So what did we see in 2012? The rebirth of the speakeasy-style bar, for one thing. It got kicked-off in 2011 but really saw an upward spike in 2012, with an abundance of these prohibition-esque bars opening up across the country. We also saw spirit producers coming out with updated versions of classic liqueurs, and bartenders using these commonly-used spirits in new ways. Bitters made a huge impact on cocktails this year, as people opened their minds up to the idea of a dash or two of this highly-concentrated liquid in their drinks.
Crystal Ball image via Shutterstock
Have any cocktail predictions for the new year? Let us know about them in the comments section.
Cider Cocktails- In 2012, we saw a huge spike when it came to cider. Several companies have come out with some really great ciders, focusing on the quality of the drink, and trying to appeal to people who have never really wanted to experiment with this sweet beverage. Some of the best ciders that I have tried recently have fantastic flavor while still being subtle, which gives them the perfect flavor profile for cocktail mixing.
Beer Cocktails- With cider cocktails becoming a popular trend, I predict that beer cocktails will make even more of a splash in 2013. We’ve started to see bartenders experiment with beertails, mostly with heavier beers like stouts, but with so many beers to choose from that have great flavor profiles, it’s hard not to assume that more beer cocktails will make their way onto menus this year, utilizing the flavors of beers such as Belgian whites and hoppy ales. Classic cocktails had their resurgence over the last couple of years, so now it’s time to introduce liquor and beer to one another in the same glass.
Barrel-aged Cocktails- At the beginning of 2012, I knew of about two or three bars across the entire country that were making barrel-aged cocktails in house. By the end of the year, that number went up significantly, with many bartenders experimenting with barrel-aging. I think this trend will be really huge, with cocktail lovers not only loving the cocktail itself, but appreciating the amount of effort that goes into a barrel-aged drink. One thing that will always be constant is how much a hand-crafted cocktail is looked up at, and this is just another example of a drink that will exceed expectations.
RTD Classic Cocktails- It used to be that ready-to-drink cocktails were looked down upon for being complete throwaways. And for the most part that is pretty justified, since most ready-to-drinks tend to be kind of half-assed. However, there are some pretty fantastic cocktails that come ready-to-drink that are pretty fantastic. My favorite ready-to-drink cocktail as of late is made by Master of Malt, with a great selection of bottled classic cocktails such as the Negroni, the Manhattan and the Vesper.
Gin- For some reason, gin gets a really bad rap from people, and I can’t really understand why. In the past couple of years, some fantastic gins have come out on the market, and this year is the year that they start to make a real splash. Traditional London Dry gins have a very well-known flavor profile which is mostly heavy on the juniper, and this can really scare people off. However, gins like Nolet's Silver Dry Gin and Hendrick’s are a little lighter with an emphasis on fruit, and mix incredibly well in cocktails.