The beginning of winter is both predictable and exciting. Many of us flood social streams with our top restaurant picks from the previous year while taking a stab at what trends and movements will become prominent throughout the next 12 months. While some can be subjective, others are absolute, like an impending tidal wave you can see gathering momentum in the distance.
As we wave goodbye to peaked and slowly fading trends, such as double IPAs and charcoal (thank the lord for the latter), here are four things to watch this year.
Of all the trends poised and ready to hit the mainstream, cannabis-infused edibles and drinks are at the forefront. While the legalization of marijuana in October excluded edibles, that is expected to change next fall – and plenty of industry professionals have been recipe-testing and fine-tuning potential products to be ready. Edmonton’s Token Bitters currently offers a lineup of cocktail bitters that is popular with local bartenders, but its main focus these days is testing oils and capsule products for the impending cannabis-edibles market.
“We started our company with the idea of [eventually offering] drinkable cannabis products. We did a lot of market research and believe a lot in the idea,” says Token’s co-owner Cameron O’Neil. “There are still a lot of questions in regards to what will be allowed to be used in edibles and drinks, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the fall.”
His co-founder, Keenan Pascal, says they have been approached by all types of people, from chefs wanting to open a cannabis-infused bakery to doughnut companies and even dairy producers looking to work on a line of cannabis butter.
The two agree it will still be quite some time before restaurants and bars will able to serve cannabis-infused food and drink and when they are, they’ll likely be completely separate establishments from the standard. In other words, you’ll have to go to one bar to sip your gin martini and another for that Dark and Stormy spiked with a marijuana tincture.