Alcohol and women, a perfect match in heaven. The economy has recovered from the recent global financial crisis and alcohol consumption has been rising. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the holiday season and let’s pack up the alcohol. Where to find the best booze to quench your thirst? TheBlot Magazine has the answers:
Question: What did the bartender say after Charles Dickens ordered a martini?
Answer: “Olive or twist?”
If knee-slappers like this aren’t getting you laid at the bar, maybe it’s time for you to learn what’s behind it. For some people, there’s nothing sexier than an informed alcoholic. On that inebriated note, let’s explore what’s popular in the world of mixology and what might trend in the near future…
The Vermouth Renaissance
If you have recently bar-hopped around the world, then you have probably noticed the resurgence of the old-school cocktail ingredient vermouth. Taking us back a good century, pre-Prohibition drinks like the classic Manhattan are being upgraded with the best ingredients available today. Although other aromatized and fortified aperitif wines have been long forgotten by the masses, vermouth remains relevant today.
Infused beverages have been around for many years, but this new method of flavor blending is very much a 21st century innovation. Originally invented for culinary use, nitro-infusion is the use of nitrogen-charged canisters to extract flavors from ingredients inserted. The product of nitro-infusion tends not to be as potent as the traditional method, but it can be great for cocktails that call for bitter components.
With the world changing so quickly around us, it’s hard to predict the next big thing in the forever expanding world of mixology. If you ask Steven Hollenkamp, though, he’ll tell you that the future is his new product called Cocktail Caviar. As described on the company website:
Cocktail Caviar are small, pop-able spheres of alcohol that will change the way you think … and transform the way you drink. Our mission: to pursue better and more innovative craft cocktails through science.
Hey, that sounds fun! If you’ve ever been to a frozen yogurt shop and topped your concoction with passion fruit bubbles, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Imagine those little guys in different boozy flavors and it gets really exciting. They can go in wine, cocktails, and can be used as toppings for different desserts. They can even be frozen and used in place of ice.
Although at one time a slave to investment banking, Brooklyn-based Hollenkamp broke free from the clutches to pursue this secret passion. After asking him how his inspiration struck, he shared this story:
“I was on a date with this nice girl from New Zealand. We were at a bar in South Slope in Brooklyn that only served beer and liquor and she liked neither. So she left to purchase wine and sneak it in. While she was out bootlegging, I thought about how so many people don’t like hard alcohol, yet in bars, that’s the currency. All these mixers and chasers … drinking just seemed primed to be modernized. I wondered if there was a better way to experience alcohol. I then remembered this encapsulation technology that I came across in Asia, where I lived for a few years in my mid-20s. Well, I became fixated on the idea, and from there the rest of the date was shot. The girl even yelled at me over text the next morning for not being interested during the goodnight kiss.”
You might find Steven walking into various bars and restaurants around the city, pushing his line of spherical delight. In a world so inundated with social media, it’s actually quite refreshing to see a real human being proudly using the old door-to-door technique. He’s so confident in the product that he’ll sit there until you’ve tried every flavor that piques your interest.
Cocktail Caviar retails for around $15 per container at liquor stores and will probably cost you a $1-2 upcharge when added to cocktails at a bar. With a shelf life of around one year, this new product may become a favorite at your local watering hole and in the home.
For more information, visit the Cocktail Caviar website.
Ricky Dunlop is a writer, actor and comedian residing in New York City.
[ Illustration by Guilherme Zamarioli ]