2012 recap Via Food Republic
Brian Quinn | Cocktail Of The Week columnist
Favorite new bar: Pouring Ribbons, The Shanty, Middle Branch
Favorite new product discovery: NY Distilling Company Dorothy Parker Gin and Bittermen’s New Orleans Coffee Liqueur
Best trend of 2012: Bottled cocktails
Favorite cocktail recipe discovery: St. Germain Cocktail (Savoy Cocktail Book). Basically a Chartreuse sour.
What do you hope will happen in the cocktail scene in 2013? Consumers will increasingly educate themselves on the craft and demand higher levels of cocktail service all around the country, allowing some of the best bars and bartenders in major cities to grow and set up more outposts in other markets.
Chantal Martineau | Writer
Favorite new bar: I love Joaquim Simo’s Pouring Ribbons in New York’s East Village. It’s just a solid, no-nonsense bar making good, straightforward drinks. It’s a cocktail bar for grownups, even on a Saturday night. I also like Tooker Alley, opened by a guy called Del Pedro not too far from my house in Brooklyn. It’s part beer-and-a-shot place, part geeky cocktail lounge. The menu includes a section dedicated to martini variations meant to show how the drink has evolved over time.
Favorite new product discovery: New York Distilling Company’s Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin is one of several high-proof gins to come out. I’m a big fan of overproof spirits. I believe alcohol, like fat, is a flavor conductor. This gin is full of flavor and packs a wallop. I like my martinis 50/50 so a robust gin makes for a nice balance. The Wahaka line of mezcales is impressive, from the Tobala blanco to the reposado “con gusano.” I’ve always heard (and repeated) that the worm in a bottle of mezcal is a tourist gimmick. But Wahaka says it organically filters the spirit and enhances the flavor. Maybe I’m just drinking the Kool-Aid, but I believe it.
Best trend of 2012: Drinks on tap, from Manhattans to Fernet. (If only because you can get a good drink faster.)
What do you hope will happen in the cocktail scene in 2013? Can’t wait for the next overproof spirit boom…tequila, maybe? I also hope that, aside from a few that specialize in this sort of thing, bars continue to move away from convoluted 12-ingredient drinks. It takes just as much skill and creativity to come up with a three- to five-ingredient cocktail that wows – if not more. No truffle-infused, foie gras-washed, Malbec syrup-sweetened concoction will ever be destined for greatness.
Simon Ford | Drink Ford Tough columnist
Favorite new bar: Pouring Ribbons. There is so much talent behind one bar. It reminds me of when Pegu Club and Death and Co. both opened.
Favorite new product discovery: Dorothy Parkers Gin and Brooklyn Hemispherical Mission Black Fig Bitters (and Fords Gin, Tequila Cabeza and Cana Brava Rum).
Best Trend of 2012: The bottled cocktail club at Saxon & Parole and the return of people ordering martinis correctly, with the bartenders giving them all the options of what’s available (choice of vermouth, gin and garnishes as well as ratio of vermouth to gin. etc).
What do you hope will happen in the cocktail scene in 2013? 2013 will be the year of Milk & Honey. In 2000 a small bar opened on Eldridge Street in downtown Manhattan and it inspired the entire global cocktail movement. This December it will be moving to a new, and slightly larger, location where it will continue to be a focal point and inspiration to cocktail fanatics from all over the world. In 2013, I would like to see the return of the Champagne cocktail. They are pretty decadent but there are some great classics and they always add that extra dazzle to a shaken sour.
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