The Rise of High-End Mixers
You may have recently noticed small, glass bottled and highly priced mixers appearing in your grocery store and behind the local bar. These bottles have the same names we’re all accustomed to, Cola, Ginger Beer, Tonic Water, etc… however the brand names are new and their designs are so elaborate, they almost fit the prices charged for them. Where did these mixers come from? Why is it now that you hear people asking after certain mixers brands and being disappointed when they don’t find them? Maybe behind your bar? Here’s why:
Following on from the Cocktail Trend
As high quality cocktails made with high quality spirits have become increasingly popular, consumers are caring more about what they put in their bodies. Consumers are now more informed, and therefore more confident, and are more likely to order call and premium brands than ever before. Bars and industry folks are recognizing this trend and offering consumers premium mixers to pair with their premium spirits.
High quality mixers, rather than multi-national brands dispensed from soda guns, speak for themselves. Consumers are now willing to spend more on premium products and consume less overall, this move towards premium mixers was not far away.
One of the large appeals of these bottled mixers are their ability to deliver consistent freshness and quality of flavor every time they’re served. Too often a mixer on a soda gun is under used and a customer is given a half flat, sad beverage which doesn’t compliment the establishment serving it. Using bottled mixers, whilst also providing a high quality product, eliminates this problem.
Rise of a Few
There are a few brands that have really conquered this market, especially in the UK where the Gin Craze has seen a complementary rise in the premium mixers category. This is slowly being reflected across the America, and not only in high end cocktail bars. Other bars, even sports bars, are beginning to recognize the rise of premium mixers and are quick to jump in on the action.
Myriad of Flavors
Whilst these premium mixer brands are offering up high quality versions of well-known mixers, they’re also creating their own flavors and mixers specifically for different categories of spirits. For example, fruited tonics are becoming a real thing, with different flavor combinations to suit Dry, London Dry, and Floral styles of gin.
Options for Bartenders
The rise of these mixers has provided bartenders with easy ways of producing a high quality drink whilst adding, sometimes unique, and high quality flavors to drinks without having to compromise on time and speed of service. These luxuries are allowing them to produce better drinks whilst also providing better service for their customers. It also allows higher volume bars to offer high quality products with higher margins.
In short, some would say that the rise of high-end mixers was nothing less than expected after the boom of cocktail culture. Also contributing is the consumer’s desiring to drink less whilst also consuming a higher quality product and being willing to pay a bit more to upgrade their experience. These items are not going to disappear quickly and, as with any other trend, expect the range of offerings from these companies to increase, and expect the multinational soda and spirit brands to want to get in on the action sooner rather than later.