New Orleans Drinks (weekly column):
What's that you're drinking?

New Orleans Times-Picayune
February 19, 2010

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The new year had bartenders Maksym Pazuniak and Kirk Estopinal of Cure (4905 Freret St.) thinking seriously about what we all will be drinking in 2010. On their blog Beta Cocktails (, they listed 10 trends you're likely to encounter at cutting-edge cocktail bars across the country.

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Expect to see more mezcal, the smoky cousin of tequila; a kaleidoscope of bitters, including maple, mole and lemon; and ingredients sourced from local farms and labeled as such on menus. Finely crafted tools from Japan will replace cheap bar spoons and thin tin shakers. And salt will be used to subtly season a drink and not just rim the edge of a Margarita.

"The overriding theme of these trends," Pazuniak said, "is that they will result in a better product for the consumer."

Beta Cocktails is version 2.0 of Pazuniak's and Estopinal's effort to give the cocktail world a repertoire of unexpected new drinks. Last year, they launched the site Rogue Cocktails and published a small recipe book with the same name. A letter from the lawyers at Rogue Ales, which also makes micro-distilled spirits, forced them to take down the site and stop selling the book. Only 277 copies of "Rogue Cocktails" were printed.

Before this summer's eighth annual Tales of the Cocktail conference, which runs July 21 to 25, they hope to publish "Beta Cocktails," which will include a few favorites from the original book.

One trend Pazuniak and Estopinal spotted is a growing interest in liquors from small distilleries, such as New Orleans' own Old New Orleans Rum. They include a long list of small U.S. distillers, but curiously Rogue Distillery is not among them.

Retrieved from Lexis-Nexis on June 25, 2010.