Trends come and go. Here’s a few I like to see go.
Too much Amaro
Ok we get it. Amaro can add some great flavor and balance to your drink. Ever since the “discovery” of pre-prohibition cocktails, Amaros have been the cat’s meow with bartenders. Stop it. Having Amaro in every drink on your menu does not make a “craft cocktail” bar. Let’s do what the Italians do and sip Amaro after a big meal.
Divebars that aren’t
First, it was the fake Speakeasy. Let’s use passwords and pretend we are breaking the law. Glad to see this trend waning. Unfortunately, taking it’s place is the “dive bar” that isn’t. Yeah I get it, you have PBR on tap, old beer signs on the wall and the place kinda looks old. This does not a dive make. A good dive bar evolves over decades, not weeks. They have owners who do nothing to the place, but keep the drinks cheap. Locals drink there and the bartenders know them. If there is fresh mint and clean bathrooms, sorry it’s just another bar.
Declaring recipes out
There is a drinking event that “buries” a drink recipe every year. Why? Because said cocktail is no longer cool and the mixologists don’t want to make them. This is all cute and fun, but the old adage “what is old is new again” rings just as true in the cocktail world. Case in point – the Long Island Iced Ted, loved by patrons since it’s inception. It’s in our top 10 list every year (based on page views, not my opinion) despite being “buried” in 2011. Now that the 70’s / 80’s are back in vogue, we’ve begun seeing the Long Island Iced Tea and a spate of drinks and shots from those times pop back up on bar menus in “dive bars” and other cocktail bars.
Mixologists behind the bar
I have to confess, I put this designation on my business card way back in 1999. I thought it sounded clever and fit what I did, which is create recipes at home. However, for anyone working behind a bar with actual paying customers, mixology is just one part of the job.
Bartending is a way harder job to pull off. In addition to making drinks, a good bartender has a dizzying list of responsibilities. A few we came up with: stocker, inventory clerk, cashier, judge, jury, security guard, un-loader, MC, DJ, slicer, waiter, shrink, TV channel changer, score updater, host. That last one is the most important. It’s your party, but everyone is invited.
Moosnshine, no not the kind that your Uncle makes out in the shed. The moosnshine I’m talking about comes in bottles (although one brand comes in a 750ml Mason Jar) and has anything but a hand written label. I’ve even seen strawberry and apple pie moonshine (please leave a comment if you have a relative who’s making apple pie moonshine in the foothills). Worst of all these so-called Moonshiners pay taxes!
What would like to see go away in 2013?