Cocktail trends come and go–remember the Sex and the City-fueled Cosmopolitan fad of 1998? Every year, a few ingredients take over drink menus from coast to coast and define that culinary moment in time. Then, just as quickly, they’re considered passé.
With the impending arrival of spring, we recently consulted our industry friends to find out what those key ingredients will be for 2017, and the jury was (almost) unanimous: healthy and personalized flavors are still going strong, as are fun, kitschy and retro cocktails that 5 years ago you might have been too embarrassed to order. Not anymore! Below, discover our top 3 ingredients to try this year, as well as exclusive recipes starring each. If these drinks are any indication, 2017 is just getting started and promises to be our most fun year yet.
How long has it been since you sipped a banana cocktail? Since spring break, senior year of college? This kitchen counter staple is finally hot again, and our blended mix of fruit, dark rum and Kahlua looks perfectly grown-up and respectable when served in a classic wine glass.
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup ice cubes
Mix all ingredients in an electric blender, adding rum and Kahlua as needed. Serve in a wine glass, and garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple. Makes 4 drinks.
We all know that carrots are great for the eyes (Hey, beta carotene!), but did you know they also make excellent–and of-the-moment–cocktails? The classic pairing of carrot and ginger gets a boost with other foods picked fresh from the garden, such as mint and lemon. Add a splash of vodka, and you have a spring refreshment that’s as healthy as it is tasty.
1 oz. vodka
2 oz. carrot juice
1 lemon, squeezed
2 mint leaves
1 slice fresh ginger root
Muddle mint leaves and combine in Champagne flute with vodka, carrot juice, lemon juice and ginger root slice. Garnish with lemon wedge. Makes 1 drink.
Matcha makes a great cappuccino, and it tastes delicious in ice cream. Now, the fashion world’s favorite tea is making a splash at cocktail hour. We say: It’s about time! Steep matcha tea bags in vodka overnight to add a subtle flavor to your next martini.
1.5 oz. vodka
1 matcha tea bag
1 sprig fresh mint
Steep matcha tea bags in vodka overnight, as you would iced tea. When ready to prepare, shake vodka with ice and a squeeze of lemon juice in cocktail shaker; strain and pour into martini glass. Garnish with mint sprig and a dusting of matcha powder. Makes 1 drink.