A look back at a very good year in spirits
on 30/12/10 at 8:53 amSpirits
Yes, it’s that time again: to take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of booze. In the interest of time, I will quickly sum up the obvious drink trends in seven words: pisco, mezcal, tequila is the new vodka.
Wait, make that nine words: beer cocktails. Can’t forget those. Are they still having the moment I declared when I wrote about them back in the spring? Well, at least on the spirits beat we won’t talk about food trucks, cupcakes or bacon.
Anyway, now for the long version. 2010 was an exciting year in spirits and one, as they say, “of contrasts.” White whiskey (or “white dog” or “moonshine”) was the darling of the cocktail geeks. Meanwhile, “brown vodka” – a.k.a. Canadian whiskey – tried to make a comeback. But if the tasting I did in the summer is any indication, there’s still some work to do.
Benedictine, the famed monk-created liqueur, turned 500. Concurrently, what seemed like the 500th new flavored vodka was launched. (Kidding. There are now more than 500 flavored vodkas on the market.)
In my own Department of Ranting, there were issues I took a firm stand on, such as the evergreen debate between free-pouring vs. measuring cocktails (In summation: Always measure) and the knuckleheaded quest, by people such as Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, to engineer some sort of low-cal cocktail, even though the low-cal shortcuts almost always have more calories than the real way of doing it.