Goodbye to fussy concoctions and long waits: new drinks trends are all about convenience
Goodbye to fussy concoctions and long waits: new drinks trends are all about convenience
Fri 2 Feb 2018 00.00EST Last modified on Fri 2 Feb 2018 00.02EST
Last year was one in which drinkers around the world broadened their palates and outlooks, and tired old certainties were cast aside in favour of exploration and reconsideration. This year looks set to be even better. Here are four trends that I predict will shape what we will drink over the course of 2018.
Last year, Australian expat bartender Sam Ross threw a large batch of his Penicillin cocktail possibly the most successful modern classic cocktail to emerge since the Cosmopolitan into a slushie machine to create the Penichillin for his bar, Diamond Reef. No moment could better exemplify the recent turn towards fun in the drinks world a very serious drink, born in the fussy, genteel, and rule-loving bar Milk and Honey, had suddenly been reborn as a party animal, ready to be dispensed with the flick of a plastic tap.
One of the easiest ways to signal your bars fun-loving nature is to offer a series of goofy disco drinks rehabilitated with craft cocktail techniques. Already a number of high-profile bartenders have set out to revive drinks such as the grasshopper, the amaretto sour, the pia colada and the stinger by rejigging proportions and focusing on quality ingredients. My moneys on the Japanese slipper and the Long Island iced tea to be next. Similarly, once-derided ingredients will likely have a moment in the sun this year: Jgermeister, Goldschlger, Southern Comfort (especially now it is once again made with whiskey) and even crme de menthe will stage modest comebacks.
If you want to take a little slice of drinking fun and bring it home, consider whipping up a planters punch (a cocktail I had high hopes for in last years drinks predictions). This charmingly unfussy concoction has always been more of a loose family of related drinks rather than a rigidly-defined classic. Use the recipe below as a template and switch it up: replace the water with chilled black tea or soda water, the lime with a mixture of lime and pineapple, the simple syrup with grenadine, etc. As Wayne Curtis writes of this drink in his book And a Bottle of Rum: Planters punch can be constantly reinvented. Its owned by whoever wants to claim it.
60 ml rum (traditionally a dark and Jamaican one)45 ml chilled water30 ml lime juice22.5 ml simple syrup
Build all ingredients in a collins glass. Add crushed ice and swizzle to chill with a bois ll or bar spoon. Top with further crushed ice to fill the glass and serve with a straw. Garnish as you see fit.
Pair with a song: Dial up the camp with the rubbery funk of Grace Joness My Jamaican Guy.
No image from last year underscores the threat of climate change to good drinking more than the wildfires that devastated Californias wine country. Wine is, of course, an agricultural product first and foremost to make wine, grapes have to be grown, and some parts of the world are better suited to that than others. But the planets changing climate is rapidly redrawing the map of what grows well where, with troubling consequences for wine lovers.
There is a very small silver lining to climate change, at least as far as wines are concerned: it opens up new areas to grape growing. The recent surge of interest in English sparkling wine has been driven by rapidly growing quality and climate change has had a role to play there by bringing warmer weather and increased ripeness and yields. Similarly, grapes are now being grown as far north as Sweden, and things are looking pretty rosy in the immediate future for places such as Nova Scotia.
Wine lovers cant become complacent, though. While winemakers are looking to technological and scientific advances to help mitigate the negative effects of increased ripeness levels in their wines, as well as planting grape varieties that better suit hotter and drier growing regions, a crisis still looms. Climate change doesnt wreaks havoc on established weather patterns, bringing rain and cold at unexpected times and heat and drought at others. This is disastrous for grapes, which means theres no happy ending for wine in a warming world.
The days of having to wait 12 minutes for a meticulously prepared cocktail made by a dude in suspenders and a waxed moustache are, mercifully, over. We can chalk this one up to the continuing success of the craft cocktail movement where once a certain amount of nerdy rigamarole behind the bar was required to justify the comparatively steep price of mixed drinks made with care and attention, now bar-goers are aware its perfectly possible to get a great drink within a few moments of ordering it and are willing to pay for the privilege.
We can therefore expect to see more drinks that have been extensively prepared before the customer arrives whether through interesting techniques such as milk-washing a punch to clarify it, or through the more mundane practice of pre-mixing the non-volatile components of a cocktail. This will hopefully have the added benefit of allowing bartenders to focus less on nailing their eighth-ounce pours and more on the guests experience.
This can translate to home cocktails too. If you like a stirred cocktail, such as a Manhattan or martini, but find it a little onerous to prepare from scratch whenever the mood strikes, consider batching it up in advance and keeping it in the freezer. Ive used the perpetually fashionable Negroni in this example, but you can use any stirred cocktail: simply scale up the recipe and add a quarter of the drinks volume in water (to make up for the dilution normally added by ice). Just remember: this trick only works for cocktails that dont contain fresh ingredients such as citrus, dairy, or eggs anything you would stir rather than shake.
Makes eight 125 ml serves
250 ml dry gin250 ml sweet vermouth250 ml Campari250 ml water (the purest that you can get your hands on)
Combine ingredients in a clean and empty one litre bottle. Shake bottle briefly to mix. Place in freezer overnight to chill. Shake bottle again before serving over ice with a twist of orange. Store in freezer.
One of the most obnoxious bar trends of the last few years has been the unfortunate intersection of rarity, hype and money. Its fine to leave prestige wines such as de la Romane-Conti as the playthings of the obscenely rich everyone needs a hobby but the bloodsport has spilled over into areas of the booze world that were, until recently, thoroughly demotic. Consider the histrionics accompanying Cantillon, currently the most sought-after beer in the world. Or the dramatic inflation in prices for American rye whiskey over the past decade, despite the fact that much of it is made by one company, or is secretly Canadian. Or that young Wall Street types now pay freelancers to stand in line to buy limited-release beers from Brooklyns The Other Half brewers. Or, God help us, the madness that has engulfed Old Pappy Van Winkle.
Simple economies of scale dictate that, say, a bottle of rare Jacques Selosse Champagne, with its low yields and incredibly small-scale production, will always cost more than a bottle of Mot et Chandon, which is produced in oceanic quantities. Yet money, fashion and rarity has rendered formerly approachable categories, such as Bordeaux and Burgundy, off-limits for all except the extremely well-heeled. Wine writer Jon Bonn has even gone so far as to argue the natural wine movement in part owes its existence to this dynamic that young wine drinkers took to valorising unsung regions such as the Loire and Georgia, and acquiring a taste for varietals such as chenin blanc and saperavi, because the wines that had previously functioned as benchmarks of taste were almost completely inaccessible. Similarly, the recent boost in sherrys fortunes has a lot to do with it being historically under-priced. And the explosion of new brands of gin over the past decade could only have happened because gin is one of the cheapest and quickest spirits to distill.
So heres a prediction: wherever interest from the super-wealthy begins to distort prices and restrict availability, broader interest will not follow at least in the long run. There is probably a lot more ink to be spilled about Cantillon this year, but the average beer drinker can only read so many articles about a product theyll never get to taste before deciding to call time on that interest. If you want to get ahead of the trends, start looking to categories currently undervalued or misunderstood such as cachaa or madeira or Vienna lagers. As prices for sought-after drinks skyrocket, these will start to look very appealing.
Read more athttp://www.theguardian.com/us
Comments are closed.