Photo by L. Marie/Flickr CC
If craft cocktails have ever been ascendant, it has been the latter half of the last decade. Cocktails of all kinds were in vogue with every mixologist/bartender from here to Topeka donning a vest and learning the "hard shake": ones made with foams and "caviar", good old-fashioned old fashioneds, and even solid cocktails. It almost got a little tiresome to hear the word "speakeasy" and even the new pioneers of craft cocktails were surprised at how far we had come.
With all of that momentum, I keep getting asked the question: when is the jig up? One might ask the same question of craft beers or fine wine--I mean why drink IPAs and Oregon Pinot Noir when you can drink light beer and white zinfandel, right? So if craft cocktails are here to stay, and surely they will, what's next?
Here's my stab at it. Certainly you can find examples of these already. It's just a question of them becoming the common language of bartenders and consumers. One thing you'll note is that I'm focusing in on ingredients. Ingredients are what drive bartenders, much like they drive chefs. Hopefully, we will see a flourishing of new techniques but I suspect that rather than learning how to dehydrate White Russians, bartenders will focus on stirring, shaking and rendering drinks in the most classic of ways.