The world of cocktails is constantly evolving—ebbing and flowing with the current trends of the modern drinker. Gone are the days where a simple summer cocktail with subpar spirits was enough to satisfy the crowds of civilian booze enthusiasts. Now, “craft cocktails” are the norm and creative bartenders are in high demand!
The fact that people are much more sophisticated drinkers than they used to be has definitely changed the playing field. Not to say that those old-school classics like gin and tonic and jack and coke aren’t still heavily consumed, but the nuanced and highly involved beverages are definitely making their mark as top contenders.
The Future of Cocktails
People are finding more unique ways to consume alcohol these days, which has created an entirely new drinking culture. Bars are now utilizing centrifuges and sous-vide machines for intense flavor combinations, nitrogen-powered ice cream makers for booze-filled desserts and spun sugar machines for alcohol-infused cotton candy… we’ve certainly come a long way from the days of a simple cocktail shakers.
The Molecular Gastronomy Influence
Mixologists are following in the molecular gastronomy footsteps of their culinary counterparts and starting to find ways to incorporate the trend into their cocktails. Instead of the typical fruit-infused vodkas and tequilas, you’ll start seeing more gels, foams, and chemical emulsifiers in your drinks. Rum-infused berry jam anyone?
Old cocktail recipes are making their rounds again. A variety of obscure ingredients are gaining popularity again. And since sugar is taking a backseat to more intricate flavors, Bitters are being used more, as well an even older concoction of vinegar, sugar, and fruit.
Fortified Wine Comeback
Oloroso, tempranillos, and other fine sherries are something that most of us don’t have much experience with. However, this fortified wine is one of the unknown champions of the cocktail world, providing complexity and balance to cocktails with just a single splash.
The Rise of Mezcal
Smoky, complex and mixed beautifully into cocktails of all flavors, this agave-based spirit has gotten more buzz than any of it’s boozy friends. For an entry-level drinker, mezcal probably won’t be that appealing, but more seasoned drinkers one sip will have you hooked.
Out with Vodka, In with Whiskey
White whiskey (aka moonshine) is different from its illegally brewed brown liquor brother in that it never actually sees the inside of an aging barrel. The result is a smooth, yet flavorful concoction that goes down effortlessly! Creative distillers are even experimenting with ingredients like prickly-pear cactus and Jalapenos if you’re looking for a little more kick!
Now, it’s time to plan your next vacation and put your knowledge to good use. These tasty aperitifs, while already delightful on their own, will go great with a dash of ocean mist in Aruba or a side of fresh air in the Smokies! Whatever the backdrop, you’ll have a wonderful time relaxing and enjoying the refreshments of a nicely made cocktail.