Hot Cocktail Trends: 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic

By: Kevin Bender
Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2012

The past weekend, New York City's ardent cocktail connoisseurs had good reason to celebrate at the 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic. This annual, one-of-a-kind affair offers an endless variety of refreshing sips to hundreds of black-tie clad cocktail enthusiasts in the stunning four level New York Public Library, complete with live music, fabulous entertainment and sumptuous cocktail snacks. Around every winding corridor and twisting staircase waited another cocktail surprise.

After careful and painstaking research, we've identified this year's  hottest cocktail trends. Get this year's trends, plus recipes to try at home after the jump.

1. Carbonated

What doesn't improve with a little effervescent fizz? Our favorite fizzy sip, complete with fetching red straws in perfectly portable glass bottles, was the Carbonated  Negroni.

Campari Carbonated Negroni
Recipe courtesy Theo Lieberman of Lantern's Keep and Milk and Honey
Yield: multiple 6-ounce servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 Part Campari
  • 1 Part Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 Part Dorothy Parker Gin
  • 1 Part Water
  • Grapefruit twist
Directions:

Batch out all ingredients and add to an Isi Twist 'N Sparkle or Perlini Carbonation System*. Charge with CO2. Pour a 6-oz. portion into a bottle, add a grapefruit twist and cap.

*You could also try it with the more modestly-priced Soda Stream carbonation system. No carbonation system? Try adding a splash of club soda or seltzer instead of water. 

2. Slushied

New York's hottest mixologists kept guests cool with frosty concoctions like spiked snow cones and this Frozen Mojito, made with a liquid nitrogen pump.

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Frozen Mojito

Don't try this at home! Instead, try our Mojito Slushy Recipe.

3. Smoked & Spiced

Smoke is a welcome addition to meats, cheeses, and even salts -- so why not cocktails? Chili peppers add addictive heat to any beverage. We like these two cocktails flavor trends best together: Smoke and spice make for an addictive combination.

The Smokey Mountain Cocktail
The Smokey Mountain Cocktail

A Spring 44 cocktail from the 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

Yield: 1 cocktail
Ingredients:
• 1½ oz. Spring 44 Honey
• ½ oz. Mezcal
• ½ oz. peach liqueur
• ½ oz. lemon juice
• ¼ oz. habanero honey
Directions:

Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass.

More Hot Cocktail Recipes from Cooking Channel:

Next Up

Bobby's Brunch Cocktails

Make perfect brunch cocktails and kid-friendly mocktails with Bobby Flay.

The Donatella Cocktail

Donatella Arpaia has partnered with Italian winemaker Martini to create a signature cocktail, The Donatella. The tasty libation is like summer in cocktail form.

Cocktail Party Ideas

We show you how easy it can be to throw a cocktail party, from planning your menu to making sure you have enough food and drink for guests.

Two-Ingredient Summer Cocktails

It's summer and the living should be easy. Make it that way with Cooking Channel's two-ingredient summer cocktail recipes.

Thirsty Thursday: Autumn Colors Cocktail

It's not just the hue of this cocktail recipe that makes it perfect for fall -- the tangy, sweet taste hits the spot on a crisp, autumn evening.

Thirsty Thursday: The Painkiller Cocktail

Creamy and refreshing, alcoholic and juice-filled, The Painkiller Cocktail recipe is exactly what you need after a long day.

On TV

Carnival Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Cheap Eats

8am | 7c

Cheap Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Good Eats: Reloaded

9:30am | 8:30c

Good Eats

10am | 9c

Good Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Good Eats

11am | 10c

Good Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Man v. Food

6pm | 5c

Man v. Food

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man v. Food

7pm | 6c

Man v. Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man v. Food

8pm | 7c

Man v. Food

8:30pm | 7:30c
9pm | 8c
9:30pm | 8:30c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

Man v. Food

12am | 11c

Man v. Food

12:30am | 11:30c
1am | 12c
1:30am | 12:30c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here