The ’60s ushered in the era of Tiki drinks like the mai tai. In the late ’90s, Sex and the City had all the girls you dated ordering Cosmos. Last year, the Manhattan reemerged on every trendy restaurant’s cocktail menu. We asked some of our favorite bartenders to weigh in on the next big drinks you’ll soon be sipping in your go-to watering hole (or whipping up at home).
#ClassicsReturn: Rum & Vermouth
“For the home bartender, rum is where it’s at this year,” says Natasha Torres, bar manager at Lantern’s Keep in New York City. “It comes from so many different countries and can be made with so many different types of sugar, and each gives it a unique flavor profile. Some you just want to sip like a fine whiskey.”
“Vermouth is another classic spirit making a big comeback,” says Jacques Bezuidenhout, co-owner of the Wildhawk bar in San Francisco. “There are dozens of variations of dry and sweet vermouth that will pair perfectly with your favorite gin or vodka, and most people never think to try them.”
Want to own the trend? Here are the best bottles:
Pick up a bottle of Mount Gay XO Cask Strength Rum. Made by the world’s oldest rum company (in operation since 1703), it blends eight- and 15-year-old aged rums, creating rich oak, ripe banana, and toasted almond flavors. For a vermouth with an equally storied history, grab a bottle of Drapo’s Blanco, Rosso, or Dry Vermouth. Produced in Turin, Italy (the birthplace of vermouth), Drapo is the gold standard of these fortified wines.
#MyFaveNewBooze: Chareau, Aromatique & Ancho Reyes Verde
Dozens of new liquors are introduced every year. Only a few really break out to the big time. A couple notables to check this month:
“I really love this new spirit called Chareau,” says Zak Klapperich of Embers Ski Lodge in Nashville. “I can’t stop using it. It has an all-natural aloe flavor and can turn any simple tequila or gin drink into something amazing.”
Another bottle to look for is a spice-packed liquor called Aromatique. Originally produced to help with digestion back in 19th-century Germany, the spirit combines sweet and bitter spices in a secret ratio that hasn’t changed significantly in almost 200 years.
Finally, check out Ancho Reyes Verde, a green chili liqueur crafted from poblano peppers. “It has a sweet, herblike flavor that’s very different from the smoky heat of traditional Ancho Reyes,” says Scott Baird, co-founder of Trick Dog in San Francisco. “It works really well in mixed drinks but is also delicious chilled.”
Want to own the trend? Master these 3 easy classic drinks:
- Try Chareau in a supereasy martini: 2 parts vodka to 1 part of the aloe liqueur, over ice with a lemon twist.
- Swap Aromatique for vodka in a Moscow Mule: Just mix 4 oz ginger beer with 1½ oz spirit, plus a squeeze of lime.
- Or try Ancho Reyes Verde in a smoky negroni (above): Stir together 1½ oz each of mezcal and vermouth with 1 oz Campari and ½ oz Ancho Reyes. Serve on ice with a twist of orange.