Fusion isn't just for food anymore

Jalisco pear cocktail

When you think of alcohol, it's usually in terms of individual spirits: vodka, bourbon, tequila, or rum, for example. The latest trend in the cocktail world combines these distinctive spirits with each other, or with lower-proof drinks like wine and beer, reports Bon Appétit.

While some of these new combinations sound terrible (tropical-flavored vodka + Moscato), the idea of hybridized spirits goes back centuries to the first monks who added brandy to wine. They realized the practice not only kept the wine from spoiling but also that the resulting drink was more than the sum of its parts. Today's hybrids range from the ridiculous (the afore-mentioned vodka/Moscato combination) to the sublime (R5 Hop-Flavored Whiskey from Charbay Distillery for lovers of both beer and whiskey). 

Many of the combinations are clearly aimed at a young, female, club-going demographic. Courvoisier Rose (rosé + cognac) is an example, and was actually created after Courvoisier master blender Patrice Pinet noticed women adding wine to their cognac in New York City. Other hybrids seek an audience of aficionados. High West Distillery produces several combinations that have received high marks, including the smoky High West Campfire (which combines Scotch, rye, and bourbon) and High West Bourye (bourbon and rye).

Whether this trend has staying power remains to be seen. People could easily create their own combinations at home on a per-drink basis without having to add another bottle to the shelf. On the flip side, getting the ratios right could prove to be a challenge for the home bartender. Read more about other combinations like vodka+tequila and mezcal-gin.

Photo of Jalisco Pear cocktail, which combines rum & tequila, from indexed blog Serious Eats

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