Citrus is always a home run in beverage builds, thanks to its refreshing, bright profile. Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, brings with it an added sense of adventure, along with tart grapefruit overtones and a floral finish. A natural fit for Asian-inspired drinks, it’s also popping up in modern American cocktails, reflecting the ever-growing trend of mash-up creativity.
- Yuzu Lemonade
—Ivan Ramen, New York
- Crisol: Damoiseau Agricole Rhum, yuzu, mirin, bay leaf simple syrup
—Soca, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
- Far East Side: Sake, tequila, shiso leaf, elderflower, lemon, yuzu bitters
—Bar Goto, New York
8 Herbs and Spices
This is almost impossible to call a micro-trend because the world of herbs and spices is so expansive. But herbs and spices do channel a similar theme: Each offers a high-impact flavor to beverage builds. From spiced rims on Bloody Marys and micheladas to fresh herb infusions and charred herb garnishes, the creativity in this category is never-ending.
- Cucumber Thyme Lemonade: Fresh cucumber and lemon, housemade sweet & sour, sugarcane, thyme sprig and soda
—Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, multiple locations
- Plan Check Penicillin: Mezcal, ginger, lemon, agave, fennel pollen and Buzz Button flowers
—LSXO, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Pink Ferrari: El Massaya Arak, grapefruit, sumac salt
—Tusk, Portland, Ore.
9 Smoked Ingredients
There’s a newborn fascination with smoky liquors, like mezcal, and a continuing maturation of the American palate, helping push this trend forward. But the sensory appeal of smoke is also moving the needle here, where mixologists are smoking herbs, fruits, pine needles and glassware. The smoked trend is another example of consumers embracing bolder flavor profiles, like sour and bitter, for example.
Sympathy for the Devil: Smoked habanero-infused Mezcal Yuu Baal, rye whiskey, lemon juice, agave syrup
—Boneyard Bistro, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Smoked Fig: Maker’s Mark bourbon, fig and rosemary syrup, topped with charred rosemary twigs
—Avant Restaurant, San Diego
Limonada Sucia: Tito’s Vodka, grilled lemon juice, applewood-smoked simple syrup, lavender bitters
—Del Campo, Washington, D.C.