4 Hot Beverage Trends for 2009

Stocked Cocktail BarI've already blogged about how to pick a signature cocktail for your events and even gave some suggestions for summer drinks. If none of those fit the bill, that's okay. I've got some of the top cocktail trends for 2009 from the Master Mixologists at Benchmark Hospitality International to help guide you in your selection.

Whether they help you pick a signature libation or help you stock a full bar at your cocktail party, wedding reception, etc., these trends will make sure your bar menu pleases the most discerning cocktail connoisseurs.

Classics with a twist. Place your pomegranate martinis and mojitos back on the counter. This year is all about a return to familiar favorites. Brush up on your Bartender's Black Book basics, and incorporate a few creative substitutions to make drinks a bit more modern.

Infused spirits. Drinks made of clear liquors and fruits juices are so last year. Liven up your cocktails with infused spirits, or liquors that use added flavors to create a unique taste. Bloody Marys with jalapeno-infused vodka is a specialty at San Francisco restaurant Nova, for example. With infusions running the gamut from honey-lavender vodka to tamarind tequila, these flavorful spirits add zest to cocktails new and old.

Forgotten liqueurs and cordials. Drambuie, Sambuca, Grand Marnier, Amaretto—such flavor enhancers should not be left sitting on the shelf. These oldies but goodies add flavor, aroma and balance to cocktails.

Natural enhancements. This year is all about returning to nature, and cocktails are no exception. Fresh fruit and vegetables, organic teas, and pure sparkling water are all non-alcoholic ingredients that help craft the perfect cocktail based on nature.
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