America loves cocktails, and it loves chocolate. So, with both products experiencing growth, why not put them together? The result has been an evolution of chocolate martinis, chocolate Manhattans, and numerous cocktails featuring products that range from chocolate-infused spirits and chocolate liqueurs to chocolate nibs and Oreo cookies.
Pairing food with alcohol has a long tradition, but it’s usually mentioned when combining wine with a meal. Increasingly, however, other hard beverages like spirits are being considered for matches. As mixologists become ever more innovative, the idea of putting together cocktails that go well with the chef’s creations is intoxicating.
1000 Stories, the authentic bourbon barrel-aged wine producer, is releasing overall growth numbers since the brand’s official launch in 2014. The brand has succeeded at bridging the gap between the craft spirits and wine worlds by offering a product that combines the best attributes of both.
There’s a lot more to hot cocktails than toddies.As mixologists become ever more creative, and customers seek more experiences, beverages that employ heat—not just temperature, but also spiciness and smokiness—are becoming more numerous.
Nostalgia for bygone decades is nothing new, and operators are finding creative ways to capitalize on that yearning for an earlier time. Where Gen-Xers pined for the 1980s, millennials are now reminiscing over the ’90s while dining out, from bars with Super Nintendo to a “Saved by the Bell” pop-up in Chicago.
Applebee’s wasn’t exaggerating when it said it planned to return to its value-based roots. On Thursday, the nation’s largest casual dining chain announced its second $1 alcoholic deal in the past three months.
Flor de Caña, a premium rum brand from Nicaragua, was named Global Rum Producer of the Year by the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London. The IWSC is the most respected organization focused on awarding excellence to spirits worldwide, with over 400 global experts judging products from more than 90 countries.
One of my favorite New York City hangouts is the petite Amor y Amargo in the East Village, where bracing libations starring herbaceous bitters are the house specialty. Several years ago, the bar introduced its ambitious Double Buzz series, whipping up cocktails on Sunday afternoons made with single-origin coffees from a rotating cast of craft roasters.
When Nils Westlind opened the Latin American restaurant Ronero in Chicago’s West Loop last year, the cocktail list featured more than 25 selections, a mix of originals and re-imagined classics like the Pisco Sour.
At Providence, the upscale seafood restaurant in Los Angeles, Chef Michael Cimarusti imaginatively pairs abalone with avocado and tortilla, and white seabass with artichoke and buttermilk. It’s a thoughtful menu—not only in terms of its creativity, but also in the products it highlights.
Nursery rhymes and cocktails may not be an intuitive pairing, but a bit of childhood whimsy is the trick de jour at one bar in San Francisco’s Mission District. Trick Dog, which changes its beverage menu twice a year, has teamed up with satirical website and non-profit publishing company McSweeney’s for its latest collection of cocktails.