New York, Part Three:

The New York Bar Show

I recently attended the 2008 New York Bar Show to get a taste of some new products in the market. This year, the show was held at the Javits Center on W 34th, and featured brands from all over the world.

Not surprisingly, the show was dominated by vodkas (There had to be at least 20), each trying to stand out in the crowd. But it was the unconventional new brands that captured my interest. Castries Peanut Rum Cream, a blend of roasted peanuts, cream, and aged rum, sounded intriguing, but I was skeptical about how it would taste. I ended up being more-than-pleasantly surprised by the product (which is distilled in St. Lucia) and found myself imagining a delicious dessert drink—The Peanut Butter Cup:

The Peanut Butter Cup

2 oz. Castries Peanut Rum Cream
1 oz. Stoli Vanil Vodka
1 oz. Chocolate Liqueur

Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Leblon Cachaca was another product that caught my eye since Cachaca seems to be all the rage right now. I’m finding it on every new cocktail menu in classics like the Caipirinha, as well as replacing more traditional ingredients in drinks like the Baybreeze, Mojito, and Margarita. Try their twist on a Cosmo:

Cosmopolitan Caipirinha

1 ½ oz. Cachaca
½ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
Splash Simple Syrup

Shake vigorously over ice and strain into a frosted martini glass. Garnish with a raspberry.

Noticeably missing from the show: Absinthes (surprisingly, there was just one), and new-flavored liqueurs (no St. Germain or anything of the like). Ah, well, maybe next year…

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