INDULGE

Trends in Cocktails

For the past 200 years, stimulating bitter slings, that is to say, cocktails, have shaped global society as we know it. It’s true! Many major public and political events have inspired, suffered, celebrated or clashed with the birth of another great classic concoction. Be them punches, juleps, fixes, flips, highballs, martinis or manhattans, cocktails as we have come to know them, have, and continue, to help document our lives’ great moments, go ahead reminisce for a moment… But what is happening today? What are the current trends in cocktails?

New Wave Gins

hendricks-ginGin, developed from the Dutch genever, is most simply described as a spirit flavored with juniper berries and other botanicals. Gin has had a chequered history, a rollercoaster past, a most interesting story. When Dutchman William of Orange took the English throne back in the 1600’s he brought gin with him and London, gin’s new home, almost collapsed under its spell. From gutter to glitter gin finally found its place as the preference of the upper classes and became arguably the most important spirit to mix with when cocktail culture was born in the 1800’s. Probably the only spirit never drunk neat, gin is king when it comes to classic cocktails and the recent trend of new wave gins is once again highlighting the mixability of the spirit. Each brand of gin has a particular recipe of botanicals and a different method by which the botanicals flavor the spirit. Traditionally gins have been heavily reliant on the juniper berry for flavor, however, there is now, to be enjoyed, a new wave of gins that introduce an interesting and innovative selection of botanicals resulting in a brand new flavor experience and an exciting make over for the gin category. Leading this botanical revolution is the beautifully packaged Hendrick’s gin, the masterfully marketed boutique label from William Grant & Sons, independent family distillers since Christmas Day 1887. No other gin tastes like it because no other gin is made like it. Handcrafted in time-honored tradition in small batches using an original 19th century gin still Hendrick’s is presented in a small Victorian apothecary bottle. Hendrick’s contains eleven different botanicals as well as two infusions; rose petals and most peculiarly – cucumber. A most unusual gin indeed yet most mixable too.

JIMI GRAPE MARTINI

1 ½ oz Hendrick’s Gin
½ oz Lillet Blanc
¼ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
8 green grapes
Muddle green grapes in a Boston shaker, add all other ingredients and shake well, strain up into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a green grape and a mint sprig

UNUSUAL NEGRONI

1 ¼ oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Assemble ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and strain up into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a pink grapefruit twist

The Latin Trend

tequilaGreater understanding of distilling and maturing spirits along with changing consumer demands has allowed for developments in every major spirit category, tequila being no exception. A current trend is the rediscovery of 100% blue agave tequila, fully appreciated, sipped not slammed. One name leading this trend in quality sipping 100% blue agave tequilas is Milagro. The Milagro range offers a smooth, fresh and very mixable silver tequila which delivers a burst of agave on the nose and a silky, tropical note to the palate. The reposado and anejo tequilas uphold the Milagro character while introducing delicate spice and whisps of smoke and dry oak. Finally, the crown jewel from the house of Milagro, whose distillery is nestled within the highlands of Jalisco, is the Select Barrel range. Carefully selected blue agave plants, pressed and slow cooked the traditional way and distilled three times before a period of maturation in new French oak. (Most tequilas are aged in second fill American oak.) It seems tequila has grown up and has a more than just frozen margaritas to offer.

The Milagro range offers a smooth, fresh and very mixable silver tequila which delivers a burst of agave on the nose and a silky, tropical note to the palate.

Tequila is just merely one strain of the Latin trend that has continued to explode across the country. Mojito madness has penetrated the bar scene such that it is now, not uncommon to find a Mojito menu at the bar offering different “twists” on the classic. Dating back to the late 1400’s when Sir Frances Drake and his crew would drink a similar type of concoction for “medicinal purposes”, the Mojito was made famous at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana and now is a global icon. Similarly the caipirinha (translates to “little peasant girl”) has burst open as a popular cocktail choice, riding the wave of the Latin trend. It must be amongst the most widely spoken Portuguese words outside of the motherland and Brasil. The Latin trend shows no sign on slowing down any time soon with cachaca (Brazilian rum produced from sugar cane juice) and now Pisco (Peruvian un aged aromatic brandy) re emerging on the cocktail scene.

WATERMELON & LEMONGRASS COOLER

watermelon1 ½ oz Milagro Silver
¾ oz Bols Triple Sec
1 inch lemongrass
1 bar spoon agave nectar
1 pinch lemon pepper
3 chunks fresh watermelon
Chop lemongrass and muddle with agave nectar in a Boston shaker, add lemon pepper and watermelon and muddle again, add the liquor and shake very well, strain over fresh ice in a highball glass, garnish with a hollow lemongrass stalk

PINEAPPLE & CINNAMON MARGARITA

1 ½ oz Milagro Reposado
¾ oz Triple Sec
2 chunks fresh pineapple
½ oz cinnamon infused simple syrup
Juice of half a lime
Muddle pineapple and cinnamon infused simple syrup in a Boston shaker, hand squeeze the juice of half a lime, add liquor and shake well, strain up into a chilled cocktail glass which has been prepared with half a cinnamon salt rim

TEQUILA MANHATTAN

1 ½ oz Milagro Anejo
¾ oz Lillet Rouge
½ oz Bols Orange Curacao
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Assemble all ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a real cherry