A little herbal gin notes with your smoky glass of Mezcal? How about a crisp lime- and grapefruit-scented New Zealand white wine mixed with a neutral spirit? So-called hybrid spirits mix booze (and sometimes wine) in never-before-seen combinations. Perfect for indecisive tipplers—or anyone who likes funky flavors—these interesting bottles offer guests a left-of-center drinking experience.
Launched in March, 2012, this product was one of the first hybrid spirits. It mixes Caribbean rum with Silver Olmeca Tequila and coconut flavoring, and was launched to expand the popular rum brand—known for its mixability in tropical, poolside tipples—to nighttime imbibing. Senior Brand Manager Josh Hayes notes that bartenders are reaching for it to use in drinks like tropical Margaritas, for what he deems a “fun Tequila occasion” that contrasts with more serious aged spirits that would generally be served neat; it’s also popular for shots and bottle service. The company tapped Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actor Ne-Yo as a spokesperson/partner to drive home its nightclub vibe. maliburumdrinks.com
Malibu Red Grapefruit Margarita
Recipe courtesy of Malibu Rum
1 ½ oz. Malibu Red
¾ oz. pink grapefruit juice
Juice from ½ lime
1 dash agave syrup
Lime wheel, for garnish
Add crushed ice to a chilled rocks class. Add Malibu Red, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave syrup. Stir, and garnish with a lime wheel.
Pierde Almas + 9 Mezcal
What do you get when you mix a smoky, agave-based spirit with a botanical-based one? Pierde Almas + 9 Mezcal. This gin-Mezcal mash-up from Altamar Brands was first conceived and distilled by Jonathan Barbieri at his home in Oaxaca. Nine gin botanicals—juniper, coriander, star anise, fennel seed, orange peel, cassia bark angelica root, orris root and nutmeg—are macerated for twenty-four hours in a double-distilled Mezcal via a copper pot still or large tea bag in the steam head, before the spirit is distilled a third time. The producer says that Mezcal’s volatility makes it lasts longer on the palate than a neutral based spirit like rum, rendering a lengthy, flavorful finish. Its multi-layers unfold slowly when sipped neat, and it’s also an interesting choice as a cocktail base. pierdealmas.com
Recipe courtesy of Pierde Almas Mezcal
1 ½ oz. Pierde Almas +9 Mezcal-Gin
¾ oz. Campari
¾ oz. Sweet Vermouth
½ oz. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur
2 dashes mole bitters
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain it into an Old Fashioned or rock glass over fresh ice.
LeSutra Sparkling Liqueur
A mix of premium vodka and white wine, this sparkling hybrid product is offered in four flavors: blueberry, strawberry, peach and grape. It was launched in 2012 by several founders including Grammy award-winning producer Timbaland and Tom Bruno, one of the original founders of Grey Goose Vodka. Positioning itself as “an alternative to traditional spirits and Champagne,” LeSutra is best enjoyed over ice in a rocks glass, chilled in a flute, shaken with ice and served up in a cocktail glass, or mixed up in a variety of colorful, fruit-forward cocktails. Its name was inspired by the Kama Sutra, “sutra” meaning the “thread or line that holds things together,” and promises to be the center of attention at any gathering. drinklesutra.com
Recipe created by the Fontainebleau Hotel for LeSutra
1 ½ oz. LeSutra Peach Sparkling Liqueur
1 oz. ultra-premium vodka
Dash orange bitters
½ oz. rock candy syrup (or simple syrup)
Chilled ginger beer
Slice of orange, for garnish
Add the LeSutra, vodka, orange bitters and rock candy syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with ginger beer, stir and garnish with the orange slice.
Light, sweet and accessible, this product combines Courvoisier’s signature Cognac with Moscato wine from the South of France, which lends intensely aromatic notes of grapes, pear, peach and orange blossom. On the palate, the wine’s honeyed notes blend seamlessly with the smoothness of the Cognac. Try it on the rocks, with or without a splash of club soda, or in cocktails. (Pink wine fans will want to opt for Courvoisier Rosé, a similar product that mixes Cognac with premium French red grapes which lend summer fruit notes of blackberry and peach.) courvoisier.com
The Golden Bellini
Recipe courtesy of Courvoisier
1 part Courvoisier Gold
1 part DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps
1 part chilled Champagne
Lemon twist, for garnish
Add the Courvoisier and schnapps to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled flute, top with Champagne, and garnish with a lemon twist.
One day in Birmingham, Alabama, Nina Arora asked her dad Chander why he never thought to combine his two favorite drinks: vodka and Tequila. The pair moved forward, with Nina developing the product as a project during college, then getting brother Romie to join the team. Vodquila is made from vodka that’s distilled six times, while the Tequila is produced from blue agave. The two are mixed together and macerated in small vats at a high temperature to assure a smooth blend. Use it in any drink that contains either spirit—from a Bloody Mary to a Tequila Sunrise—and like Chander, enjoy the best of both worlds. vodquila.com
Recipe courtesy of Vodquila
2 oz. Vodquila
¾ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Old Fashioned Bitters
Add all except ginger beer to a shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled copper mug, top with ginger beer, and stir.
Released in 2012, this hybrid offering from the Swedish vodka company is “a unique collision of sparkle and spirit.” It mixes vodka with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is then carbonated through a unique proprietary process to give it freshness and fizz. Fruity and floral, it can be sipped chilled in a flute, over ice with club soda and fresh fruit, or in cocktails that ramp up its aromatics. Marketed toward fashion-forward women, Tune also inspired the video for Swedish pop group Icona Pop’s song “All Night.”) absolut.com
Tune Elderflower Martini
Recipe courtesy of Absolut
4 oz. chilled Absolut Tune
½ oz. elderflower liqueur
Lemon twist, for garnish
Add the elderflower liqueur to a mixing glass. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain it into a cocktail glass, add Tune, stir gently and garnish with a lemon twist.