Not to be redundant or anything, but the classics are classic, because they're, well, classic. They're timeless. Don't get us wrong - we love crafting new recipes and exploring alternative techniques, constantly recreating ourselves, but after several of these drinks, it's often the classic cocktails that carry us through the evening. Click here to learn more about their fascinating stories.
This month, we want to talk about some of the tectonic shifts that are changing the cocktail world, particularly over the last few years. Some of these are obvious: gone are the days of incandescent sour mix and syrupy blue Flirtinis. Gone, too, are the days of high food and low drinks: here in 2016, a restaurant can't open in a major American city without a solid bar program. Some of this is a passing trend, but much is here to stay!
As bartenders, we overhear a lot of customer chatter from across the bar. This is how I know that there are a lot of misunderstandings about mezcal. We’re not talking about nitpicky, rule-based misunderstandings, like saying Jack Daniels is a bourbon (it’s not), we’re talking about fundamental mis-understandings about what mezcal is. Grab a San Diego Sour, kick your feet up, and learn about this historic spirit.
The vast majority of tequila production has, over the decades, become a thoroughly industrial process, with the big dominating producers cutting every corner available in service of making a low-quality spirit that can net their corporation the most amount of money. Find out how mezcal distillers are still in touch with tradition and only concerned with the best possible product.
Before you can find a cocktail menu, the bartender appears in front of you, drops a napkin on the bar top, and looks at you with eyebrows raised. You tell the bartender you want a cocktail, but you're not sure what kind. And if he or she is worth anything at all, they will respond with assistance instead of annoyance, guiding you Socratically toward the perfect drink for that moment, which inevitably begins with some form of the question: "shaken or stirred?”