1. Cocktail trends

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    Cocktails should be fun, frivolous, and bit exotic. The very word “cocktail” connotes cold crystal and sparkling repartee. Sharing libations with friends should be anything but ho-hum. Megan Westerby, Vice President of  SideChef . She has five cocktail trends to shake things up the next time you order drinks at a posh bar or plan a party. 

    Art Deco Cocktail Shaker by Mappin & Webb from 1stdibs.com  

    Here are the latest trends in cocktails: 

    Rise of bitter ingredients: While sugar is an essential ingredient in many cocktails, most lack the bitter components that create a complex flavor (even in sweet and fruity drinks). Adding a dash or two of Campari or Suze can enhance the flavor complexity of even the fruitiest drinks. 

    White whiskey is the new vodka: Unlike its brown counterpart, white whiskey never sees the inside of an aging barrel, resulting in a smooth and flavorful flavor that cannot be found in vodka. Expect white whiskey to be the center of many cocktail favorites, whether it’s a Moscow Mule or a traditional martini. 

    DolceDolce note: We looked up White Whiskey and it seems to be basically Moonshine – un-aged, un-coloured whiskey. 

    Culinary cooking methods for bartenders: Mixologists are now utilizing classic cooking techniques to create unique liqueurs (such as sous-vide liqueurs). In addition, more bartenders are creating their own bitters instead of simple syrups, as well as catching on to the molecular gastronomy trend.

    Old school is new school: While the use of Prohibition-era recipes in cocktail bars is nothing new, a variety of obscure ingredients are finding resurgence in popularity. Bitters in flavors of all kinds (including rhubarb, chamomile and celery) will continue to improve too-sweet cocktails. Shrub, an even older concoction of vinegar, sugar, and fruit, will also be popular among mixologists this year. 

    Low-alcohol and low-proof cocktails: Cocktails that are low in alcohol and in proof, which guests can drink without getting too inebriated, are not only more food-friendly, but are also appearing at more bars and restaurants. Such drinks are great for starting or finishing, easing customers into the night or help them wind down. 

    DolceDolceTip: Don’t forget to incorporate ingredients such as fancy Bitters or Shrubs in to Mocktails for non-drinkers.