‘Tis the season for cocktails. Yet, we don’t just mean the holidays, cocktails are equally necessary for the beginning of the new year as they are for the holidays. Those first few weeks in January, after having had a delightful vacation away from work, one might be in great need of a little liquid comfort. And, of course, having delicious cocktails to celebrate holidays, ring in the new year, and to cheers the happy occasions are essential!
So in honor of the oncoming new year, and to ensure your holiday party features the most stylish and tasty drinks, we’ve asked Christina D’Orta, the head bartender, and mixologist at Natirar Resort, for her 2017 craft cocktail trend predictions. She’s even gone so far as to provide us with three holiday cocktail recipes for your enjoyment.
Craft Cocktail Trends to Watch Out for in 2017
Gorgeous Garnishes The garnish game will start to intensify. Bartenders have been using more and more techniques, often learned from the kitchen team. She expects to see the use of much more uniquely shaped ice cubes, flavored sugars & salts. Infused foam is also becoming a popular trend. *At Natirar the bartenders can go a step farther and forage garnishes right from the farm and property, even in the winter. An excellent example of this is the local’s favorite, “Natirar Pine Barrens” (recipe below).
Creative Glassware Mason jars are all the rage now and are showing no signs of diminishing. Re-purposed containers to be then used as a drinking glass is a crowd favorite. Bartenders continue to experiment with creative new glassware. Christina predicts stemless glassware will become more popular this year.
Popular Brands GreyGoose still reigns widely popular, yet Tito’s Handmade Vodka is beginning to catch up in popularity. Christina remarks that many of her clientele ask for Tito’s specifically, more so than any other vodka brand. The reasons being are it’s American, gluten-free, delicious and conservatively priced. She predicts a noticeable shift towards local craft spirits, instead of global brands. In general, local anything is the trend nationwide, and it’s only natural that in 2017 people will desire to support and drink local offerings. At Natirar specifically, which is located in New Jersey, guests are becoming avid fans of Claremont Vodka – a New Jersey vodka.
Ice For Character Ice is no longer reserved simply for keeping a drink cold. These days ice has become a garnish of its own. Enormous ice cubes, crushed ice, ice spheres, and other unique ice shapes are all taking the stage in the cocktail world. As far as bartenders are concerned, ice provides the opportunity to give a drink some character.
Next time you’re at a holiday, or otherwise, party, you can impress the crowd with your newfound cocktail trends knowledge, as well as the following cocktails. Nothing like a delicious libation to quickly become the most popular person at the party!
Christina’s Cocktail Recipes For Your Holiday, New Year, and Stress-Free Enjoyment: These can also be found on the Ninety Acres drink menu as well.
Rye Chai Sour
- 2 oz Rye Whiskey
- 1 oz Chai infused simple syrup
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 oz fresh orange juice
- dash egg white
Combine all ingredients in the shaker without ice. Shake vigorously, then add ice and shake vigorously again. Double strain into martini glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon on top.
Thyme For Cheer
- 2 oz gin
- 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 oz Meyer lemon/thyme infused honey
- 3 thyme sprigs
Combine all ingredients in the shaker with ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with fresh thyme and a Meyer lemon twist.
Jersey Pine Barrens
- 1 oz Pine infused gin
- 2 oz apple schnapps
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz fresh granny smith apple juice.
Combine all ingredients in the shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a specialty glass, such as a mason jar or copper mug, glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh pine sprig and three whole cranberries.