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Cocktail Trends in 2012

The Cocktail Trends You'll See at Bars Around the World

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What cocktail trends will you be sampling in 2012? Check out the hottest trends as selected by bartenders, mixologists, spirits experts and more. And think about whether you'd like to belly up to a bar to enjoy a barrel-aged cocktail, cocktail popsicle, a new cocktail made from rum, Kentucky bourbon, pisco? Or perhaps you'll be sipping housemade bitters prepared by a bartender on an exchange program. Whatever your preferences,if you're looking for place to try any of these trends, check out this guide to the best cocktail bars in the United States.

Barrel-Aging, Bottle Aging: Spirits and Cocktails

It's not just for wine or whiskey any more. Creative mixologists are allowing spirits to barrel-age (also known as cask-aging) and they're also allowing cocktails to have their turn in oak. And then there's the custom fermentation...

Read all about the barrel-aging bar trend, and learn where to sip these cocktails.

Trend: "Abstract", Seasonal Fruits and Vegtables


  • CO2 Canisters for frothy creamy drinks.
  • New flavors through the use of different cordials.
  • "Abstract" seasonal fruit and vegetables - taking seasonal fruits and vegetables and creating consistencies different than what’s expected. For example, instead of pomegranate juice, think pureed, strained pomegranate seed.
  • Kentucky Bourbons.
  • --Cocktail Trend Spotter: Gregory Nasser, Mixologist, Grand Café, San Francisco.  

    Trend: Spirits on the Rocks

     

  • Continuation of classic recipes, pre-Prohibition drinks (Punches, Collins, Rickeys, Sours, Slings, etc.)
  • Spirits being consumed on the rocks, not just brown spirits but other spirits as well.
  • Bartenders making their own bitters, tinctures and sodas to accompany well crafted drinks.

  • --Cocktail Trendspotter: Gary Hayward, Brand Ambassador, Bombay Sapphire

    Trend: The Depths of Rum

     

  • Gin will be a highlight in the spring, using herbaceous and floral notes to highlight the season
  • 1930's-1950's cocktails, but moving in the direction of these lighter, brighter and versatile liquors.
  • For 2011, bar FIVE will be diving into the depths of rum. The summer focus will be on rhum agricoles and falernum, which is an almond, ginger, lime and spiced sugar syrup.

  • --Cocktail Trendspotter: Monica Schafer, Restaurant General Manager, FIVE Bistro and Bar, Berkeley, CA.

    Trend: Cocktail Popsicles

     

    Hot in 2011:

    • Cocktail popsicles (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic),
    • Moonshine, white whiskey and daiquiris (not the frozen sweet ones)
    • Aged rum

    --Cocktail Trendspotter: Carlos Yturria, bartender at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, San Francisco.

    Trend: Bartender Exchange Programs

    • Expect to see more bartenders/mixologists opening their own bars.
    • Buzz around tequila, rum and pisco.
    • Bartenders exchange programs: (example: a bartender from Singapore goes to a London bar for a month to learn local techniques etc...)

    --Cocktail Trendspotter: Ludovic Miazga, brand ambassador for Benedictine and Noilly Prat

    Trend: Romantic Cocktails

    • Champagne's the classic beverage of love, but it's even better with an extra twist.
    • Cocktails made with Polish vodka may have special libido-boosting powers. 
    • Check out these love-inspired beverages that bartenders are pouring around the world.

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