Cocktail trends for 2014: Dry ice, carbonation and showmanship

(Evgeny Karandaev/shutterstock.com)

(Evgeny Karandaev/shutterstock.com)

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, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Look for cocktails to be cleaner, simpler with a focus on masterful execution in 2014, says the Spaniard who holds the title of world's best bartender 2013.

According to David Rios, who beat out 43 finalists from around the world to take the lofty title from a Diageo-sponsored event this summer, serious mixologists will return to the basics with a special focus on achieving precision by using the jigger for every pour.

Indeed, a 2010  article in The Atlantic provides a good perspective on how the jigger - which may have suffered a maligned reputation in the bar industry for years - may be experiencing a comeback.

"It used to be that when you saw a bartender using a jigger - a small measuring cup for drinks - you assumed he was either a new bartender or micromanaged by his superiors," the story reads.

Either that, or that they were being cheap and measuring every little drop.

But, the article continues, as mixology continues to earn respect as an artisanal craft, the jigger has also become one of the bartender's most important tools, akin to a chef's knife: "the mark of precision and care in crafting cocktails."

Because if anything, creating the perfect cocktail is more like baking than savory cooking - like a cake, it requires mathematical precision, the story points out.

In other trends, Rios said that while molecular mixology - think dry ice, spherification and foams - will continue to remain popular, 2014 will also see the pendulum swing the other way with growing interest in perfecting classic recipes like the martini.

Similarly, showmanship will be increasingly important in 2014, as bartenders are expected to add theatrical elements to the making of clients' drinks.

Meanwhile, a trendspotting report by New York restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman predicts that hotel mixologists will be bottling their own carbonated cocktails - a trend that's in line with at-home soda-making machines like SodaStream.

The report also foresees flavored ice cubes, gin, hard cider and locally produced rye and bourbon take off next year.

And for giving a final touch of pizzazz, don't be surprised to see bartenders mist flavored essences over cocktails as a last step.


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