Cocktail cultureThe transition from straight bar / well drinks to craft cocktails came to me in late 2006, when I was introduced to Little Branch via musician friends who worked there. The drinks were incredible, but the mystique of what I was being given in each glass and how the ingredients combined to such surprising flavors was what drew me in.
Now, in 2011, cocktails are exploding, with new recipe derivations, themed-bars, and star-bartenders popping up every day. However, not many people know that all of these drinks, however fancy, are really based off a few core cocktails … such as: the highball, sour, gimlet, daiquiri, sidecar, old fashioned, manhattan, martini, fizz, and flip. Seeing the creativity that can come out of those simple, time-tested recipes is inspiring, and the best are able to balance both the history and new directions of this craft .. not to mention balancing the ingredients.
What will be curious to see is if after all of this excitement for cocktails in the restaurant/bar world, if this movement will be passed along to the home, as well, where it could still seem somewhat unconventional–a shallow wake of the prohibition movement. Then again, the act of going to a dimly lit, hushed cocktail bar may still be a large part of the lure of the moment itself … and of course, having a highly skilled bartender create your poison.
What’s your favorite cocktail and do you know what’s in it?