Latest Trends

Cocktail Renaissance

A New Wave in Drink Trends

How Yusef Austin, cocktail architect, is stirring up the bar.

 

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Vow of love

2 oz. Double Cross vodka
3/4 oz. Combier orange liqueur
1/2 oz. strawberry puree’
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Rose water
Dried strawberries

Spray the glass with rose water. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a trio of dried strawberries on a Lucite pick.

 

Bitters, tinctures and bespoke concoctions tailored to the guest are just a few indicators that we are living in an exceptional era of specialty drinks. Premier cocktail architect Yusef Austin, who first met Colin Cowie at an event in Miami years ago, is leading the charge, crafting unique drinks for events and parties like no one has ever tasted before.

The secret to Yusef’s delectable success: experimenting with flavors that make guests not just enjoy but be surprised. He creates flavor combinations that pique their curiosity and, ultimately, make them come back for more. His love of mixers, from exotic syrups to herbs or tinctures, rivals his appreciation for all spirits equally. Whether it is champagnes, tequilas or rums, they are all mediums for his imagination.

We asked Yusef to give us the trends that are shaking up the bar for your wedding:

Hire More Than Bartenders

When you’re hiring a drinks staff, it is important to differentiate between the bartenders who serve mixed drinks and the artisan, commonly dubbed a mixologist, whom you can hire to invent cocktails for your occasion.

Yusef recommends: Bartenders sling vodka sodas or beers, and are there to make a quick buck. A mixologist or cocktail architect is a craftsman. I think about infusions, glassware, color, garnishes and building a cocktail that leaves your senses thirsting for more.

Know What A Mixologist Can Do

Justifying yet another vendor to hire for your wedding can be hard to swallow—until you taste one of their master concoctions. There’s no question that a bar curated by a mixologist will ratchet up your wedding guest’s pleasure principle.

Yusef recommends: Hire a mixologist who is able to tailor drinks based on the client’s needs and wants. I always have a tasting with a client so we can narrow down what to serve to about three cocktails and a shot for each party.

Limit The Number Of Specialty Drinks

While there seems to be infinite possibilities of drink concoctions to serve your guests, it is important to carefully edit your selection so it isn’t overwhelming.

Yusef recommends: Serve three to four cocktails and a shot max! It does not matter how many people are going to attend. This keeps it clean and manageable

Limit The Number Of Specialty Drinks

While there seems to be infinite possibilities of drink concoctions to serve your guests, it is important to carefully edit your selection so it isn’t overwhelming.

Yusef recommends: Serve three to four cocktails and a shot max! It does not matter how many people are going to attend. This keeps it clean and manageable.

 

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Seventeen
2 oz. Avion Blanco
5 kumquats
1/2 oz. fresh OJ
1/2 oz. fresh lemon
1/2 oz. agave
Cilantro

Muddle the kumquats. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake and strain into a wine glass with cracked ice. Garnish with a fresh sprig of sage.

Think More Than Cosmopolitans

We’re not knocking the ubiquitous Sex and the City beverage, made with cranberry juice, Triple Sec and vodka served up in a martini glass. It’s just that there are a lot more artisanal spirits available for you to embrace.

Yusef recommends: Gin, tequila, and mezcals are very HOT right now. People are drinking outside of the box these days and trying new things. I love vodka but you can only get so much taste out of it.

Consider Glassware

Break the rules when it comes to the “right” glassware for your specialty drinks.

Yusef recommends: As far as weddings, I think that champagne cocktails are hot and sexy. If served in a coupe, nothing compares.

 Surprise With Flavors

It’s not just the spirits that make specialty drinks come alive. Embrace exotic fruits or syrups in your mixes.

Yusef recommends: I love using exotic syrups like dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava and cardamom. Star anise syrup is my hottest at the moment.

 Craft Your Cocktail To Fit Your Theme

Approach your drink menu like you would any other wedding element. Let it stand out—and knock out—your guests with its individuality yet complementary detail to your wedding.

Yusef recommends: I come up with recipes based on everything from how they may taste or pair up with food to just their scent or aroma. Wine and beer are just fillers—they are something to get you in the mood, on the dance floor, etc. Making bespoke cocktails that get your taste buds going and leave you with a memorable experience is priceless!

 

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Love Eternal

Dom Perignon
3/4 oz. green apple juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon
Dash of rhubarb bitters

Shake all ingredients except the bitters then add champagne.  Stir until very cold.  Strain into a flute. Float a drop or two of bitters on top.

http://www.colincowieweddings.com/articles/ceremony-reception/cocktail-renaissance

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