Mixology: Trendy Beverages for 2011

If you don’t know it, the huge global liquor industry is constantly evolving and ALMOST as creative as the fashion industry.  But sometimes, it’s the clever bartenders, mixologists and caterers that come up with recipes and concoctions that take the public by storm.  Some recent trends on what’s hot on tap and what’s best served neat:

Better Beers

Willing to take on the top selling American beer, Bud Light, are the “better beers” composed of imports and specialty brews.  More and more restaurants, hotels and bars are putting favorite Blue Chip imports like Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, Stella Artois and Guinness on the menu.  Not to mention the rock star  regional micro brews like Maryland’s Clipper City, New York’s Brooklyn Brewery and Delaware’s Dogfish Ale.  Of course, having your own “Brewmaster” television show helps shed some light on the World’s varied landscape of breweries.  (Yeah, we’re talkin’ about you Dogfish.)

Whisky Cocktails

Classic cocktails made with whiskies are more popular than ever!  However, not everyone finds the  Manhattan and the Old Fashioned to be as interesting as some of the new creative whisky and milk beverages that have found their way onto drink menus.  For instance, an Irish Cereal Milk at Abe & Arthur’s restaurant in New York is one of the most popular drinks amongst their “suits and ties” crowd.  There’s just something relaxing about a Jameson Irish Whisky and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal milk, shaken and poured over ice that wipes the stressful day away in one sip. {sigh}

Chocolate-infused Vodka

Move over wine and chocolate lovers and make way for chocolate-infused vodka.  Yes, it’s true.  Diageo North America has partnered with Godiva Chocolatier to launch a line of flavored vodkas for its Godiva Spirits portfolio.  The one that sounds fantastic, and certain to be popular with the ladies, is the Chocolate-infused Raspberry Vodka.  But hold on there Godiva, there’s a new kid on the block offering something called an “Adult Chocolate Milk” that might steal some of your thunder.  The California-based Adult Beverage Company has created a chocolate-infused liqueur mixed with real cream and dark chocolate.  Packaged in a retro-glass milk bottle it’s sure to catch some attention, if only for its novelty styling and nostalgic branding.  

Cognac

Quickly gaining popularity amongst the 20-somethings in urban areas, the French spirit is being shaken and stirred with wild abandon!  Can you imagine a Cognac, fennel syrup, lemon juice, rose water and fresh mint cocktail shaken and poured over ice?  Okay, it does sound like a modern re-interpretation of the classic Sidecar but come on, fennel?  Genius.  If that doesn’t suit, the always on-the-money Brandy Alexander should work, or, perhaps, a ”neat” glass from boutique distillery Camus Cognac. 

Cheers!

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