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Retro cocktails and unique craft cocktails are hot on the bar scene

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Move over Cosmos and Mojitos, it’s the renaissance of classic cocktails. Whiskey Sours. Negronis and Manhattans are flooding the bar scene along with ingenious craft cocktails made with the freshest produce. The cocktail craze has popularized artisanal homemade shrubs* because they are authentic, unique and, like preserves, very flavorful. Hudson Standard Shrubs makes its own shrubs (coming soon ~ rhubarb/strawberry or pear/ honey/ ginger ~ all locally sourced) and bitters.

Bold beverages have returned big time. Similar to what is happening on the dining scene with artisanal and fresh –from-the-farm foods on the menus, those seeking libations are looking for the best and most flavorful. The demand is for premium quality.

Craft distilleries and craft breweries are cropping up everywhere, especially in the Hudson Valley. Distillers are creating liquors from apples and peaches. Mixologists are becoming as inventive and creative as chefs, making drinks with bold flavors and crazily mixed concoctions that prickle the palate. Flavors are spicy, pungent, smoky and tart. A sophisticated palate and a sense of adventure to explore new tastes, particularly among millennials, are evolving into a savvy cocktail culture with the after-work, cocktail-hour crowd. It’s dèjá-vu “Mad Men”-style.

Even a cocktail’s ingredients have become bolder and more audacious. Jori Jayne Emde’s Lady Jayne’s Alchemy is producing bitters made from ginger, celery, anise and orange, vinegar bitters and soda, mostly made from plants in her garden and the surrounding woods.

*The word shrub comes from the Arabic word “shrab” which means drink. In Colonial America, people preserved fruit with vinegar and then sweetened it to make syrup. Shrub mixed with seltzer is a flavorful and refreshing adult soda; and shrubs with spirits make great cocktails.

Stay tuned here to learn exciting news about craft distilleries in the Hudson Valley and the unique spirits being produced.

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