Farm to Bar

September 11, 2013
Beverage Flavor Ingredients Trends
You’ve heard of “farm to table,” but now make room for “farm to bar!”

The locavore movement has added a new group of devotees to their following — mixologists. Today what is freshest and at its seasonal flavor peak holds great interest for not only chefs and their culinary staff, but also for professional bartenders working toward building their own creative reputation and a local following for their establishment.

Menus now feature fruit and vegetable purees and syrups that deliver a vivid punch of flavor that go far beyond the frozen strawberries once used to make a strawberry daiquiri or the canned tomato juice that was the base for a Bloody Mary mix. Depth and dimension from herbs and spices like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger are becoming the norm. Artisan or handcrafted vinegars and bitters are also being leveraged to produce unique, and in some cases, exotic flavor combinations.

If you are searching for a “farm to bar” experience in your city or town and find the choices are limited, you might just stop in at your local TGIFriday’s and check out their new signature cocktail specials.  What a surprise to see a vodka and elderflower cooler that has fresh basil muddled into the glass prior to the addition of the liquid ingredients! Great experimentation and creativity is happening in both the front of the house, as well as the kitchen, so a seat at the bar can be very entertaining — and educational!