The good old Old Fashioned whiskey cocktail, it turns out, continues to be a hit in an era of super creative cocktails.
A new report [PDF] out from IWSR, a source of data and analysis for the alcoholic beverage industry, revealed that the Old Fashioned, whether bourbon or rye-based, appears on a large number of menus at leading craft cocktail bars across 25 US cities. It, along with the vodka-based Moscow Mule, accounts for a combined 30% of menu mentions, though the Old Fashioned continues to sit atop the heap.
By category, IWSR noted,
whisk(e)y cocktails are most prevalent across craft bar menus with a 23% share, followed by rum (16%) and gin (15%). The cities with the most Old Fashioned menu mentions are Los Angeles, Baltimore and Portland. Trending variations of the cocktail includes barrel-aged, sherried and vinegar, as well as flavour profiles such as walnut, chocolate, fig, ginger, cherry and more.
Data shows that consumer search interest in the Old Fashioned spikes around the holidays, and increases in consumer interest correlate with the growth of on-premise US whiskey consumption. In addition, 45% of on-premise operators surveyed believe the Old Fashioned is trending positively among their customers.
What’s also interesting to take stock of from this report is the fact Buffalo Trace is leading being mentioned in the whiskey category on tracked craft bar menus, followed by Bulleit, Four Roses and Maker’s Mark. Apparently having brand recognition on these menus is important, as three quarters of on-premise operators find this consideration to be a factor when selling a drink.