Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Jack Robertiello

Bar Forward Bartenders are packing power into drinks with bold ingredients and brash techniques

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Both The Pho-King Champ at Midnight Rambler in Dallas and The Star Anise at Mace in New York (above) feature intense Asian spices, flavors rarely seen on cocktail menus before now.PHOTO CREDIT: Mace Among the many changes wrought at the bar by the 21st century cocktail revolution, few stand out as clearly as the introduction of aggressively flavored ingredients. Energized by the challenge to bring more intense ingredients into the mix, bartenders keep finding ways to incorporate more pungency, umami, heat, spices, vinegar, char and smoke to consumers’ ever-changing flavor palate. Starting with the...

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Juice Behind the Bar

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Using both seasonal fruits and purées brings consistent flavor to the refreshing aguas frescas at Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster, Colo. “Fresh” and “consistent” are key words behind the bar today—something the combination of freshly made juices and purées helps to create. California Pizza Kitchen’s latest cocktail menu offers numerous drinks using both: for example, California Roots (vodka, avocado, mint, agave syrup) and Coconut Blossom (mandarin vodka, tequila, coconut purée, fresh pineapple and agave syrup). In order to maintain a consistent flavor profile, drinks like the Strawberry Basil Martini include fruit purée. “We love...

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