Cocktail of the Year: Gin Anything

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Be prepared to drink a lot of gin this year. Specialty bars and amateur at-home mixologists alike are experimenting with twists on traditional gin drinks. Larry Piaskowy, lead bartender at San Francisco's Aatxe, oversees a menu that includes 86 types of gin — with more added each month. He believes gin's versatility gives it a leg up on some other spirits.

"Gin is unique in the fact that almost any botanical or fruit can be added to enhance the flavor."

"Gin is unique in the fact that almost any botanical or fruit can be added to enhance the flavor," he explained. On top of juniper, gin makers can add "new school" botanicals like rosemary, Douglas fir, sage, and rose. In addition to these flavors that infuse each bottle, bartenders get creative with how they mix gin into cocktails. The menu at Bathtub Gin in New York City includes twists on the classics, like gin and tonics spiced with cinnamon or grapefruit. And Spanish restaurants in Manhattan, like Cata, have expansive G&T lists featuring ingredients like Thai chili pepper or cucumber and rose.

Local distillers will also increase the flavors available. "Gin can be made from just about any distillate, and most of it does not require any aging," Piaskowy noted. "This means that it can be brought to market much quicker than other spirits like whiskey that require extensive aging." So we can expect producers to react quickly to growing demand.

Big in 2017
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

This is number eight in our 15-part series on 2017 lifestyle trends. Check out the entire Big in 2017 feature to find out what else will power your style, friendships, and home life this year.