Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Entertaining
2018’s Top Trends in 5 Drinks

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With the help of some of best bartenders in the U.S., we predicted the next big trends in drinking for 2018: low ABV cocktails, health conscious cocktails, sustainability, new American whiskeys and a revival of Cognac and Cognac-based spirits like Pineau de Charentes or pommeau. You don’t have to leave your house to try out these trends, though.

From a rum-free Piña Colada to a Martini made with kitchen scraps, here are five on-trend cocktails to drink in 2018.

The Trend: Low ABV Cocktails

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
With folks becoming more and more mindful of what (and how much) they’re drinking, lower proof cocktails continue to rise in popularity—some bars now dedicate a full section of their menu to the restrained style of cocktail. “With so many vermouths, sherries, amari and aperitifs becoming more widely recognized and available lately, mixing up a delicious and memorable lower ABV cocktail has never been easier,” says Taylor Vaught of Selamat Pagi.

Created by Hemant Pathak, bar manager at Junoon—one of New York’s most adventurous and creative Indian restaurants—the Coconut-Ginger Colada is like a clean-living Piña Colada. Made with a low proof ginger liqueur instead of rum, fresh cardamom and lime-infused coconut milk, the Coconut-Ginger Colada is rich and creamy, with no blender required.

The Essentials

Ginger Liqueur
Coconut Milk
Cardamom

The Trend: Healthy-ish Cocktails

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Hoping to balance healthy living with delicious booze, bars are mixing up cocktails with everything from kombucha to drinking vinegar to detoxifying herbs like turmeric. “Going into this health-conscious age that we live in, integration is inevitable,” says Zach Sasser, head bartender at Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar. Even vegetables are making an appearance in this new surge of healthy-ish cocktails.

Created Josh Goldman of the Santa Monica, California, outpost of butcher shop/restaurant Belcampo, this vibrantly hued cocktail mixes fresh beet juice with citrus-infused agave syrup and añejo tequila to create a cocktail that is both healthy and quaffable. If Juice Generation made a Margarita, Beets By J would be that cocktail.

The Essentials

Añejo Tequila
Beet & citrus agave
Lemon & Lime

The Trend: Zero Waste 

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
More people than ever are aware of food waste, and bartenders are no exception. To counteract the effects of consumption, bars are outlawing products like plastic straws and finding creative ways to use ingredients once deemed to be “trash.”

To make her Trash Tini, Christine Wiseman, bar director at the Los Angeles outpost of Broken Shaker, infuses charred onion scraps into dry vermouth, giving it a robust, smoky, oniony edge. With a split base of gin and vodka, Luxardo’s Bitter Bianco, sherry vinegar and Bittermens celery shrub in the mix, this brilliant take on a Martini is a delicious way to drink your trash.

The Essentials

London Dry Gin
Vodka
Onion-infused Noilly Prat

The Trend: Cocktails With New American Whiskey

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Thanks to the legal restrictions placed on the production of bourbon and rye whiskey, a new category of American whiskey has emerged. Distillers looking to skirt the rules and make something totally new are using new techniques as well as grains like quinoa, oats, millet and sorghum. Whiskeys like Widow Jane’s Bloody Butcher, which uses heirloom corn, and Westward American Single Malt, which uses American ale yeast, are two prime examples of what’s to come.

While these new American whiskeys are, of course, great sipped neat, they also lend themselves to cocktails like the Clacson Stinger, a take on a classic Stinger from barman Dustin Newsome of Bar Clacson in Los Angeles (one of our favorite new bars of 2017). Newsome swaps out the standard Cognac for an American-made single malt whiskey, adding a malty-richness to the Prohibition-era drink.

The Essentials

American Single Malt Whiskey
Giffard Menthe-Pastille
Crushed Ice

The Trend: Cognac and Cognac-Based Spirits

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Brandies, Cognacs and Armagnacs once reigned supreme in the United States. Then came the Great French Wine Blight of the 1850s, which nearly wiped out France’s vineyards, making the grape-based spirits into hard-to-come-by commodities. Now, with a resurgence of Cognacs and Cognac-based spirits (like Pineau des Charentes) arriving in the U.S., and a new-found love of the spirit behind the bar, we’re sure to see a lot more of it.

A low-ABV riff on a Cobra’s Fang—a totally underappreciated tiki classic that everyone needs to try—the Wild Things cocktail, created by Lauren Corriveau, bar manager at New York’s Nitecap, stars Pineau des Charentes, a mix of fresh grape juice and Cognac which is barrel-aged before being bottled. It gives the tiki cocktail its bright fruitiness and an almost sherry-like quality.
 

The Essentials

Pineau des Charentes
Passion Fruit Mix
Flaming cinnamon stick

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