New Spirits for 2008

Here are 10 new (or newly available to most of the U.S.) spirits to watch out for this year. Some are great in cocktails; others are so unique and rarefied that they’re best served unadorned.
Blood Orange Margaritas
© John Kernick


Kübler Absinthe

The intense herbal and clean anise flavors of this popular Swiss brand make it one of the best of the old-world absinthes now legally imported into the U.S. ($50).
Drink it: In a Le Demon Vert.


Wild Turkey American Spirit Bourbon

This limited-release, 100-proof whiskey is oak-aged for 15 years, which lends it candied orange and mint flavors ($88;
Drink it: In a Mint Julep.

Coffee Liqueur

Café Bohême

This coffee-flavored liqueur tastes less cloying and syrupy than its peers, which makes it a better match for cocktails ($22;
Drink it: In a White Russian.


Bluecoat American Dry Gin

Flavored with organic juniper berries and American lemon and orange peels, this small-batch gin from a Philadelphia microdistillery is smooth, with fresh citrus flavors and a peppery finish ($30;
Drink it: In an Aviator.


Sombra Mezcal

Richard Betts, the sommelier at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, created this citrusy, small-batch mezcal (distilled from organic agave nectar), which he says is less smoky than its other agave-based cousins. Look for it in early 2008 ($49;
Drink it: In a Melon Mezcalito.


Clément Cuvée Homère

A blend of the distillery’s best barrels of the past 15 vintages, this high-end Martinique rum (one of the only rums granted AOC status) is a highly nuanced blend of fruit, pepper and oak flavors ($90;
Drink it: Neat or on the rocks.

Sloe Gin

Plymouth Sloe Gin

Coming to the U.S. next spring, this gin is infused with just-picked sloe berries (a cousin of the plum), giving it a vibrant red color and bittersweet flavor with a hint of almond (
Drink it: In The Millionaire.


Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila

This premium silver tequila is slightly sweet, with plenty of agave characteristics ($98;
Drink it: In a Blood Orange Margarita.

Partida Elegante Tequila

This “extra-añejo” (read: superpremium and superexpensive) tequila is aged in American oak for three years, which imparts smoky aromas and a rich, sweet mouthfeel ($350;
Drink it: In a Cutting Edge Margarita.


U’Luvka Vodka

Distilled from Polish rye, wheat and barley, this delicately nuanced vodka has a creamy mouthfeel and balanced spice and vanilla flavors ($60;
Drink it: In a Vodka-Thyme Lemonade.