The Cocktail Crystal Ball

A cheat sheet of bar trends to come.

Couldn't make it to the New York Bar Show? Don't despair; we have a cheat sheet of bar trends to come. Here's what's to expect:

  • We'll drink pink. Pink grapefruit & other citruses will replace pomegranate as the new "hot" flavor for cocktails. Asian flavors also will figure prominently: look for yuzu (a Japanese citron similar to lemon), ginger, lychee, lemongrass and plum featured in liqueurs, simple syrups and mixers.

  • We'll party all night long. Riding on the coattails of Red Bull-and-vodka, energy drink companies now are pouring all their…well, energy into marketing their products as mixers of the moment.  And if that's not enough, look for buzzed-up alcohol, such as p.i.n.k's caffeine- and guarana-infused vodka. 

  • We'll be mixing it up old-school… Expect more "historic" cocktails, like Sidecars and Manhattans, to reappear on menus, as well as updated riffs on the classics, thanks to a seminar by cocktail historian Dave Wondrich, a k a the "living ipod of drink lore." Overheard at one booth: retro-minded bar owners discussing where to find sturdy repros of old stemware.

  • …If we're mixing it up at all. Ironically, just as "mixologists" are commanding the bar with elaborate concoctions, there's no shortage of labor savers for the shortcut-inclined. Daily's trotted out pre-mixed boxes of Cosmos and freezer pouches of Daquiris, while "The Margarita King" poured out ready-mixed bottles of surprisingly fresh-tasting, lime-accented margaritas. Attention lazybones: If shaking and pouring a drink is too much effort, Metropolitan Martini's syrupy-sweet day-glo cocktails are portioned into sealed plastic martini glasses.

  • We'll be very premium people. Apologies to Jonathan Safran Foer, but companies were eager to proffer "premium" spirits, from vodka distilled four times (.RU), five times (Idol, Silk), or a whopping six times (Tito's, XOXO), to rich, ultra-aged "sipping" tequilas.  

  • We'll buy a round for our buds in Birkenstocks. Curious crowds gathered to inspect organic spirits, a relatively new category, on offer from New Hampshire's Maison Jomere, including vodka, "Juniper Green" gin and spiced rum. Can granola-rimmed martini glasses be far behind?

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