If your favorite bartender looks a little bleary-eyed tonight, that's because the tenth annual Tales of the Cocktail the conferencecumfestivalcummulti-day drinking party that's become central to the spirits business wrapped up in New Orleans this past weekend. While there, we took the opportunity to ask the people on the front lines what big booze movements they see coming over the next days, months, and even years. Read on to see what they had to say.
Aaron Polsky, Amor y Amargo (New York)
"I want to see the paradigm shifted from the classics to something completely new. Flavorful, non-alcoholic liquids used as modifiers in cocktails."
Abigail Gullo, SoBou (New Orleans)
"I like to use alternative sweeteners. Everything from homemade infusions with spices, herbs, and fruit to maple, agave, honey, and even local syrups like Steens Cane Syrup here in Louisiana. It’s like a rich demerara syrup with a hint of molasses."
Alba Huerta, Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
"I'd like to see all of us embrace the service side and continue to have a drinking culture that enjoys quality and sustainability. But overall to have a good time."
Audrey Saunders, Pegu Club (New York)
"Are people talking about fun? Because we feel strongly about fun."
Chad Solomon, Cuffs & Buttons consulting
"I feel like all the things I've said in the past, I'm still waiting for them to happen. Like tech and aroma. But in particular, overproof cognac. With the reintroduction of overproof cognacs, we can now revive classic cognac cocktails which have been shortchanged in the latest cocktail revolution."
Damon Boelte, Prime Meats (Brooklyn)
"I want bartenders to talk to customers again. I would like to see the new guard of cocktail bartenders start to realize that they are still bartenders and treat their customers like customers. Go back to the Golden Rule, treat others as you want to be treated." Or, he adds, "Fucking cocktail trucks!"
Gary Regan, cocktail legend
"What I've seen this year more than anything else is 'throwing' cocktails. It's a Spanish innovation, where bartenders pour from the shaker to the glass at a height of maybe three to four feet. It aerates the drink a little bit and it's showy as all hell."
Jay Kosmas, Employees Only (New York) & Marquee Grill & Bar (Dallas)
"In terms of trends I think the cocktail has arrived — it's in every city in this country. And now we have to remember to take what we've learned here and make it accessible to those who those who have not experienced a proper cocktail."
Jim Meehan, PDT (New York)
(With Dushan Zaric, Employees Only and Macao Trading Company) "Nineteenth Century cocktails! We've done the twentieth century; we've done tiki and all that. We're going old school. We're going medieval. Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon [of the Merchant in Northern Ireland] are opening a place here and we’ll see what they do ... We have Pok Pok. We have the Experimental Cocktail Club from Paris. And now we’ll have the Dead Rabbit from Northern Ireland. So we're getting the international imports."
Johan Ekelund, Happiness Forgets (London)
JH: Ladies drinking bourbon! Grub Street: We already do that. JH: Not in London.
Jon Lermeyer, Florida Room (Miami)
"I'd like to see bartenders, particularly the ones who attend Tales — the real mixologists — learn more about wine."
Lu Brow, Bar Chef consultant for Commander’s Palace (New Orleans) and the Brennan Family
"I'd like to see clean and simple and fewer ingredients."
Mathew Resler, Empellon Cocina (New York)
"For people to stop paying attention to who pours it, but to pay attention to what is in the glass. I have had amazing cocktails at the 'best' cocktail lounges across the country and I've had shit cocktails at the 'best' cocktail lounges ... the same can be said for dive bars."
Maxwell Britten, Maison Premiere (Brooklyn)
"Low-proof cocktails featuring things like amaros."
Michael Neff, Ward III & The Rum House (New York)
"I would like to see people be braver behind the bar. Mixologists need to learn how to be bartenders."
Naomi Schimek, The Spare Room (Los Angeles)
"What I would like to see in the coming year is a greater awareness of the importance of sustainability. I would like to see more brands take a stand against using pesticides and genetically modified crops in their spirits."
Sabrina Kershaw, Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar (Boston)
"People are still looking to the classics for inspiration and putting their own spin on it. It's okay to have a blended drink or a blue drink on the menu. Have fun with it. Tiki is back and I'm so happy. Who doesn't like an umbrella in their drinks?"
Tristan Willey, Booker & Dax (New York)
(With Dave Arnold) "Higher accountability in terms of ingredients. With such knowledge floating around now about sustainability and quality of ingredients people know. They're not ignorant about it anymore. They spend more time at the farmers' market than ever before."
Most Viewed Stories
Restaurant Owner Isn’t Sure Why Everyone Hated Her Nazi-Themed Spaghetti
Ketchup vs. Catsup: Why Heinz Is Irreplaceable
Café Owner Told Job Applicant ‘Coffee Culture Is More About White People’
Taco Bell Gives America $1 Normcore Burritos
Rose’s Luxury, High Street on Market, Estela Named ‘Best New Restaurants’
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetNo. 7’s Birthday Party; the Cleveland’s New Large-Format Options
Today's Leftovers.Tiny Indiana Town Despises Oreo for Sending Them Lots of Tiny Cookies
"Why in the world would they ship out one mini cookie is beyond me."Korean Barbecue Specialist Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Will Open Manhattan Location This Fall
There's a Momofuku vet in the kitchen, too.Spiking Booze With Straight Viagra Predictably Ends in Entrepreneur’s Arrest
The Viagra and booze bootlegger described his concoction as a "nutritional healthy liquor."Doctor Who’s Cast Reacts to New York’s Newest Doctor Who-Themed Café
Guess Who's coming to dinner, indeed.Bakery That Supplied Crumbs Laid Off 75 Workers After Cupcake-Bubble Bust
Standing orders for 225,000 cupcakes per week suddenly dropped 100,000 just below the closure.Café Owner Told Job Applicant ‘Coffee Culture Is More About White People’
Outraged patrons stormed out in protest.Slaughterhouse Owners Allegedly Ordered Employees to Process Meat From Cancer-Stricken Cows
They allegedly put healthy heads on diseased cattle to fool inspectors.Ketchup vs. Catsup: Why Heinz Is Irreplaceable
Cherche Midi's fries are perfect. Its fancy-ass ketchup is not.Rose’s Luxury, High Street on Market, Estela Named ‘Best New Restaurants’
Bon Appétit released its annual Hot 10 list.
It'll be back up and running in no time.Lobster Bash at Jeffrey’s Grocery; Back Forty’s Crab-a-Palooza
Today's Leftovers.Restaurant Owner Isn’t Sure Why Everyone Hated Her Nazi-Themed Spaghetti
"Long Live Nazi Spaghetti" had its share of critics.Taco Bell Gives America $1 Normcore Burritos
The Doritos Loco dust has apparently settled.100 Montaditos Will Give Away Free Sandwiches Tomorrow
And they have more than 100 of them to hand out.Golden Cadillac Will Reopen As Boilermaker Next Month
The on-tap Zombie made with three kinds of rum is classified as "cool & refreshing" on the menu. This is going to be fun.Cambridge Needs an Intrepid Student to Study a Lot of Chocolate
Your life really can be life a box of chocolates.The Seinfeld Restaurant Is Pretty Meh About Accommodating Customers in Wheelchairs
"We have tables outside, though, that they can use."Williamsburg’s Second Starbucks Will Dazzle Patrons With Alcohol
Just don't ask your barista for the secret, off-menu Pumpkin Spice Latte chardonnay.A South Korean Restaurant Banned ‘Africans’ Over Nonexistent Ebola Risk
The owner quickly reversed the policy.
It's the Tonight Show showdown you knew was coming.Freemans’ Ten-Year Anniversary; Left Bank’s Oyster Dinner
Today's Leftovers.The East Village’s First Rice-Burger Shop Opens on Monday
Wasabi salt!Albert Trummer’s New South Beach Bar Sounds Even Nuttier Than Apotheke
The creator of "fantastic medicinal cocktails" is at it again.Arrested McDonald’s Worker Sues News Station That Posted Her Personal Data
Debra Harrell is suing the station.Take a Look Around Stieber’s Sweet Shoppe, a Charming New Candy Store on Bleecker Street
Over 400 kinds of candy!Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Grand Banks, Dimes, and More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.Shake Shack May Be Gearing Up for an IPO
Yes, dividends do come with those fries (and that shake).Nutella Maker Uses 25 Percent of the World’s Entire Hazelnut Supply
A jar containing at least 50 hazelnuts is sold every 2.5 seconds.A ‘Billion’ Oysters May Help Protect Staten Island from Future Floods
"They reduce water velocity, they reduce erosion of the shoreline and they reduce the height and intensity of the waves."
This week's installment of Celebrity Settings.A Restaurant Nearly Killed a Grandmother With Toxic Sweet Tea
An employee mistook lye for sugar.Cocktail Icon Julie Reiner Makes Her Daiquiris With Smuggled Cuban Rum
"We brought a half-bottle of Moet rosé and drank that from plastic cups."The Rise of New York’s Grand, Glorious Modern Food Halls
Food halls and markets are quickly becoming both vendors' and diners' preferred places for assembling some of New York's very best food.Dominique Ansel Teams Up With DKNY; Blue Ribbon Brooklyn’s Oyster Tasting
Today's Leftovers.Starbucks Is Finally Testing Cold-Brew Coffee
There's a limited run going on at Boston-area locations.Why 70,000 Environmentalists Are Fighting the elBulli Museum
It encroaches on a "protected area."People Wasted a Demoralizing Amount of Time Watching Arby’s 13-Hour Brisket Ad
An average of 38 minutes per person, to be exact.So, Just How Great Is It to Shoot a Food Movie Like The Trip to Italy?
Turns out, pretty great.Is This Really America’s ‘Most Depressing’ Starbucks?
Everybody stop freaking out.
"Mrs. Kraut-fire" and "Good Will HotWing" pies for all.Why One Rising-Star Chef Walked Away From a Promising Career in New York
Chef Nick Curtin moved to Europe just as his career in New York was starting to pick up steam.12 Fresh New Dishes That Make the Most of Summer Tomatoes
The season is short. This is how you take advantage of it while you can.Lafayette Loses Chef Damon Wise
He's leaving the city to "pursue a project of his own."Watch Frank Bruni Make Cocktails for Mario Batali
"Drinking with Frank Bruni at 10 a.m., man, life is looking good."Pabst Will Put Ballantine Pale Ale Back Into Production
The beer-maker is hoping it has the next great hipster beer on its hands.U.S. Open Food Truck in Bryant Park; Emily Now Accepting Reservations
Today's Leftovers.Burger King Kills ‘Healthy’ Satisfries
Only a third of franchisees still wanted them.Justin Smillie and Stephen Starr’s Restaurant Now Has a Name
It'll serve sprouted chickpea croquettes and lamb belly.Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurant Nominees Are Out
Uncle Boons, Estela, Luksus, and Sushi Nakazawa are in.