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
  • 1 Part Campari
  • 1 Part Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 Part Dorothy Parker Gin
  • 1 Part Water
  • Grapefruit twist

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
• 1½ oz. Spring 44 Honey
• ½ oz. Mezcal
• ½ oz. peach liqueur
• ½ oz. lemon juice
• ¼ oz. habanero honey

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

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