Skinny cocktails to trend in 201323rd January, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Skinny cocktails are set to be big in London bars this year, according to one of the capital’s leading mixologists.
Joe McCanta, brand ambassador for Grey Goose vodka, has developed a range of skinny cocktails in response to huge demand for the “Skinny Bitch” in London, a mix of vodka, lime and soda.
“By ‘skinny’ I mean the low calorie. A 35ml measure of vodka has around 50-65 calories, while a brown spirit can be well over 100 calories for the same measure,” McCanta told The Spirits Business.“Vodka is the skinniest spirit out there in terms of calories, as it has no sugar or natural preservatives in it,” he added.
Among the new range, which will be on sale at the newly reopened Library Bar at Electric House, are a skinny take on the Grey Goose Le Fizz, a mix of vodka, lime and soda – with the addition of elderflower liqueur, and the Vohito – a vodka Mojito featuring Grey Goose Le Citron, agave syrup and mint.
McCanta advises those in search of a skinny drop to steer clear of Tequilas made with corn syrup, Bourbons that add caramel flavouring, and cocktails like the coconut-laden Piña Colada and creamy White Russian.
Instead, he recommends using spices like ginger and cardamom in skinny cocktails: “Spices have loads of flavour and virtually no calories, so you get the biggest bang for the least amount of buck,” he said.
He also advises using a low calorie soda water like Schwepps Slimline Tonic for a skinnier serve, with zero added sugar and just three calories a bottle.
Cocktail trends 2013
In terms of cocktail trends to look out for in 2013, McCanta predicts a place in the spotlight for the humble garnish as a bartender’s signature.
“Nightjar carves birds into their lemon peel garnishes and Ago Perrone of The Connaught crafts an “A” into slices of orange to garnish his drinks.
“It’s like the mark of Zoro – a chance for bartenders to put their stamp on a cocktail,” McCanta told sb.
He believes unusual ingredients will be used more frequently in cocktails, like Asian citrus fruit yuzu, Marmite and bacon. He also added there will be a surge of barrel-aged spirits in London bars, with venues offering limited released from micro distilleries.
“A few years ago New York was leading the world in terms of cocktail trends, now London has definitely overtaken it,” LA-born McCanta admitted.
For more predictions about which cocktail and bar trends will be big in 2013, click here. We asked some of the world’s best bartenders and friends of The Spirits Business what their top predictions are for the year ahead.