Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 10 Cocktail, Beer and Wine Trends of 2010: A Year in Review

2010 was the most creative year for cocktails, beer & wine. It was so wonderful to see how the advancement of the culinary arts has impacted the alcohol industry. And while we anxiously await what will unfold in 2011, lets reflect on some of the top alcohol trends for 2010.

1. Beer and Food Pairings: Pairing the perfect beer with the perfect food was one of the hottest bar beverage trends of 2010.

2. Locally Crafted Beer: Unique beers with delicious flavors were discovered locally around America in 2010.

3. Organic Alcohol: The demand for organic foods centers primarily on fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables. But in 2010, eco-conscious consumers began seeking out certified organic alcohol as well.

4. The Mixologist: Mixologists have been around for years. But in 2010, we saw the bartender evolve into the more gourmet-focused mixologist, who added a fresher, more creative spin on cocktails.

5. Fresh Vodka Infusions: While plain and flavored store-bought vodka will always have its place, freshly infused vodkas really started to come into their own. Why buy artificially flavored vodka, when you can make your own just as easily – and your own is almost guaranteed to taste better.

6. Wine Cocktails: There was definitely a rise in cocktails that featured wine as the main ingredient. Specifically in Pan-Asian restaurants, we saw sake showcased in endless creative combinations. Sweet or dry, we watched as mixologists brought the concept of wine consumption to new levels.

7. Bars as Restaurants: Most restaurants have always had bars and most bars have always had food, but 2010 saw an increase of bars improve upon and expand their menus

8. Alcoholic energy drinks: In 2010 you could find Four Loko and other caffeinated alcohol beverages nice and cold in your local mini mart, but the caffeinated versions of these energy drinks will be banned in many states beginning in the New Year. They’ve become a “black market” item and can be found on eBay, selling for double the cost. Sugar and caffeine saturated, the “blackout in a can” will be missed dearly.

9. Jelly Shots: These jelled, watch-them-wiggle, shots were a required party treat in 2010. Let’s hope this trend carries over in the New Year!

10. Wine Prices: 2010 was a great year to build on your wine collection! 32% of wine makers reduced their price-per-bottle and the price reductions we saw in stores were enough to make the angels sing. 2010 was a GREAT year for wine shopping.

Happy New Year!

More Food & Cocktail Trends and Predictions:

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