What you’ll be drinking and thinking about and why, as 2013 marches on
By Francine Cohen
The past and the present can, and do, exist peacefully side by side. The best elements from eras past stick around to inform the future, while new innovations take their rightful place alongside of them.
Just as it is evident in automobile design, the same can be said of the beverage world. Great old drinks become classics, while new innovations and approaches are embraced with open arms. What does this have to do with drinks and the new year, versus the one just past?
Whether we’re talking about the specifics of the last months of 2012, or just in general about year end, it’s often such a pressure filled time. We’re scrambling to get all those things done we’d promised ourselves, or others, that we’d do and swearing we’ll be better next year. Which brings us to the new year; again, pressure filled, but full of hope for a brighter tomorrow, and new ideas and experiences ahead that promise to make (insert year here) the Best Year Ever.
Realistic? Probably not. We’d all be a whole lot better off, calmer, happier, and more productive if we stopped with the pressure and just focused on doing the best we could every day and finding a little joy in every new discovery instead of awaiting The Big One. Alas, that’s not realistic either.
What could work is just a little proverbial jumping up and down over the trends we’ve seen bubbling up in the drinks industry. At INSIDE F&B we’ve been hearing rumbles about a lot of things, and have the good fortune to be first out of the gate in trying on some of these ideas for size while tasting new products. There are a lot of ideas on the horizon and overall the spirits industry is booming in terms of brand explosion and job opportunities. In the category of new drink ideas some are good, some a little less than appealing; for instance, who are we to stop you from drinking chocolate wine if that’s what you want. Just don’t try and serve it to us. But if someone can make a living from this, and not really hurt anyone in the process, we’re okay with that.
Here’s what we expect to see more of in 2013:
1) Savory. No, don’t expect salt in every cocktail (although a bartender worth his/her salt knows the impact it’ll have to add a scant pinch); but do know that as the bar and kitchen become more comfortable partners food flavors are going to start creeping into our cocktail glasses more often than they have in the past.
2) Texture. Yep, back to the kitchen again. While we’re not sure that chunky bits in our cocktails are what we’re looking for on a regular basis, the judicious use of ice, garnishes, and understanding that ingredients impact mouth feel will enhance the cocktail experience.
3) Sour. Vinegars were popping for a hot minute. We don’t think we’ve seen the end of this. Especially as more bartenders start substituting vinegars for other acid in drinks.
4) International sugar and salt options. Want to use Brazilian rapadura Continue Reading…