While there’s many ways to stay up to date on cocktail industry trends — like drinking a lot! — one clear indicator and something to look at, is the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley‘s most recent flavors. They have two collections, one that’s simply fruit purees (mango, white peach, cranberry, etc.) and another that features flavor blends specifically for beverages.
Called Beverage Artistry, this line of premium blends was inspired by a cocktail made by Adam Seger, one of Chicago’s top bartenders. He was mixing the passion fruit, blood orange, and pomegranate purees to make one of his best-selling drinks and he asked the company if they would make him a special blend. The Perfect Puree didn’t want to just make the blend for Seger, they wanted to make it accessible to everyone, so the beverage collection was launched. Now there’s eight different flavors, three of which recently came out and clearly illustrate major mixology trends. At a dinner last night at Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen, I sampled all three of the new flavors. Here’s a little bit more about each one:
Thyme citrus. Although herb-infused cocktails have been popular in San Francisco for some time now, the trend has finally gone mainstream with this flavor blend. The refreshing earthy-tart combination is perfect for making a potent lemonade. At Jasper’s, bar manager Kevin Diedrich mixed the puree with Charbay white whiskey, Galliano, and bitters. It was an interesting drink that had a nice balance of sweetness to alcohol.
Basil black pepper. On Monday night I enjoyed a libation at Local Edition with basil, black pepper, and tequila. Last night, Diedrich combined the puree with Charbay vodka, honey syrup, and squirt. It was a light after dinner drink and ideal palate cleanser. There’s just something so clean and light about basil that’s wonderfully offset with the savoriness of black pepper.
Chipotle sour. Food & Wine came out with their annual cocktail book in April and smoke was declared as one of the trends of 2012. The chipotle sour is both smoky and spicy. Diedrich used it to make a Spring Mountain Sour with Charbay whiskey, creme de cacao, egg white, and chartreuse.