19 Of The Best Stories We Read In 2019
With the year drawing to a close, there couldn’t have been a better time to share of the best stories on cocktails and beverages that made us sit up and take notice from across the world. From climate change to unique stories and trends in the industry, we got it all covered this year. Here’s a throwback to the best stories we read this year – in no particular order.
1 – The Impact of Climate Change On Wine
This insightful piece looks at how climate change is making winemakers look at unique approaches to growing wine, the challenges that lie ahead and what the future holds if the crisis continues unabated. While the article is focussed on wine, we can’t help but imagine that similar changes might be afoot for other industries as well.
2 – The Best Books On Wine
If you thought the best wine books would teach you the difference between Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc and little else, let 2019 be the year of change. Indeed, the books on this list have a connection to wine but very little otherwise. Instead, you’ll learn more about the Old world of wines, what being a sommelier involves and even cider.
3 – Millennials Going Sober
Perhaps the one article that you shouldn’t miss in this list – this story by New York Times made public what people in the industry had been speaking about in whispers. That millennials aren’t really drinking. In fact, popular places began bringing out low liquor and no liquor menus soon after this article came out in June. But what’s keeping millennials from enjoying a few drinks? Click to read this unmissable article.
4 – Craft Beer In India Has A Long Way To Go
This Financial Express story explains why – despite the rise of microbreweries in India – the nascent industry is a long way from being a lucrative proposition. With Doolally – India’s first microbrewery – completing a decade of existence in 2019, that must be sobering news for all craft beer makers in the market currently.
5 – Talking Cocktails In Iraq
What happens when the ex-editor of Roads and Kingdoms, one of the best digital publications of recent times, talks about Baghdad, Baghdadi, ISIS and Iraq with cocktail-infused alliterations and implications? It creates a story unlike any other that’ll have you asking for more.
6 – How Australia Came To Lead The Next Coffee Revolution
Australia has been threatening to lead the next coffee revolution for quite a while now, with fancy cafes and gourmet coffee becoming the norm in major as well as lesser-known cities of the continent now. Finally, it seems the prediction will come to pass, as this story makes clear along with a super backstory of how Italians, immigration and the coming revolution.
7 – The Curry Recipe With A Back Story
When we first read about Dal Ki Dulhan, we didn’t really believe the name. Turns out, there’s a whole story behind this comforting one-pot Bihari curry dish that relates to the shape of the dumpling used in the daal, or the curry. Read this story to find out more.
8 – Watch Out, The Coffee Snobs Are Here
“If your coffee needs doctoring, it must be broken”. This BBC story about coffee places banning users asking for milk and sugar makes for some very interesting reading on the coming trends in the coffee space. Read and tell us which side of the fence you’re on.
9 – Turmeric Latte Is Passe, Turmeric Cocktails Are In
If you thought the turmeric latte trend was dead, well, here’s the thing. It just went into hibernation and has now entered the world of cocktails, thanks to novelty value and Instagram. Here’s everything you need to know about how turmeric cocktails came about.
10 – Celebrating 100 Years Of The Negroni In 2019
Invented by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence as a variation on the Americano in 1919, the Negroni has survived multiple attempts at being outsmarted by newer trends and bolder drinks but somehow held its own to celebrate 100 years this year. Naturally, there were celebrations galore as well as a retelling of Negroni’s rise to fame.
11 – The New Face Of The Wellness Drinks Industry
From kombucha to other fermented drinks and new-age energy drinks, the wellness drinks industry is at an inflection stage. Now, the way to consumers’ hearts is to offer mental peace and offer to de-stress your spirit. Will the gambit work? Eater finds out more.
12 – Barrel-Aged Spirits Are Still Wonderfully Old-Fashioned
While technology has made inroads almost everywhere, one industry that has remain hidden from its clutches are the barrel-aged spirits that still use traditional wood and fire to do what they’ve been doing for ages. And thank god for that, as this Washington Post story makes clear.
13 – Finding Raw Water Is The 2019 Craze You Didn’t Hear Of
Raw water? Who drinks that? Actually, you’d be surprised to know just how many fans raw water has, especially after learning that chemically-treated water is devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever. This BBC story is a must-read.
14 – Making Cocktails From Garbage Is Also In Fashion
It’s true, sustainability has reached the garbage pile as well, all thanks to the effort of one couple who go by the name Trash Tiki. From boiling day-old croissants into sugar syrup to using juiced-out limes for creating citrus stock, Trash Tiki has turned into an international sensation and is making bartenders sit up and take notice of just how much they’re throwing in the garbage can.
15 – Glenlivet’s Whisky Cocktail Capsules Caused A Stir
No ice. No stirrer. No glass. We're redefining how whisky can be enjoyed. Introducing The Glenlivet Capsule Collection #noglassrequired pic.twitter.com/F4MGErsfZM
— The Glenlivet (@TheGlenlivet) October 2, 2019
Somebody at Glenlivet decided that to target new-age consumers, the brand try something new. Which led to the birth of the whisky capsule made with seaweed that according to the brand, “required no ice, no glass and no cocktail stirrer”. The outrageousness that followed was quite something and for now there are no more cocktail capsules headed our way.
16 – How Tiki Bars Came Back In Vogue
At one point, they were all the rage. Then suddenly tiki bars became tacky places and their popularity plummeted before suddenly rising again. This Atlantic story takes readers on a tiki journey like no other. Hint: Listen to Gastropod’s podcast ‘Tiki Time’ in the article.
17 – A Classic Cocktail That Is Also An Arm Workout
According to popular legend, making a glass of Ramos Gin Fizz takes about ten minutes of shaking, enough to give bartenders the best arm workouts of their lives. Read the story to know more about this classic drink and try the recipe if you prefer.
18 – The Best Craft Beers In Mumbai And Where To Find Them
Allow us to humble brag a couple of our own stories as well. We wrote this particular story to tell readers where to drink craft beers in Mumbai. And then we added an interactive map to guide them along. The result is one of the best-looking stories on our site. Go have a look yourself and tell us what you think.
19 – The Best Spanish Drinks That Are Not Sangria
While we’ve worked on many stories with different themes this year, this story about little-known drinks from Spain struck a chord with many readers and is also one of our favourites. That’s simply because it reminds us of what we want to do, which is tell great stories about beverages from all across the world in 2020 and beyond – just as we did this year.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.