Just like cuisine, cocktails morph in popularity and trendiness, and part of the fun of going out is trying new and interesting drinks. Check out a few of this years’ trends in the cocktail world, and get some new ideas for next time you’re out with friends.
What with last year’s World Cup being held in Brazil and next year’s Summer Olympics scheduled for Rio, it’s not surprising to see the country’s national sugar cane spirit, cachaça, rising in popularity. A bit closer to home, right here in Manhattan, Julie Reiner (Clover Club) has opened Leyenda, a Brooklyn bar centered around Latin spirits, such as cachaça, pisco, and mezcal. Drinks include the Hey Suze (Peruvian pisco, gin, lemon, sugar snap peas, absinthe) and the Cabezaso (Irish whiskey, mezcal, Lillet Rose, Martini Bianco, St-Germain, mole bitters, habanero shrub).
In recent decades, gin has been passed over in favor of other spirits, like the ever-popular vodka. However, these days gin is gaining back some of it’s prohibition-era popularity, with gin cocktails popping up in nearly every bar around the city. And while vodka’s popularity is due to it’s lack of taste, making it easy to mask with mixers, a good gin cocktail can be vastly superior (in my own humble opinion) if made with the idea of highlighting the spirit’s floral, piney taste. And for those set on hating the typical London dry style, check out brands like Monkey 47 and Fords Gin and see if that doesn’t change your mind.
More and more bars are adding cocktails with a veritable salad of ingredients. Places like New York’s Happiest Hour are adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their cocktails (try their mezcal and beets concoction). Things like kale margaritas, and spiked smoothies will add a bit of excitement (and a few vitamins, too) to your regular list of lemon flavored drinks.
Lauren is a New York based actor/singer/writer. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University as well as the College of the Holy Cross. She’s a fan of beer, pasta, and academic establishments with unnecessarily long titles. Find her on stage, or online– she’s there often.