Getting Experimental

Miss Mojito isn’t big on New Year’s resolutions, but for cocktail concocting, she’ll make an exception. Over the next 12 months, I’m resolved to live out a new goal in my personal mixology: get experimental. I love following a good recipe for sure-fire results, but 2010 is the year I get creative in my home bar. Afterall, I ad-lib in the kitchen on a regular basis, so why not apply the same principles of improvisation to my drink mixing?

To make this resolution a reality, I think a three-pronged approach is in order.

1. Mix different alcohols together. Back in 2009 I was pleased as punch to discover that tequila and bourbon could make a pleasing cocktail marriage when paired with grenadine, lime juice and agave nectar in the Lady Astor. The combo possibilities are endless! Who knows what kind flavor surprises await when I start mixing gin with vodka, rum with tequila or brandy with cognac? Sure, the results might be questionable, but I’ll never know until I give it a shot.

2. Try new spirits. Too often, I limit myself to my favorite staples and mixers: gin, bourbon, lime, grapefruit. Where’s the excitement in that? I’m determined to integrate new-to-me flavor profiles into my bar. This might include some new liqueurs–I’ve been itching to try the herb-infused Benedictine–or even just upgrading the brands of some of my regular go-to spirits.

3. Adopt a truly fearless resolve in my mixology. Everyone knows that the key to success is being unafraid to fail a few times. I must be steadfast in my experimentation. Cocktail making can be a delicate art and a time-consuming task when done right – but it’s certainly one part of my resolution that I’ll enjoy.

For additional inspiration in 2010, I’m turning to the experts for some recommendations. Jason Wilson, spirits guru for the Washington Post, predicts pisco, cachaca and rum will be big players on the cocktail horizon, in addition to the party-friendly punch. Over at the Atlantic Food Channel, Derek Brown had identified cocktail and food pairings, monk-made liqueurs, a plethora of vermouths and ice as key trends in this year’s cocktail forecast.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What trends and resolutions do you predict will make their way into your cocktail repertoire this year?

One response to “Getting Experimental

  1. Miss Mojito, I love this post. Can I have the same resolutions as you (and Derek Brown)?

    In 2010, I want to:

    (a) Have more cocktail parties–but simplified. One cocktail, a couple of apps, a few friends. I tend to go overboard and get a little stressy. Committed to less of that in the new year.

    (b) Use more herbal spirits like aperol and aquavit. This is also my cocktail trend prediction. I think we’ll be seeing more of these oft-unheard-of liquors.

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