The hottest summer cocktail trends for 2021-22

summer cocktails

Blanche Clark

Posted December 24, 2021

Shake things up this summer with our guide to the hottest cocktail trends that will keep you cool. 

Summer is all about having fun in the sun, and even if La Niña does send a few cooler days our way, don’t let that dampen your spirits (so to speak) for a refreshing tipple.

Bourke Street Green bartender Ben Crafter says the hottest cocktail trends for summer are spritzes, gin-based cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

“Summer is all about refreshing, light drinks,” Ben says. “The spritz is easy to make at home with equal parts prosecco and Aperol or Campari, and a dash of soda to add that refreshing element.”

Switching out Aperol for a locally made product adds an element of fun, and Bourke Street Green uses Davo Plum Aperitivo Bitters by Autonomy Distillers in Spotswood.

“The Davo Plum Aperitivo Bitters is similar to Aperol and perfect with sparkling wine or soda and lots of ice for a long drink,” Ben says. “All our gins are local, too. It’s great to support local brands, especially small brands that have struggled during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Their products are often better because they put in more care and effort.”

Another element of summer cocktails is colour, with pinks and lemons being the most attractive.

“The look of the cocktails is important,” Ben says. “Often people see a cocktail that someone else has ordered and want the same thing. That happens with our Bloody Sour, which is made with Four Pillars Shiraz gin, lemon juice and egg white. It’s pink and has a lovely balance of sweetness and acid.”

The Southside Fizz is another winner. “It’s an awesome summer drink made with blood orange gin. It’s pink, fluffy and super refreshing,” Ben says. Follow Bourke Street Green’s video below and learn how to make one.

Southside Fizz cocktail

Bitter and sweet

Ben says bitters are an easy way to enhance cocktails. “There are so many different types of bitters,” he says. “We make an Old-fashioned cocktail with peach bitters. It adds a touch of flavour without the need to go out and buy a whole new bottle of spirits.”

While people love a negroni, which is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet red vermouth, Ben says this is more of a winter cocktail. “We have a summer one on the Bourke Street Green menu that’s gin, passionfruit liquor, lemon juice and soda water. It’s long and refreshing on a hot day,” Ben says.

Another predicted trend for 2022 is the rise in demand for canned cocktails, which are handy for barbecues and picnics. But Ben says a freshly made cocktail always tastes better. All you need is basic spirits such as gin and tequila, sugar syrup and lemon juice.

“You can make your own sugar syrup by heating up equal parts sugar and water on the stove until combined,” Ben says. “Then when you make your cocktails, you balance the sugar syrup and lemon juice to your liking.”

If you wanted something more sophisticated, try Bourke Street Green’s Salted Caramel Espresso Martini below. “The espresso martini is popular year around,” Ben says. “Instead of getting a coffee, people come and get an espresso martini and get their caffeine that way. This cocktail also looks great on Instagram.”

Ben expects an increasing demand for non-alcholic drinks in 2022, with people trying to adopt healthier lifestyles or because they want to drive home.

“We get a lot of requests for non-alcoholic drinks, like lemon, lime and bitters,” Ben says. “We also have a non-alcoholic gin that goes well with tonic, and we can substitute non-alcoholic ingredients to make mocktails.”

Try RACV Torquay Resort’s Guava Strawberry Fizz for a super refreshing mocktail at home.

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

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