A surprise blog from an increasingly shithouse blogger! Who'da thunk it.
When the chips are down and the general hum-drum of life is really starting to piss you off, there's nothing quite like escaping into the fantasy world of cocktail list creation. It is simply awesome. Seasonal flavours get mashed into modern and classical cocktail technique, and bartenders up their game in the ever-ending quest to out-do each other and to make something bangin'.
The process is also wonderfully Darwinian, where only the fittest survive, and for that to happen - bar folk need a simple and one eyed dedication to flavour. The most interesting challenge for us all with that in mind is to produce drinks that are different from the channels most invariably groove into (even the best at this game get stuck in ruts creating similar style drinks with fond ingredients - my particular foibles are Aperol and apricot brandy, which I must conciously avoid when creating drinks!).
Added to that wee dilemma is the need to keep shit simple - never again shall the Ginger days resurface when cocktail dinosaurs ruled the menu landscape seventeen ingredients high (unfortunately I'm not exaggerating). Well, they may resurface - but I'll be there with a spiked 2-by-4 and a grim smile! Simple, new drinks are the holy grail of the cocktail bartender where few parts mixed equate to a greater and transcendental whole.
Produce quality is another corner of our nexus which seems does not get paid quite enough its due - a perfectly fresh and seasonal mango when shaken into quality rum, tenderly pressed lime and quality syrup (or powdered sugar) makes a daiquiri in a whole different league than someone bashing one out with puree and hours-old lime! When was the last time you heard a bartender get excited like chefs get excited in the face of some stunning seasonal produce? Yeah that's right - hardly ever. That folks is balls.
So in a very Martin Luther King kinda moment - I have a dream. One of a cocktail list where simple awesome spirits and liqueurs are married intuitively, and highlighted by great produce, wines, bitters, sherries, conserves, spices, molecular technique (that works well) and everything else that's awesome with cocktails. A list that reads like heaven. A list that upon reading a drink's ingredients you go "ooooooooooooo".
I wanna go "oooooooooooo", and hopefully when I go to work tonight and try some of our new menu ideas out on the punters - I might be able to get one or two of those myself. here's to hoping were all about to invent the next negroni!