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Cocktail trends from National Restaurant Association 2014

Cocktail trends from NRA 2014-slide0
Cristine Struble

At the National Restaurant Association annual show in Chicago, cocktails were front and center at the International Wine Beer and Spirits event. While traditional drinks were plentiful, new innovations on the standards were a big trend.

NRA 2014 cocktail trends
Cristine Struble

Here are a few highlights that might get served at your next gathering.

Infused teas

If your love a morning glass of freshly brewed tea, why not bring the flavors to your cocktails. Steep a tea bag in your favorite vodka to infuse flavor. Mighty Leaf has several fun flavors that pair well for summer cocktails. Another option would be to use tea flavor mixers like, Owl's Brew. This mixer can be used with bourbon, gin or vodka. It can even be served without alcohol. The idea is to bring the floral, sweet or spicy flavors of tea to a favorite cocktail.

Craft beers and micro brews

Beer is more than a plain, simple lager. More craft beers and micro brews are bringing different flavors to beer. Chicago local company, Forbidden Root, creates botanical beverages for the discerning palate. With many consumers living gluten free, the Colorado craft beer company, New Planet, offers a variety of brews that bring the hoppy flavor without the gluten.

These beverages are just a few of the many options that guests and buyers will see at their favorite restaurants and beverage stores. What do you think that you will be drinking?