Rum

"There’s something special happening in rum at the moment. A gradual show of interest in the styles of rum that connoisseurs have about known for some time and that challenge the pre- and often mis-conceptions of rum," says Dawn Davies MW, head of buying for The Whisky Exchange. "Gone are the days when we think there are two choices…dark sticky and sweet, or clear and harsh. And so we’re seeing producers create more liquid that’ll make any whisky-drinker fall for rum."

Mezcal

We love gin, we really do, but there comes a point when the madness gets too much and we need something new. Now it is mezcal’s turn to shine. Mezcal is made in the Oaxaca province of Mexico from agave plants, in the same vain as Tequila but with different agave species. Many a bartender’s favourite, where tequila offers pepper and spice characters, mezcal presents smoke and fruit. Mezcal is superb when mixed with tonic and makes a fantastic ‘negroni’ in the place of gin.

French Spirits

We’re heading for a revived love affair with French spirits. Perhaps it’s because we know they make great wine so we have confidence in their spirits. Perhaps it’s because we all secretly wish we were hanging out in Parisian left bank cafes. Either way, order a Calvados or a Cognac and you’re sure to start a conversation. 

Pre-mixed cocktails

There was a time no too long ago that the very words ‘pre-mixed cocktail’ would make any bartender shudder. Now it’s thanks to those bartenders that we can fine some truly mouth-watering, decent quality pre-mixed cocktails for enjoyment at home. We’re not talking about a Cosmopolitan or a Pornstar Martini…this is all about refined flavours, exquisite ingredients and well-thought out recipes that have resulted in bar-quality pours.

Non-alcoholic

It’s been like music to the ears of every designated driver or non-drinker on the planet…something other than Diet Coke to drink. There’s absolutely no doubt that this is a booming trend as more producers look to create interesting and flavoursome ‘spirits’ or alternatives to alcohol.