Dizzy Days Ahead: Trendcasting 2010

You bitter be ready for The Bitter Truth in 2010.

After closing the chapter on a decade that saw cocktail culture rise from one that knocks back Cosmos on crowded dancefloors to one that sips Corpse Revivers in speakeasies,  the alcohol world is a-buzz with predictions for what’s next. Since NYC is ahead of the curve (i.e., we’re already over bacon infusions), cocktails made here could very well have an impact on what the nation will be drinking in the “twenty-teens.” The National Restaurant Association recognizes that organic cocktails will be a key element for menus next year, and you should also check out cocktail writer Paul Clarke’s trends to watch on Serious Eats. Here’s the view from my crystal ball:

  1. Creme Yvette: Rumors are swirling that this highly anticipated liqueur from the makers of St-Germain elderflower liqueur will finally be released in the first quarter of this year. Featuring notes of berries, spices, honey, vanilla, and a hint of violet petals, Creme Yvette disappeared in 1969, but Robert Cooper’s family has the rights to the recipe and has been fine-tuning the relaunch. Considering how well Creme de Violette went over with mixologists seeking the missing link to a proper Aviation, expect to see the reddish-purple Yvette make a splash.
  2. Terroir in spirits: One great trend to come out of microdistilling is that I’m tasting more terroir, or sense of place, in spirits. I think more and more spirit brands, such as Finger Lakes Distilling and Harvest Spirit’s Core Vodka, are looking to be an homage to their terroir.
  3. Japanese tools and techniques: The art of Japanese bartending, inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony’s attention to detail, is sweeping cocktail culture–at least for those with the luxury of making slow drinks. From handcarved ice balls to the hard shake, these skills are quickly becoming an expected part of the mixologist’s showmanship. Tools can be found on Cocktail Kingdom.
  4. Mezcal for the masses: Mezcal was a hit here in NYC among cocktail lovers who embraced Mayahuel last year, so don’t be surprised to see the smoky agave spirit go even more mainstream this year. Hot new brands include Sombra, Benesin, and Métl.
  5. Tiki everything: The end of 2009 saw the highly-publicized opening of tiki mecca Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, and suddenly, cocktail culture got way less serious.
  6. Sipping rums: On a related note, everyone from The New York Times to the Village Voice seems to recognize the appeal of sipping premium rum for the Winter of ’09-’10. This lines up perfectly for the classic daiquiri to be the drink of the Summer of 2010.
  7. Bitters on blast: Later this month, German-made The Bitter Truth Bitters–until now hard to get unless ordered online via Cocktail Kingdom–will be distributed on store shelves stateside thanks to DSWE Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits. Aromatic flavors such as the Xocolatl Mole and Celery will first be launched in 16 states.
  8. Cognac and Armagnac: Despite being hit hard by the recession, the global Cognac market is expected to resurge over the next few years. On Jan. 17-20, mixologists from around the world will gather in Cognac, France, for the third annual International Cognac Summit to create drink recipes using Cognac. It will be interesting to see what they come up with this year.
  9. Sherry and wine cocktails: Dry or sweet, mixologists got familiar with sherry and other fortified wines last year, so expect to see even more of that this year. Also, Bon Appetit is predicting that vermouth will be all the rage in 2010.
  10. Moonshine: Small-batch corn whiskey modeled after the homemade version synonymous with the South is finding its way into cocktails. Brand-name moonshine such as CatDaddy Carolina Moonshine–sweet, high-proof, and aromatic–could be an ingredient in your next punch.

10 thoughts on “Dizzy Days Ahead: Trendcasting 2010

  1. Pingback: Dizzy Days Ahead: Trendcasting 2010 « The Dizzy Fizz | The Bitter Truth

  2. Pingback: The Feed file: Cocktail trends in 2010; 1800s supper clubs | The Feed Blog | Time Out New York

  3. Selena- I’m sure you’re aware that our friends at Dutch Kills are opening Painkiller, a tiki bar, in the next few months. I expect it to kick start the east coast tiki trend. Being a tiki fanatic, I can’t wait.

  4. You totally called the tiki and moonshine trends, if new bars and distilleries are any indication. Any thoughts on the Super Bowl? 😉

  5. Pingback: The Spark: What’s Shakin’ with Cocktails? | Damxe

  6. Pingback: Dizzy Days Ahead: Trendcasting 2011 « The Dizzy Fizz

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