IN THE SPIRIT
INNOVATION AND EXPERIMENTATION PRODUCE A
WIDE RANGE OF SPIRITED DRINKS.
BY SUZANNE HALL
BARTENDERS—or mixologists—are doing a
brisk business at restaurant bars nationwide. The tone is
both traditional and trendy. On the one hand, “the classics,
like Manhattans and whiskey sours, are back in style,” says
Tim Laird, chief entertaining officer/brand spokesman for
Brown-Forman Corp., a producer of wines and spirits based in
Louisville, Ky. “People are getting back to what they know.”
For many, that means classic cocktails from original recipes,
says Bridget Albert, director of mixology for Southern Wine &
Spirits of Illinois in Bolingbrook, a wine and spirits distributor.
On the other hand, Tiffanie Barriere, mixologist for One Flew
South at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport,
creates The Washington by muddling two apple slices with
half a lime cut in wedges and adding 1 ounce of maple syrup,
1 ounce of apple cider and 2 ounces of Hammer + Sickle
vodka. The libation is served up in a rimmed cocktail glass.
Beverage manager/mixologist Jason Kilgore and his bartending
colleagues at Catalyst Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., offer
The Undecided. “It’s a bartender’s choice option, where we
make a drink based on the guest’s preferences,” Kilgore says.
“Brown spirits are back and big,” Laird notes. And bourbon is
among the biggest, much to the delight of Kentucky distillers,
who claim that about 95% of the spirit made worldwide is
produced in the Bluegrass State.
That’s not to say vodka isn’t popular, especially with the new
flavor trends. Sales of other white spirits, such as tequila,
mezcal and gin, also are on the rise, according to Albert, the
result, perhaps, of an interest in strongly flavored drinks.
At Sepia in Chicago, consumption of full-flavored spirits is
increasing, along with small-batch liquors. “We definitely are
selling more things like rye, single-barrel bourbon, scotch and
cognac,” says mixologist Josh Pearson.
Gina Chersevani, who staffs the bar at PS 7’s Restaurant in
Washington, D.C., has noticed people drifting toward spirits
FOLKS THESE DAYS ARE DRINKING SPIRITS WITH SUBSTANCE “ ” TIFFANIE BARRIERE