Kimpston Hotels and Restaurants have recently released their much anticipated annual food and drink trend forecast. The brand, which owns over 65+ hotels across the world (including the USA, England, Thailand, the Cayman Islands, Spain, Japan and Taiwan), also runs 39 unique restaurants within its various properties – offering a world of interesting dining experiences.

“This forecast has been able to pinpoint past favourites like last year’s Aperol Frosé and predict the next big thing in flavours and ingredients like black garlic, s’chug [hot sauce] and nutritional yeast for 2020,” aid Scott Gingerich, Kimpton’s SVP of restaurants & bars.

Here are a few things you should be adding to your event menus in 2020 according to their report:

FERMENTED FOODS that promote gut-health will continue to be firm favourites. Think tempeh (fermented soybeans), pickled vegetables, Chinese pu-er tea and kimchi.

VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN options are a must-have as more people shift to meat-free diets or simply choose to observe meat-free days. One of South Africa’s favourite family steak restaurants has recently launched its Beyond Burger, a 100% plant-based burger patty developed in the US. Gluten-free and dairy-free options should already be available on your menu.

– The most influential cuisine in 2020?  According to 40% of chefs surveyed for the report, expect to see LEVANTINE-INSPIRED CUISINE (Israeli, Turkish and Lebanese) make prominent appearances.

– Learn to embrace SOUR FLAVOURS as chefs experiment with ingredients such as rhubarb, tamarind and infused-vinegars.

– Chefs will be taking the traditional Peruvian CEVICHE to new heights with unexpected ingredients like spicy tomato granita to pickled carrot to whipped avocado.


Top Ingredients for 2020

On the drinks side, the trend of guests choosing LOW-ALCOHOL, LIGHT SPRITZERS will continue but bartenders will be experimenting with local flavours and fresh ingredients. Try this rosé and agave lemonade spritzer or this traditional Aperol spritzer (and pretend you’re on the Italian Riviera).

View the entire trend board below and read Kimpton’s press release here.

Kimpton Culinary Trends

So you’re planning your big event and you would like to offer your guests a variety of cocktails and drinks – but you don’t have the budget for a full bar. Never fear, if you stock your bar using our Basic Bar Checklist you can offer them a great range of cocktails without blowing all your moola!


Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

3 cups Watermelon, cubed
114 grams freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
140 grams White Rum
113 grams Simple Syrup
12 large Spearmint leaves, rough chopped


Blend all ingredients on high until fully incorporated. Pour into popsicle moulds; cover and insert wooden sticks. Tip: applying a layer of foil over the top of the mould or lid of the mould allows placement of wooden sticks and they will not float out of the mould.

Freeze for several hours or overnight. Run hot water for a few seconds on the outside of the mould to release pops!






Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

700ml tonic
45ml gin
¼ lime, juiced
A few slices of cucumber

Mix together the tonic, gin and lime juice then pour into your moulds over the cucumber slices. Easy!






Alcoholic Ice LolliesIngredients

3 tbsp fine sugar
125ml espresso
2 tbsp vodka
4 tbsp water


Dissolve the sugar in the water over the heat and bring to the boil. Take from the heat and pour into a cocktail shaker. Add the cooled down espresso and vodka and shake well. Once it’s a decent temperature pour into moulds and impatiently wait.

Planning the perfect party? Here are 7 bar ideas that will add a unique and trendy twist to your soiree.

  1. Serve an Apertivo

The serving of low-alcohol drinks with light snacks is an Italian tradition designed to stimulate the appetite. The two most popular and classic choices are the Negroni, Pimms No 5 or Italy’s most popular aperitif Aperol (available in South Africa) which is made from bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona. A truly continental start to your event.

Bar Ideas

  1. Rose

Gone are the days when rose was considered the naff tipple of the great unstylish. Blush pink wines and bubblies are now gracing the bars of the ‘It’ crowd – thanks in no small part to influential millennials and Instagrammers. Speaking of the ‘It’ crowd, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Chateau Miraval Rose sold out in 5 hours – all 6 000 bottles of it. Wonder who will get the wine estate?

  1. Non-alcoholic options

The rise of craft beverages has led to a huge increase in products that cater for the non-alcohol consuming market and event organisers can now provide their guests with some really delicious options. They include The Duchess (a sugar-free, alcohol-free gin and tonic), Becks alcohol-free beers or JC le Roux’s Le Domaine and Le Fleurette non-alcoholic bubbly – which still has the yummy yeasty flavour of champagne that is completely absent from the carbonated grape juice that is normally passed off as alcohol-free bubbly.)

  1. Well-executed classics

Chaotic times have driven people to seek out simpler things – which is why there is a resurgence in the popularity of classics like the gin gimlet, Manhattans and light summery Bellinis. Create them using original recipes with as few frills as possible.

  1. Boozy Ice Lollies

The fun and flavour is endless.  Choices range from a simple gin and tonic lolly to grapefruit, basil and vodka or a peach bellini. Visit our blog here for our 3 Favourite Boozy Ice Lolly recipes.

Bar Ideas

  1. Chalk Boards

Add a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour to your bar décor set up with funny signs. They’re also a handy way to communicate what’s available if you have limited your bar stock to certain beverages like soft drinks, beers, ciders and wine.

  1. Lounge Pockets

If you’re aiming to ensure your guests are relaxed and at ease, set up a few lounge pockets around the bar area. Let’s be honest, no one really likes standing around when they can chill on a comfy couch and have a catch up with friends.

Check out our lounge furniture here.

XL Events Lounge Pockets