Skinny cocktails are set to trend in London bars this year, according to one of the capital’s leading mixologists, Joe McCanta, brand ambassador for Grey Goose vodka. McCanta 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, adding, “Vodka is the skinniest spirit out there in terms of calories. Among the new range, which will be on sale at the Library Bar at Electric House, are a skinny take on the Grey Goose Le Fizz, a mix of vodka, lime and soda and elderflower liqueur, and the Vohito – a vodka Mojito featuring Grey Goose Le Citron, agave syrup and mint.
|Mixologist Joe McCanta|
McCanta advises those in search of a skinny serve 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: “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 with zero added sugar and just three calories a bottle. In terms of 2013 cocktail trends, McCanta predicts a place in the spotlight for the humble garnish as a bartender’s signature. “The 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,” says McCanta.
He believes unusual ingredients, like Asian citrus fruit yuzu, Marmite and bacon will be used more frequently in cocktails. He also thinks 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.