys are getting the craft beer makeover.
Hybrid tipples: Glenfiddich is finishing some of its whisky in IPA casks, giving it a hoppy flavor. Expect more cross-categorizing to come.
Spanish vermut: This aperitif continues to gain traction. A fortified aromatic wine, it’s bitter but with a cherry base for a touch of sweetness.
Fizzing up: Bubbles continue to be popular, now getting more creative with a raspberry or a splash of the new British cassis.
Sicilian wines: A landscape of both volcanic and coastal areas creates wines combining New World ripeness with crisp Italian flavozrs.
Wine in a box: Sales of ‘bag in box’ have grown 26% in 10 years in France and, with 10 new boxes in Waitrose, look set for a UK boom, too.
Premium mixers: Sales of Fever-Tree are up 74% even as other high-end tonics and mixers-with-a-twist join the market.
Bitter flavours: The classic negroni (Campari, sweet vermouth and gin) has spearheaded the move towards interesting, bitter drinks.
Garnishes: Drinkers are customizing G&Ts with juniper berries, cucumber, and sprigs of rosemary.
Magnums: Increasingly popular as a dinner party centerpiece, more wines – and even beer – are now available in a bigger bottle.
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