Today (1/31/14) is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of Horse. To the Chinese, the horse is a symbol of traveling, competition and victory. Today is also National Brandy Alexander Day.
A quick Google search indicated that the first Brandy Alexander, a tasty chocolate cocktail (a concoction of brandy, crème de cacao and heavy cream) first surfaced in London at the wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922. The adult beverage immediately developed into a pop culture icon. For the record it was John Lennon’s favorite drink which he called his “milkshake.”
By now you are probably questioning the relevancy of this post. The fact is mixed drinks due to the evolution of our “Cocktail Culture” are on the rise again. Millennials are the driving force behind this trend. Mixologists, formerly known as bartenders, blended 130 million finished gallons of mixers in 2012, a 2.5 percent increase versus 2011. (Note: A mixer is defined as non-alcoholic beverage ingredients like juices, carbonated soft drinks, purees, energy drinks, etc. that are used in spirits-based mixed drinks and cocktails.) Food marketing research firm Technomic recently projected this favorable trend will continue in 2014. Overall, spirit sales have evolved into an integral part of the restaurant industry, an effective way to increase check averages. Technomic reported a 5.6 percent increase in overall spirits sales in all on-premise channels (e.g., bars, lounges, Chain restaurants, etc.).
What cocktail will you drink to celebrate the Chinese New Year?