These 10 cocktails, selected by the editors of Restaurant Hospitality, showcase bartenders’ creative takes on top bar trends. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >>
Trend: Smoked cocktails
Where to get it: Emmerson, Boulder, Colo.
Creator: Nancy Kwon, bar manager
Ingredients: Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon, amaro sfumato rabarbaro (smoked rhubarb amaro), Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, housemade demerara syrup and grapevine smoke.
About the drink: Sfumato is a painting technique derived from the Italian word “fumo,” or smoke, used by Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, in which colors are blended in a blurred way, “in the manner of smoke.” Similarly, the ingredients here blend in such a way that they’re perceived more softly on the palate than expected.
A look at the trend: Smoked cocktails continue to burn hot. Adding a hint of smoke to cocktails was a popular technique among a number of this year’s contenders.
In the case of Leonardo’s Smoke at the recently opened Emmerson, grapevine — or sometimes cherry wood, depending on availability — is used in a cold-smoke gun.
The smoke is blown over the finished cocktail under a cloche. When the cloche is lifted at the table, guests get the immediate aroma, and the smoke flavors the cocktail.
It’s also a great visual presentation, said Nancy Kwon, bar manager and cocktail curator at Emmerson. “We’ve seen a lot of pictures” on social media, she said.