Wine Geek and Spirit Savant Steve Olson: On What We're Drinking Now and What We'll Be Drinking in the Future


Cocktail --Hops & Dreamsm2, Citizen.jpg
Courtesy of Citizen Public House
Hops & Dreams
Can cocktails ever be as food-friendly as beer and wine?: They can absolutely be matched with food, and we have great success doing so, but as long as the overall alcohol profile remains high, cocktails cannot be quite as "food-friendly" as wine or beer, which obviously have lower alcohol, making them more food-friendly.

You're going to talk about Cognac at AZ Cocktail Week. Is there a resurgence in Cognac's popularity?: Americans are embracing the spirits of cocktails of our past more every day, and Cognac plays right into that. We are enjoying Cognac as much as ever, perhaps more than ever, as a spirit to be savored, perhaps in a snifter, often after dinner, but recently, bartenders and consumers have been coming back to Cognac cocktails in a way that we haven't seen in many years. We're seeing Sidecars on many menus, but, as we will explore in our seminar, Cognac cocktails like the original Sazerac, Juleps, punches, Crustas, and combinations like the Vieux Carre (Cognac and Rye), are making their way back in a big way.

Other spirits you predict will become cool again: Right now, the coolest spirits are without a doubt the handcrafted Mezcals from Mexico, especially Oaxaca, although other regions are finally also coming into the US, made from various wild agaves.

Pisco is growing, and awareness is picking up. I am a huge fan, and I believe its day is coming . . . soon. The Pisco Sour is a favorite of bartenders all across the nation, but the most exciting Pisco news is that bartenders are creating new original recipes with Pisco.

I'm a big fan of artisanal Cachaca, and although there is not a lot of great Cachaca in this country, awareness is up, some good brands are coming in, and demand is increasing, so the best ones should be right behind.

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Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: General

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