Spirits Staff Picks: 7 Cocktails We’re Feeling for 2020 & Beyond!

Cocktail Revivals for 2020 5

New drinks for a new decade? Sure! Bring on the ingenuity. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathtub gin, so to speak, while looking forward to the next new thing; plenty of the drinks we’ve enjoyed in past years have deliciousness yet to offer. Far from being passé, these cocktails and flavor combinations continue to inspire and delight, and what a shame it would be to pass them over simply because the calendar starts anew.

Each member of your friendly Skurnik Spirits Team has selected a cocktail previously featured on the Skurnik website that is primed to offer continued enjoyment in the coming year. Whether drinks we never put down, or were jazzed to rediscover, we promise they won’t disappoint, so keep these tried and true tipples queued up in your 2020 cocktail rotation!

JAKE CAHILL
Spirits Specialist & Educator
Smokey Business 
A mezcal paloma is one of my all-time favorites! Problem is they tend to evaporate when placed in front of me. The Smokey Business takes some of my favorite flavors and turns them into a long-lasting drink.

By making the recipe booze-forward and serving it on a big cube, I am more inclined to sit back and sip slowly, enjoying the bright marriage of mezcal with fresh citrus and Giffard Pamplemousse, rather than slamming it like a slurpy on a hot July day.

Yum… three more please!

Combine ingredients in mixing tin; add ice & shake; strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and cucumber slice; salt rim (optional).

KRISTA FARRELL
Spirits Specialist & Educator
Apples & Oranges & Pears, Oh My!

I always love Calvados, especially when used in cocktails. In this recipe, the balance of fruit, bitter, and structure makes for a boozy delight. This is also a fun alternative for Negroni and Boulevardier lovers.

Combine ingredients in mixing glass; add ice & stir; strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

AMANDA ELDER
Spirits Bar Manager, NYC
Americano

I just can’t think of a scenario in which I wouldn’t be happy to get this drink— even if simply as something lovely and low-ABV to sip on while I decide what I’m truly in the mood for.

It also never fails to surprise me how switching up the vermouth of choice can completely change this cocktail’s personality. Skurnik has so many fun vermouths representing numerous styles, so there’s absolutely no reason to ever get bored of this failproof classic.

Build in highball, fill with ice, and top with seltzer. Stir once to incorporate and garnish with a long orange peel.

GINGER WARBURTON
Spirits Specialist & Educator
Orange-Hai

For a very wintery yet refreshing drink I love Rachel Jackson’s Orange-Hai. Citrus is so rich and juicy in the winter combined with Mizu’s seasonally appropriate combination of distilled green tea, malted barley, and rice.

These can be dangerously easy to finish. Be warned!

Build in highball, fill with ice. Garnish with matcha-dipped orange twist.

JUSTIN LANE BRIGGS
Spirits Specialist & Educator
Belle du Japon

On Robert Simonson’s Top 10 Cocktails of 2019 for Punch, he featured the brilliant Japonaise by Toby Cecchini. A few years back at the roving Going Up! cocktail party and bartender clubhouse, we took a similar approach to updating Jerry Thomas’ 19th Century Japanese Cocktail; both Toby’s variation and ours opt to turn this Cognac classic into a brandy sour for the modern era.

While Toby added aged rum to the mix, we flipped for Cognac’s slightly brasher cousin, Armagnac. Bolstered by the cardamom, anise, and vanilla notes from Abbott’s Bitters, this is a delightful sour that is rich, tropical, and just creamy enough to suit any season.

Credit: Going Up! NYC

Combine ingredients in mixing tin; add ice & shake; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

GINA WREN VERGA
Spirits Operations Manager
Vesper
This is the go-to martini for me as a non-martini, whisky, and wine drinker. Fresh, light, and packed with a punch, this cocktail is approachable and yet elevated enough for both the proletariat and British Secret Service Agents alike.

Credit: c. 1953, Ian Fleming ; adapted for Skurnik Spirits

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass; add ice and stir; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

ADAM SCHUMAN
Spirits Portfolio Manager
Bamboo Tonic

2019 was the year of the martini. Bowls of ice-cold booze paired with shellfish and french-fries.

In 2020, however, I’m bringing back the long, sessionable, light and refreshing Bamboo Tonic. I mean, how can you go wrong? It like Chicken Parm Pizza; of course it’s good! This is the more elegant version of that.

Bamboo cocktails are THE BEST. And my body literally (not figuratively) craves quinine. Plus, I can drink a bunch of them and barely get drunk. If I want to get drunk, I’ll drink a martini.

Combine ingredients in a mixing tin; add ice and shake. Strain over ice into a highball, with a long banana leaf garnish.


Find our Spirited Resolutions for 2019 here,
which focused on what we enjoyed drinking in 2018,
as well as what we looked forward to drinking more of in the new year!