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Top Ten Signature Cocktails on American Menus

Hot & Cool Food Trends

What’s hot at the bar these days? Well, our research partners at Mintel International keep track of food and drink trends and things like that, and have released their report for the first quarter of the year.

Here’s their top ten list, counting down starting at…

10.  Bellini. The Bellini is a long drink cocktail that originated in Venice, Italy. A mixture of champagne or other sparkling wine (traditionally Prosecco) the drink was created by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice back in the 1930s or 40s.

9.  Mai Tai. The traditional strong rum drink made popular at Oakland’s Trader Vic’s tiki bar-style restaurant in the mid 1940s. There are many variations on the recipe, with a variety of tropical fruits employed to disguise the taste of the rum.

8.  Bloody Mary. The tomato-red cocktail dates back to the era of the Great Depression, but is having quite a resurgence in these days of the post-Great Recession.

7.  Cosmopolitan. More commonly referred to lately as the “Cosmo,” this classic cocktail gained trendiness recently thanks to the popularity of HBO’s Sex and the City. The four leading ladies were often seen sipping the magenta beverage in chic Manhattan bars and nightclubs.

6.  Long Island Iced Tea. This is another classic cocktail, tracing back to the 70s. It was created at the Oak Beach Inn, on yes, Long Island, N.Y. It’s a highball made with vodka, gin, tequila and rum and cola. Ironically most variations of the drink do not include any tea.

5.  Sangria. The fruit-based wine “punch” has roots planted firmly in Spanish heritage. Although there are many variations, the beverage is typically made with red wine, fresh seasonal fruit, and sparkling water or citrus flavored soda.

4.  Mojito. Cuba is the birthplace of this minty cocktail which gained widespread popularity in the U.S. in the 1990s, although it dates back many years. It was, in fact, a favorite of writer Ernest Hemingway.

3.  Martini. The basic, classic martini consists of gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or two. Of course, today you can find apple-tini’s and all sorts of martini variations in most American bars and lounges.

2.  Margarita. This ubiquitous tart lime-and-tequila cocktail was imported from our friends south of the border. You can now find the margarita on more U.S. menus than any other cocktail.

Number One? Well, the margarita is really number one. On top of Mintel’s list of the ten signature cocktails seen on the most American menus is… “cocktail.” So, that doesn’t really count, and this is more of a Top 9 list. Hopefully, you don’t feel shortchanged.

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