Future Drink Trends

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Loved this Zagat Buzz about the latest and greatest from the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans.  Last year, we saw the reemergence of the mixologist and old-timey prohibition drinks. Check out what Zagat’s Todd Price anticipates to the be the next big thing(s) in the world of alcohol:

Back to the Future: Chef Ryan Clift and bartender Matthew Bax of Singapore’s Tippling Club arrived in New Orleans with only half their bag of molecular tricks. U.S. Customs had confiscated several of their high-tech ingredients. They still pulled off a carbonated cherry, a freeze-dried foam in champagne and an absinthe fog that floated atop a Sazerac cocktail. “We don’t need to all be making pre-Prohibition cocktails,” said Bax. But most radical was how they synchronize pairings of up to 20 drinks and tasting portions. The bartenders at Tippling Club work in the kitchen alongside the cooks.

Widening the Whiskey Net: Capitalizing on the cocktail world’s fascination with all things Japanese, Suntory shared its elegant 12-year-old Hibiki whiskey, which arrived in the U.S. only last year. Paul Pacult, of “Spirit Journal” and the BAR training program, noted in one seminar that Irish whiskey has been the fastest growing spirits category for the last decade. Jameson’s master distiller Barry Crockett hopes to keep that trend going with more full-bodied pure-pot-still whiskeys, like the new 15-year-old Redbreast, to compete with small-batch bourbons and single-malt scotches.

Moonshine, Bartender Brands and Spluge-Worthy Rum: Moonshine is going market-fresh with Midnight Moon’s line of soon-to-be-released unaged corn whiskeys infused with cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Adam Seger (Chicago’s Nacional 27) and Joe McCanta (London’s Saf) collaborated on the hibiscus- and ginger-infused liqueur Hum, which points to a future of bartender-created spirits. Finally, one of the most unusual new offerings was Black Tot rum, the remains of the last rum ration distributed to British sailors in 1970. At more than $1,000 a bottle, let’s hope no one mixes it with Coke.

Power in the Proof: The global cocktail trend has been fueled by the rediscovery of classic, pre-Prohibition recipes. But why are many of them, at least as written in the old books, so bland? Many of today’s liquors are watered down. Audrey Saunders (New York’s Pegu Club) noted that bartenders are seeking out more spirits that are 100 proof and beyond, which used to be the norm. “It’s not about using higher proof to get bombed,” she said. “There is concentrated flavor in higher proof.”

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2 Responses to “Future Drink Trends”

  1. Simon Bisson Says:

    If you want great cocktails in New Orleans, I can’t recommend The Green Goddess in Exchange Alley high enough. Great food, and wonderful drinks…

    We made it there the last night of TechEd.

    • katetuomimonster Says:

      New Orleans is definitely one of those foodie locations I have to visit, and The Green Goddess is now on the go-to list – thanks Simon! 🙂

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