Kicking back with a brandy seems like an old fashioned way to imbibe. But brandy, Cognac and Armagnac appeal to a variety of spirits aficionados, and the cocktail world still relies heavily on distilled-wine spirits.
Whether it’s a knot of businessmen knocking back tequila, birthday celebrators pounding Jagermeister or wandering bartenders buying rounds of Fernet Branca or Jameson for their pals, the downing of shots remains a nightly ritual. Shots have grown up a bit, however.
Upscale fondue restaurant chain The Melting Pot is letting fans vote for their favorite drinks with Top Cocktail, a beverage showdown that runs through July 31. The Top Cocktail competitors are limited-edition, handcrafted drinks featuring Fireball cinnamon whisky, Hendrick’s gin, Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Stoli Razberi vodka and Avión Silver tequila.
Where the stars of location and lack of competition align, late-night dining can create a destination niche. Operators that keep their kitchens open can attract an underserved potential customer base of fellow restaurant and bar employees, among other guests looking for a late-night bite and beverage.
Whether they are called apptails, couptails, or minis, appetizer-sized cocktails are small in size, but big on charm. They appeal to indecisive guests who just can’t pick one drink from the list, as well as those concerned about the amount of alcohol in ordering several full-sized libations.