Mixology was huge in the latter half of the last decade. Cocktails were ever so trendy. Creative bartenders were back in business, baby!
But what does the future hold? Can the momentum continue? Beverage expert Derek Brown, a man with a passion for cocktails and the art of bar tending, has identified five cocktail trends to watch for in 2010.
Writing for The Atlantic, Brown says ingredients are what will drive bartenders this yearâ€”in the same way they drive chefs. And ingredients are driving much of Brown’s cocktail forecast.
1. Cocktail and food pairing. Cocktails will join wine as a beverage that pairs up beautifully with many foods, instead of being relegated to the pre-meal warmup. Expect to see more cocktail-and-food pairing suggestions on restaurant menus and in new cookbooks.
2. Monk-made liqueurs. Brown suggests that cocktails made with liqueurs that originated in monasteries, such as Benedictine and Chartreuse, will gain new traction this year. These drinks are delicious because â€˜perhaps the old friars got it right,â€™ Brown says.
3. Vermouth makes a comeback. New brands will join old standbys Stock and Martini & Rossi, at least for serious bartenders and mixology enthusiasts. Watch for Dolin dry for martinis, Carpano Antica Formula for top-shelf Manahattans. Other comers include Dubonnet, Noilly Pratt and Vya Dry or Sweet.
4. Orange-flavored liqueurs. Cointreau, Grand Marnier and Combier will be big in 2010, Brown predicts. He says he sometimes creates his own orange liqueur, using fresh oranges.
5. The importance of ice. Seems like a cocktail basic, but Brown says ice has been creating a buzz in the world of craft cocktails. Look for different varieties, compositions and shapes to become a factor in contemporary mixology. He predicts that, in some bars, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of ice options, as well as your brand of liquor.
Hey, I’ll drink to that…and make it a double. It must be happy hour somewhere.
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