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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Craft Beer, Signature Cocktails and Organic Wine Top List of Restaurant Beverage Trends

New National Restaurant Association research shows that alcohol is among the hottest culinary trends in restaurants. A survey of more than 1,000 professional chefs -- American Culinary Federation members -- ranks craft beer, energy drink cocktails, martinis, mojitos, artisan liquors, organic wine and specialty beer in the top 20 trends. In addition to cocktails and bar drinks, alcohol is also used as an ingredient in cooking and as part of meals and menus through food-alcohol pairings.

"While wine, beer and spirits have always been part of the culinary arts and restaurant menus, specialty alcohol is increasingly popular right now," says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the association. "As American diners are growing increasingly sophisticated, adult beverages can be an important part of both recipes and meals. Alcohol tasting menus, or flights, are served by more restaurants, and pairing beer and wine with complementary flavors on your plate can very much enhance the dining experience. Our new International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event next spring will highlight all of these trends and allow restaurateurs to explore new ways to please their guests' palates in both dining rooms and bar areas."

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