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Article : The Best Spirits And Cocktails

Photo by Adam Morganstern

Beaufort Bar, Savoy Hotel, London.

Put away your camera phones, and stop obsessing over the bitters the bartender is making in his backyard. I asked a group of top mixologists and spirits writers what they're looking forward to drinking more of in 2018, and once again there is a call to keep things simple — and to show some love to your familiar favorites haunts and mixologists. A new bergamot-forward spirit, Italicus, is becoming a bartender favorite, and it's time to choose sides between Rum and Rhum. (Also check out The Best Wines To Drink In 2018).

Daiquiris and Nick & Nora Glasses — Kara Newman, Spirits Contributing Editor at Wine Enthusiast

"In 2018 I want to drink more daiquiris, and other rum cocktails — well made daiquiris. It's the most refreshing cocktail I know. I also want my drinks presented in Nick & Nora glasses — a deeper version of the coupe glass, used by the Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man series of movies from the 1930s. Am I imagining it or do all drinks in Nick & Nora glasses taste better? Also, cocktails designed for drinking, not for Instagram. I'm over the drink that looks cool, but tastes just 'meh.'"

Aperitifs — Gregory Buda of Dead Rabbit and BlackTail

My taste has always focused on dark spirits and rich and boozy cocktails, and I think its high time to switch it up a little. In 2018, I'm looking forward to drinking more aperitifs. I want to make my way through more vermouths & sherries, amari & bitters, sparkling wines & sour beers. I think there is plenty of room for cocktails made with these ingredients as well, and I plan to add a few new drinks to the list over the next year. I also have really been enjoying (and appreciating) the trend towards low ABV cocktails, and I'm excited to see how that can contribute a little to what I consider a healthy direction for our industry.

More Rock (Solid), Less Talk — Robert Simonson, Spirits Writer at The New York Times

“I would like to drink fewer interesting twists or riffs on classic cocktails, and more rock-solid, well-executed representations of those classic cocktails. Bartenders who have mastered the basics are a far rarer breed than those who have made originality or novelty their calling card, and we need more of them.”

Bubbles — Meaghan Dorman of Raines Law RoomDear Irving and The Bennett

"More champagne and bubbles of all kinds, to keep everyday a celebration! I’ve been keeping a bottle of Raventos Blanc de Nit, for a nice cava addition to that rare brunch or dinner when I'm at home. I love to make a blood orange spritz with a dash of something bitter while they are in season. And I will be visiting the New York restaurant Marta for their Champagne Vilmart & Cie by- the-glass deliciousness."

Rhums (with an 'h') — Brad Japhe, Spirits Writer

"I want to see more agricole — rum made from cane juice — on the shelves. I like my rhum earthy, savory and spelled with an 'h.' It really grapples preconceived notions of what the category should be. Not to mention its cocktail-making potential. But if it has to be sweet, I'm okay with more macerated tropical fruit in my rum."

Bergamot and other Flavors — Pamela Wiznitzer, Creative Director at Seamstress NY

"I'm looking for more interesting flavors and innovative products like Italicus, which is a bergamot liquor from Italy, and Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit from the UK. And I always like well-executed classics, but in 2018 I want more stirred cocktail options!"

The Great Unknowns — Jake Emen, Writer at Man Talk Food

"Personally, I want to drink more things that I don't know about and that I've never had before. Ancient grape varietals. Tiny batch mezcals made by that family on that one hillside over there. Obscure, centuries-old fermented beverages. Bring it on and let's get some learning done. At the same time, I want to drink more well-honed classic cocktails. Just make me a great Negroni or The Last Word before I try all 47 of your house-made bitters made with botanicals you plucked from your backyard, during the most recent waning gibbous phase of the moon. I get it, it's all very impressive, now if you don't mind please just go ahead and make me a tasty beverage, sir or madam. Speaking of The Last Word: more Chartreuse, always.

Pink Lady Cocktails (and an important public service announcement about staying hydrated) — Kitty Amann, The Cocktail Guru

"I want to drink more Pink Lady cocktails — they're made with gin, egg whites and grenadine — and my favorite bar to enjoy them in Boston is Eastern Standard. 'Pink Lady' became my spirits moniker a decade ago, when I knew little about cocktail history and I still hadn't recovered from a 'gincident' at age 19 — I'm cured now. The first version I had included Applejack, which was new to me, and real grenadine, which was a revelation. Most people will move on to different trends, but I will be happy enjoying Pink Ladies in 2018, and can now also call Lisa Laird, 9th generation of Laird's Applejack, a friend. Oh, also water. Say, a gallon a day. We would all be better off if we drank more water."

Infusions — Barbara Sibley, Creative Director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge

"Infusions that marry great taste and health. Ginger and chia in a margarita, saffron in tequila, moringa muddled with mint and turmeric in gin. It's possible to make drinks that are fun and healthy."

Artisanal Ryes — Robert Haynes Peterson, Spirits Writer

"For neat spirits, I'm really enjoying exploring extra-matured ryes, and the "artisanal" ryes that are finally being produced from distilleries actually associated with the label, rather than being sourced from elsewhere. With cocktails, I'm having difficulty switching to the increasingly sweet/fruity cocktails that are expanding into markets, like NYC, that were spirit-forward and bitters driven for so long. I know adapting is my issue, not the culture's, but it's prompting me to drink fewer cocktails and either focus on the basics, like a really, really well-made European-style gin and tonic, or on wine.

Aperitifs and Highballs — Prairie Rose, Spirits Writer at Bit By A Fox

"I've been on a lighter, aperitif-style cocktail kick for a while now. While I love a spirit-forward drink every now and then, I find myself wanting something more thirst quenching. Lillet on the rocks with a twist has been my jam these last few months. I'm always surprised by the fact that so many restaurants and bars don't seem to carry it. I will still crave a Aperol Spritz in the dead of winter. Luckily, that seems to have caught on in much of the country. And I can't seem to get enough of the refreshing Japanese style whisky highballs - three parts sparkling water, one part whisky. It's wonderful with food and a great substitute for beer."

Rums (without the 'h') — Tony Sachs, Spirits Writer

Every year I vow to drink more rum, and then I get inundated with bourbons and single malts — which is really nothing to complain about! But I really am hoping to cross paths with weird, funky, off-the-beaten track sipping rums. No such thing as too much of that. I also intend to go outside my comfort zone and learn more about spirits I'm not that familiar with — and what better way to learn than by drinking? Aquavit, armagnac and genever are three that immediately spring to mind."

Korean Vinegars and German Beers — Meaghan Levy of Rose Hill

"'He was a wise man who invented beer' — who am I to argue with Plato? In 2018 I'll be craving cold ones with a crisp head and aromatics like music filling a room. I favor German beers with their balance of creaminess versus fruit, and how their acidity walks a tightrope leading. Simple beauty. I've had a long love affair with sherry and dry vermouth. Italicus, is my new favorite aperitif. Its intense richness is matched only by its impeccable elegance. I love it mixed with a little lavender syrup, lemon and sparkling wine. Korean vinegars have become my latest obsession. Their amazing flavors can be hypnotic — they can be either deep flavored with rich, sweet fruits or graceful and light with a dazzling acidity. Some of my favorite cocktails use Gotham Grove vinegers. Delightful!"

Rhums (with and without the 'h') and Vins Doux Naturels — Céline Bossart, Spirits Writer, The Staycationers

"2018 will be the year of Vins Doux Naturels for me. VDNs make up a subcategory of fortified wines from the south of France; I was recently visiting the region and discovered some exquisite (and incredibly old) bottles and I pretty much immediately fell in love. Gérard Bertrand's Legend Vintage 1929 Maury, 1945 Rivesaltes, and 1951 Banyuls all came home with me, so that's what I'll be sipping (in precious rations) throughout the new year. While I saw tons of amazing whiskies this last year, I've had my eye on other spirits playing around with different woods, which I feel is a bit more unexpected and intriguing. Gran Patrón's Burdeos añejo tequila is finished in vintage Bordeaux barrels and is absolutely exquisite; it's so different from any tequila I've ever tasted and I plan on sipping it neat on special occasions in 2018 and beyond. I'm also very interested in spirits with funky histories and flavor profiles, particularly island rums and rhum agricoles and their distant cousins. Java's Batavia arrack is a perfect example of the latter. This is a rather unique rice and molasses-based spirit that is considered to be an ancestor to rum; it's a bit weird and malty with baking spice and vegetal notes and I wouldn't necessarily sip it neat or on the rocks, however I think it's great in cocktails, so I'll be seeking that out on menus and for my home bar."

American Vermouths and Amari — Sam Slaughter, The Manual

"In 2018, I’m looking forward to digging more into American-made vermouths and amari. Moreover, I’m excited to see if, or how, these producers are using local ingredients in their products. Finally, while they’re great on their own, I look forward to see how bartenders will be using them in cocktails."

Remember Your Old Friends — Amanda Schuster, Senior Editor-in-Chief at The Alcohol Professor

"With so many beloved institutions disappearing from neglect, I think it's time to revisit establishments and products that have stood the test of time in 2018. This means bars and restaurants that might attract a less glitzy, influencer-seeking crowd, as well as distilleries and wineries who have traditionally, perhaps more quietly, continued to produce fine examples of their genre. It pains me to see established acts strive to push out something new because they think they must to stay relevant. That shouldn't be the case. Let's love them for who they are and have always been."

Scotch — Nathaniel Smith, Mixologist at Spoon & Stable

"I have so many new categories I'm obsessed with: highballs, lower proof cocktails, aquavit and mezcal, but I can't shake scotch whisky lately. Ever since visiting distilleries and barrel-houses in Scotland, I have had to completely re-examine scotch as a category for drinking neat, as well as mixing in cocktails. I have to admit I've always underestimated scotch as a spirit until recently, and now I can't help but crave the smoothness, cereal-grain quality, and occasional smoke as both a mixer and an after-dinner dram."

Vermouth — Hemant Pathak of Junoon

"My love for vermouth will continue to grow in 2018. As the modern epicurean becomes more and more educated on wine and spirits, the lightbulb will go off for others as well. Vermouth is a happy medium between wine and spirits and perfect for low proof drinking trend. There will be a lot of new premium versions coming out, joining the likes of others, such as the Martini Riserva Speciale line.

CBD Extracts — Estanislado Orona, Mixologist

"In 2018, I’ll be drinking tasty beverages using CBD Extracts and uplifting Herbal Elixirs turned Cocktail. I’ll spend a night out feeling elevated & contented, and enjoy waking up feeling the a same way!"

Sotol, Träkál and Cachaça — Emily Arden Wells, Spirits Writer at Gastronomista

I am beyond excited about some new(ish) spirits that are rising stars in my book: Sotol (distilled from the sotol plant, a cousin to agave), Träkál (the newly released and insanely delicious spirit made in Patagonia from local herbs aromatics) and Cachaça (the sugar cane distillate made in Brazil) — a category that is poised for transformation as more craft products become available outside of Brazil.

Also important for 2018 is where I want to be drinking. London is at the top of my list to check out the world’s best cocktail scene (sorry, New York) and do a proper bar crawl to visit The Artesian, The Dandelyan, The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, Nightjar, the Connaught and the Beaufort Bar. I also hope for more late nights at some of the world’s best Tiki haunts, like Smuggler’s Cove and Lost Lake in Chicago.  And in NYC, I’m excited by the work Sam Anderson is doing at Mission Chinese. His cocktails are always forward thinking and impressive, and can’t wait to taste the drinks he’s been developing with Copenhagen’s Empirical Spirits — they look amazing on Instagram!

Adam Morganstern is a writer and photographer — you can see more of his photography at www.adammorganstern.com.

Auhor : www.adammorganstern.com.

Posted on 08 May 2018, 16:55:46

Source of Article : https://www.forbes.com/sites/adammorganstern/2017/12/27/the-best-spirits-and-cocktails-for-2018/#adc235c6f36e
Source of Picture : https://www.forbes.com/sites/adammorganstern/2017/12/27/the-best-spirits-and-cocktails-for-2018/#adc235c6f36e

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