Spoiler alert: This story contains information about the trends that will shape tomorrow's cocktails. Read on if you want to be the coolest, most-informed drinker at the party.
We bring you the findings of eight of the country's top bartenders, who got together at an NYC an event hosted by BarMagic and Svedka Vodka to identify their predictions for the trends that will shape the mixology landscape going forward. Here's a snapshot of what you can expect to see in your favorite bar coming up—so say the experts—from vaporized concoctions to high-tech libations.
NYC's Dave Arnold expects what he calls "nitro-muddling," or liquid nitrogen powdering of fresh herbs to infuse into cocktails right on the spot.
L.A.'s Zahra Bates imagines exploring a multi-course meal, from appetizer through dessert, in cocktail form. Think Violet's mind-blowing bubble gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
San Diego's Erick Castro imagines a future in which craft highballs are available on tap.
Las Vegas' Tobin Ellis sees a return to the old school, where simple drinks like vodka with house-made tonic rule.
San Francisco's Camper English dreams up drinks that folks can alter with droppers containing essences of taste sensations like sweet, salty, sour and bitter to create a totally customized result. How out-there is that?
New York's Don Lee expects a futuristic bar scene in which vaporized cocktails are inhaled while the body absorbs the alcohol into the bloodstream. (Diet friendly!)
Kansas City's Ryan Maybee figures we're on the verge of seeing cocktails served with a technology back, where drinks are presented with a note that invites the drinker to text a code for info like recipes and brand information, or share the drink experience on social media.
Washington D.C.'s Todd Thrasher sees a retro-inspired future, in which '70s pupu platters are re-imagined as cocktails made with duck sauce and garnished with spring rolls.
So that's the wacky world the pros envision. Now let's hear from you in the comments: Would you try any of these freaky cocktails, or are you sticking to the basics?