The Cocktail Crystal Ball
Some bar trends to watch for in 2010.
Wondering what will replace the acai berry in 2010? Now that the summer cocktail shows have passed, here's a cheat sheet, of what bar trends to expect in 2010:
We'll swim in a sea of vodka. Gin has grabbed headlines, but vodka is pushing hard to regain its place. And not just any vodka - the ongoing "premium-ization" of the spirit continues, in the effort to differentiate through unique flavors (such as watermelon, jalapeno, sweet tea, and lychee); or the distillation process (consider Russian Diamond's filtration through quartz sand, active charcoal, "coconut charcoal," silver, and diamond dust).
We'll be Latin lovers. Mixologists Junior Merino, David Suro and Ray Raymond Jr. led attendees through a blind tasting of more than a dozen cachaças, Mezcals and Tequilas, spirits categories clearly on the ascent.
We'll smooth the rough edges. Look for creamy, dreamy liqueurs inspired by faraway locales, as Amarula Cream (Zimbabwe) and Castries Peanut Rum Crème (St. Lucia) join the tasty ranks of Baileys Irish Cream.
We'll be fresh and fruity. Say goodbye to pre-fab "slushy-in-a-box" mixers in ersatz flavors. In its place: culinary quality fruit purees from Boiron and Napa Valley Perfect Puree, in elegant, upscale packaging and made from familiar and exotic fruits such as fig, blood orange, and yuzu.
We'll nurture our inner child. Look for amusements such as sparkly neon-colored salt and sugar to rim glasses; Dryden & Palmer rock candy stirrers to sub for the standard swizzle, and my personal favorite: "Whipped Lightning," which bills itself as the world's first alcoholic whipped cream. What's next, Tequila gummy bears?