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BOLD NEW HYBRID SPIRITS

You’ve probably heard the adage that the only constant is change. It’s especially true in the beverage industry, where manufacturers continue to introduce new products to capture the imagination of spirits enthusiasts. On the off chance you might have missed the initial fanfare sur- rounding their introduction, here are some of the boldest, most promising new spirits and liqueurs—guaranteed to grace your backbar.


Cachaça—The next spirits category poised to ignite
is cachaça, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane. Three brands to watch are the unaged superpremium Beleza Pura; Pitú, first produced in northeastern Brazil in 1938 and named after a rare freshwater river crab; and Ypióca (ee-pee-OH-kah), aged in rain-forest wood for up to three years.


Compass Box Orangerie—A ten-year-old Scotch infused with orange peel and spices. Light, smooth, complex, elegant—a fresh twist on an old spirit.


Cream Liqueurs—The category has exploded with new flavors, including Crème de la Crème’s Maple Cream, Cask & Cream’s Caramel Temptation, and chai-flavored Voyant.


Grand Marnier Navan—A marriage of fine aged Cognac with natural black vanilla from Madagascar. The dry, brilliantly flavored liqueur works flawlessly on many levels.


Jewel of Russia Wild Bilberry Infusion—This traditional Russian spirit is made from fresh bilberries that are crushed and steeped in superpremium vodka. The infusion is low in alcohol (44 proof), leaving the palate free from heat or biting edge.


Magellan Gin—Created by spirits guru Michel Roux and made in small batches in France from triple-distilled neutral spirits, spring water, and a botanical mix that includes deep blue iris petals. The finished gin sports an alluring, light blue tint—a veritable feast for the senses.


Pisco—This Peruvian grape brandy, like cachaça, is a venerable spirit that is just beginning to be appreciated in North American restaurant bars, especially as the base spirit of the pisco sour.


Shaker’s Rose Vodka—A 100 percent wheat vodka infused with an elixir of rose and more than a dozen natural flavors, including honey, vanilla, and citrus.


Wokka Saki—Sake (20 percent) and essence of Asian fruits are fused to a base of vodka, which is microdistilled in a pot still.

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