Cocktails remain King and Queen in 2017. From classics to innovative concoctions by mixologists nationwide, there's no shortage of opportunities to shake things up, stir them plenty, or even roll them a dozen times.
So what are the top mixed drinks of the moment, and what are bartenders making with them? The cocktail culture is not going dry anytime soon, and if anything, it's becoming more exciting as experimentation, blending of cultures, the marriage of old recipes and local spirits, and continued thirst remain.
Our Top Two Mixing Spirits of 2017
Asian Whisky, Aquavit and their cocktails. Whiskey/Whisky, especially Asian Whiskies, continue to be highly popular and Aquavit, the Scandinavian rival to gin, is great made at home (Minnesota that is).
Hibiki 'Japanese Harmony' Suntory Whisky – Critically acclaimed, consumer-loved blend of at least 10 malt and grain whiskies, aged in five different types of casks, from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries.
- 1.5 oz Hibiki Whisky
- 1 oz pomegranate juice
.25 oz port
1 tsp lemon juice
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky – This grain whiskey is a standout of the new Japanese whiskies on the market. It's produced in continuous distillation "Coffey still," which is a very traditional and rare patent still Nikka imported from Scotland in 1963. The Coffey still produces a complex whisky with a mellow and sweet taste.
- 2 oz Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
- Ginger beer to top
- Lime wedge for garnish
- Slice of fresh ginger for garnish
In a highball glass filled with fresh cubed ice, add whisky, then ginger beer to top. Stir lightly and serve (straw optional). Garnish with fresh ginger slice and lime wedge.
Tattersall Aquavit – This northeast Minneapolis craft distillery has been garnering awards for their wide array of spirits including their Aquavit. Use it as a substitute for vodka to enjoy a new twist on the classics.
- 2 oz. Tattersall Aquavit
- ¾ oz. lemon juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- Mint sprig
Shake with ice, top with soda water and garnish with a mint sprig.
Vikre Ovrevann Aquavit – From the cold waters of Lake Superior, this Duluth-based micro-distillery produces a number of highly acclaimed spirits including this expressive Aquavit infused with caraway and cardamom that are fundamental spices in Scandinavian cuisine.
- Shake 2 oz. Øvrevann Aquavit
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz St. George Pear Brandy
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
So, what's hot? It depends on who, what, when, and where. At Haskell's we have a full line of spirits from A-to-Z to keep your home bar well-stocked and your cocktails flowing.