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slkinsey

Cocktail and Liquor Trends for 2006

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What do we think the trends are going to be for 2006?

I'll get the ball rolling. These are really trends that are continuing from 2005, and so perhaps easy calls on my part, but they are largely trends among the cognoscenti and I predict that they will begin to go more mainstream in aught-six.

The two "hip" liquors of 2006 are going to be rye whiskey and rhum agricole.

We're going to see more and more bars doing their own bitters.

I also hope to see applejack make its way deeper into the cocktail enthusiast zeitgeist.


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i think rye really is and will be making more strides on the market. its laughable how cheap it is. thats going to help it along its way i hope.

house made bitters..... i think first well see bars actually carrying and using bitters before they start making them.

speaking of come backs what about egg whites.

also cocktail culture is growing at least in small circles. is it possible palates will mature. will i get to stir more herbatious silky vermouth cocktails packing a wallop. i sure hope so.

and advertising aside. all things take time. but the war on the tastless odorless overated blank spirit is far from over. there it least one more saved soul and converted ginner every day.

and on that note. perhaps the bastards are going to far. it always happens. people go to far people revolt.

vanilla flavored whiskey? mango flavored rum?

there must be a limit to even the most depraved taste buds.

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Rye is the new gin which was the new vodka about five years ago threrefor RYE IS THE NEW VODKA!!!

Some hopes for the cocktail culture.

That more bartenders take more pride in their noble proffesion, and try to raise the bar (yes pun intended) every shift.

That more patrons look at cocktails fine as an organileptic experiance not just a way to get dizzy.

That fresh, interesting ingredients are sought out and unilized.

That information and ideas are shared with a two pronged approach. First bartenders share amongst themselves and then try to recruit foodies, and drinkies to the cause of good cocktails. and then we all get togather to riff on eachothers ideas, and then deliver it on an unsuspecting public. Kinda sounds like a plan for world domination? Exellent.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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("converted ginner" - bwahahahahahahahaha! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:)

I think we're going to see a lot more call for that juniper-infused vodka, myself (not actually kidding and can't wait to see the looks on the bartenders' faces at, say, Henry's, when customers ask for it).

Do you think we'll see cocktail size in "everyday" bars shrink a bit, or is that a lost cause?

K


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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vanilla flavored whiskey? mango flavored rum?

Where've you been? There are several brands of mango (and coconut and vanilla and whatever) flavored rums that have been around for awhile.

I used to take the leftover vanilla beans pods from the Pastry department at Striped Bass and infuse bourbon with it. It was damned tasty!

My predictions is the rise of brown liquor in general. Whiskey bars will be making a comeback (or at least having a good whiskey selection) and will drive the cocktail trend further.

Manhattans as the new Cosmos! Yeah!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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vanilla flavored whiskey? mango flavored rum?

Where've you been? There are several brands of mango (and coconut and vanilla and whatever) flavored rums that have been around for awhile.

I think the point was rather that these commercial product tend to completely suck, in general, and simply cover up inferior, flavorless whiskey, rum, whatever. There's a big difference between Maker's Mark infused with real vanilla beans (pretty good) and Cruzan's vanilla-flavored rum (completely horrible). That said, I used to do a drink with vanilla-infused Maker's, but have come around to the idea that there's not much point in putting additional vanilla flavoring into something that should already have good vanilla notes to it. I had an opportunity to taste Navan straight at a DISCUS-sponsored cordials event, and it didn't do too much for me. We liked Tuaca better, and I'm probably even more partial to 43. That's all for another discussion, though. . .

My predictions is the rise of brown liquor in general.  Whiskey bars will be making a comeback (or at least having a good whiskey selection) and will drive the cocktail trend further.

Yea. I've noticed that I've been drinking an awful lot of brown liquor over the last year. In fact, I've probably had more rye whiskey over the last 3-4 months than I have gin.

. . .speaking of come backs what about egg whites.  . .

. . . more herbatious silky vermouth cocktails packing a wallop. . .

I think you're right about the egg whites. I hope we see bartenders going back to that tradition more and more, and I've had quite a few egg white drinks over the last year.

I also wonder if there will be a trend more towards strong drinks, and whether the mainstream might soon start slowly shifting away from "cover up the booze" drinks.


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The only trend that I hope happens in 2006 is fresh citrus continuing to work its way into bars throughout the United States. :) I'd be happy with that.

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I'd be interested not only in hearing predictions for trends that will make their way from cocktail epicenters like NYC across the country, but also what we think the in-crowd and enthusiasts will be doing in the next year.


--

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I am so far behind the curve of hipness I can't even SEE it anymore. However, it seems to me that in mass marketing, sweet sells. Just like the BBQ that wins at contests, the sweeter the better

That is why I just can't imagine bitters or other herbal flavors gaining wide support.

The thing I wish would happen was mentioned by Kathleen. I do not need a 7 or 8 oz drink. I ordered a Manhattan not to long ago when we went out to eat. It was well made, but the glass was the size of a canned ham on a stick. A 3 to 4 oz drink is perfect.

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Sam:

When I did the bourbon infusion I was using the Evan Williams and it came out quite well. I used this for bourbon and cokes and for a vanilla manhattan and both drinks were well received.

It's true that most "flavored" spirits taste fake and nasty. Perhaps we'll see a trend to more bars infusing their own spirits and making more interesting drinks with them.

I'm interested to hear your comments on the Navan. I've not tried it yet and don't want to spring $40 on a bottle just to try it. I've tried to find a "mini" bottle to try, but either they don't make them yet or PA doesn't carry them. The idea of a vanilla Cognac sounds delicious to me, and could certainly make for some interesting cocktails, if just a twist on a classic like a Vanilla sidecar or a Vanilla stinger. I'm sticking by my preference for the Belle de Brillet pear cognac for the moment.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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The only trend that I hope happens in 2006 is fresh citrus continuing to work its way into bars throughout the United States. :) I'd be happy with that.

I know that it's largely a function of my spending too much of my out-of-the-house drinking time in divey joints but I'd be absolutely thrilled if fresh citrus found its way into more of the establishments I visit. "Happy" would be a huge understatement. What would make me merely "happy" would be not having to specifically request that my Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans have bitters in them.

And if that isn't too much to ask I'd be pretty excited to find that some of the dives I visit have spent the measely few bucks necessary on an actual bottle of Angostura. What, like it's gonna go bad if it only gets used once a month? If I'm willing to put up with stale vermouth and no garnishes other than tired lime wedges the dives I visit can keep a dusty bottle of bitters behind the bar.

Um, so what was the topic of this thread..... :wacko:

Kurt


“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields

The Handy Snake

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i suspect that unfortunately vodka will be the new vodka, for at least another 7-9 years, rum seems to be making a strong case for attention at the moment, especially on the back of the now ubiquitous mojito (how long must i wait for mojito flavoured jellybeans damn it!), and i can only hope that it does a moscow mule on rum sales, and not of the clear bat studded variety.

i do see rum as a kind of bridgeing point between white and dark spirits, i think that if we keep pushing this on people then it may mature there taste buds a little and get them to diversify, i can only hope.

my favourite tasting flight goes something like.......

mojito - mint julep - whiskey sour - manhatten

doesn't work with everyone though.


'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

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As a bartender, the trends I'm see seem to agree with everyone's observations: brown spirits are then new thing. I think rum is becoming more popular than straight rye whisky. Canadian whisky (aka brown vodka) and bourbons are growing in popularity. I think bourbon is the new Scotch.

As for egg whites, they want to make a come back, but managers of the bar will forever be afraid of the salmonella bug. Even though commercial eggs are rarely a source of this bug, it had been beaten into peoples heads that "raw eggs can give you salmonella". I work with a cook who tells everyone that their eggs should be cooked to at least medium.

The solution to the egg problem is powdered egg whites. These are simply dehydrated egg whites. Add a little water and they get their slimy, frothy goodness back, without the fear of getting the evil bug. The only other problem is that egg allergies are becoming more common.

Vodka is still a force to be dealt with. In my home bar I don't even stock vodka (when in need I use Irish Poteen). But, people still like it. I still don't understand a vodka and soda as a drink? Why not a mojito or something.

The last issue is the premade/pre-mixed cocktail. These things drive me nuts. As a bartender nothing bugs me more than when someone asks me if I have the Schweppes Infusion (Gin & Tonic) or a TGIF Mudslide. I can make those as fast as I can open the bottle, well maybe not the mudslide, but I can make it taste better. The prepackaged drinks are making cocktails, and bartending, trivial.

Those are my opinions and observations. Good topic.


Darcy S. O'Neil

Chemist | Bartender | Writer

Website: Art of Drink

Book: Fix the Pumps

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And if that isn't too much to ask I'd be pretty excited to find that some of the dives I visit have spent the measely few bucks necessary on an actual bottle of Angostura.  What, like it's gonna go bad if it only gets used once a month?  If I'm willing to put up with stale vermouth and no garnishes other than tired lime wedges the dives I visit can keep a dusty bottle of bitters behind the bar.

Try older dives. They usually bought a bottle of bitters at one time or another, it just got wedged in a corner behind the unpopular liqueurs and nobody rememebers quite what happened to it. :)

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As for egg whites, they want to make a come back, but managers of the bar will forever be afraid of the salmonella bug. Even though commercial eggs are rarely a source of this bug, it had been beaten into peoples heads that "raw eggs can give you salmonella". I work with a cook who tells everyone that their eggs should be cooked to at least medium.

i'm picturing a cocktail with chunks of medium-cooked egg whites in it, and it's quite a vomitous concept. let's hope that usda-food-safety-guideline-based cocktails never come into vogue.

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On occasion I will have a gin gimlet and my companions will remember them from the dim past. I wonder if they will return? It's really a nice alternative to my usual dry gin martini.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Actually, last night I had what fits the chic trend and probably the purchasing trend. Shakers makes a rye vodka. For me, it's more of a cold weather vodka than some others. A bit of a bite on the finish.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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oh, lordy... i'm not sure some of you people have been drinking with the proletariat recently. in 99% of the bars in america, vodka is the new vodka. i know a few whiskey drinkers, but if it doesn't have the words single and malt and scotch, they won't touch it. i'll believe that rye, bitters, tinctures and fresh citrus are trends that will continue, but mostly in cocktail epicenters, only.

oh how i pray that it trickles down!!!

here in pittsburgh, the appletini is still considered new and chic. and the chocolatini, too. oh, and the peartini...

truthfully, i think that in the mainstream vodka isn't going away anytime soon. although i have seen quite a few better craft vodkas and vodka infusions that are at least moving toward spirits with flavor. i could see infusions getting bigger (although of vodka, only.)

gosh, i think the main 2006 cocktail trend might simply be that sales will continue to go up. which is great!

i really think that things like rye and bitters are gonna take a long time to make it "across the country" to places like pittsburgh.

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I like seeing the trend towards small batch producers being available at nice bars. Infusions are getting bigger around here (Boston).

I also am happy to see more traditional drinks on menus and even in magazines. I predict that the sweet frou frou drinks are going to fade (please!- I get a headache just thinking about some of those drinks). Of course then all the cute twentish bartenders are going to have to go back to school to learn how to make real drinks! I ordered an Old Fashioned the other day and had to walk the bartender through it step by step (and he's been at the bar for a long time).

On the same note, it would be nice to have more bars and restaurants with drink menus (not chain restaurants but the nice ones offering a cocktail menu) offering seasonal beverages. The thought of a dacquiri in a blizzard doesn't do it for me. Also, I think having drink descriptions can be a nice thing for novice drinkers who are interested in learning more. I'm always a bit surprised how many of my friends know little to nothing about cocktails whereas they know a lot about wine. Perhaps that will be the biggest trend in the next few years of all- people becoming more educated about spirits.

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Molecular gastronomy influenced cocktails. It's probably easier to do in a cocktail bar than a restaurant, and I see the humor and inventiveness working well in the setting. WD-50 makes a drink with "apricot paper". minibar in Washington, DC serves a mojito in a mister, and a whiskey sour with passionfruit foam. Todd Grey from Equinox did a vanilla vodka foam at Zoofari (a fundraiser) a few years ago. Restaurant Eve seems to be develeoping creative drinks (I haven't been yet):

from the Washington Post:

No matter where you find yourself at Eve, you'll want to start dinner with a cocktail, even if you normally don't. Sommelier and general manager Todd Thrasher, a veteran of Signatures and Cafe Atlantico in Washington, spends more time than anyone else I know dreaming up ways to whet diners' whistles. Although I'm not much of a Bloody Mary drinker, I'll gladly make an exception for Eve's slender glass of vodka and tomato water shot through with lemon grass and chilies. The tomato juice is clear, having been passed through cheesecloth, and the blend is at once sharp and snappy, a fire-and-ice sensation that spells summertime relief. Another evening, Thrasher incorporated opal basil into a cocktail fashioned from coconut milk, simple syrup and two kinds of rum. Tinged pink and sporting a foamy cap, it went down like a soft island breeze. Even Thrasher's martini is different, garnished with house-made pickles.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...file&id=1093569

I also hope restaurants continue to develop custom cocktail menus, and the proportion of vodka drinks therein goes down. And maybe we'll see an influx of new & exotic ingredients, like yuzu.

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I also think that house made bitters is going to be the new infused booze. Like chefs carry around little pouches of sea salt I think the hard core cocktologists will be making thier own bitters and carrying around little tincture bottles of them. I know how that sounds. Hopefully the practice will be less pretentious than the prediction.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Cachasa. This is the trend in the UK in the last month or so. I think premium Cachasa will be big in 06. Don't think white rhum agricole will get a look in seeing as they are both vying for the same market, for example 10 Cane.

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Bitters is definately a rage now. Before it was the same two types no matter where you tried to buy them. I was out in California a few weeks ago in the middle of the burb's in the east bay and found Regan's bitters on the shelf which was quite a surprise.

I am hoping to see a surge in classic cocktails as a whole. I had dinner in SF recently at a little bistro called range and was surprised to see them offering an aviation as a special cocktail of the day. Of course I was slightly dissapoointed when it was done with lime juice and a lime twist instead of lemon, but at least they are trying.

jpd


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Sadly, I no longer live in a larger city where I might be privy to new boozy news breaking. In small town USA, however, the drinking future of 2006 looks bleak. Vodka mixed with sweet fruity or sweet chocolatly things seems to be the still driving force. What disturbs me more, is the way that with every bar/restaurant I know is gendering their drinks to appeal to sex sexes. This is not at all new. Even before the gals on “sex in the city” first picked up their cosmopolitans, ladies cocktails were pastel and sweet, and men were drinking their whiskey on the rocks. I have had a some limited degree of success in getting a couple of nicer bars to offer a French 75 (the kind made with cognac not gin), and related Champagne cocktails. The driving force behind new cocktails seems to be the promotions of the wine & liquor reps, hence the appearance of the “desperate housewives martini” (caramel flavored vodka mixed w/ godiva white choc liquor) YEACH. As long as liquor reps assume that all bar customers want to drink is either sweet lady drinks or strong man whiskey, that’s all bar’s in the heartland will offer, in places where people most need a good drink.


Alamut was the mountain fortress of Hassan i Sabbah and the later heads of the Assassins. Alamut represents more than just a physical place, more even than a symbolic home of the movement. Alamut was with you in what you did; Alamut was in your heart from the moment of your arrival and introduction to "Heaven" until the moment you died.

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Sadly, I no longer live in a larger city where I might be privy to new boozy news breaking. In small town USA, however, the drinking future of 2006 looks bleak. Vodka mixed with sweet fruity or sweet chocolatly things seems to be the still driving force.

In restaurants, where I do most of my out of the house drinking, there is definitely a trend towards offering cocktails to diners. Few new restaurants are opening without offering some sort of cocktail menu, even if it is just soju.

Unfortunately, while we do have some innovators here, a lot of the restaurants are offering, as alamut notes, several shades of fruit juice with flavored vodka. Even in many bars, asking for a classic cocktail beyond a martini or manhattan, will get you a blank stare, "I can't make that," or worse, a really bad imitation of your drink.

(Reminds me. Probably another thread. What is the bar etiquette when you get a drink that is either bad, badly made, or just wrong?)

I hope, as the staff in these restaurants and bars continue to experiment, and some in the public become more informed about cocktails, more people will catch the cocktailian bug, grow out of the big, fruity "college drinking" phase, and start to offer some real innovation.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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