Imagine the classic French dish Duck à l'Orange — albeit in liquid form. Made with a pinch of fleur de sel, mezcal infused with duck fat, cointreau and a house-made orange and sage shrub, the cocktail — dubbed ‘The Decoy’ — heralds a new flavour frontier among the hippest bars and restaurants across the US, reported industry publication Nation’s Restaurant News recently.
Invented by ‘mixtress’ Gina Chersevani of restaurant PS7 in Washington DC, The Decoy cocktail embodies the first of three emerging international trends in the beverage world. The use of herbs in mixed drinks, for example, has become increasingly popular, Chersevani informs. But different herbs require different types of handling. Salt too has become a mixologist's secret ingredient. A pinch of salt can add depth to a cocktail.
Another emerging trend is the use of specialty vinegars like coconut, mango and maple-based flavours in place of traditional acids like freshly-squeezed lemon or lime. And lastly, flavoured waters are adding a new dimension to cocktails. Unlike juices, flavoured waters capture the ‘essence’ of an ingredient and require the use of high quality products. Flavoured waters are especially compatible with vodkas.