February 7th, 2007
Today’s New York Times features a great, quote-rich article on London’s cocktail scene, The Best Town to Make an Upper Lip Stiff. I want to point to an excerpt that encapsulates the philosophy and mission of drinkboston.com:
Of course, lemon grass and ginger syrup in the hands of the wrong bartender can lead to disaster. Few people understand this better than Robbie Bargh, the creative director of the Gorgeous Group, the consulting concern behind many of London’s splashiest new joints. An ebullient, opinionated former mixologist and bar manager with 16 years’ experience, Mr. Bargh said he has no time for “egotistical demigods” behind the bar who don’t bother with the fundamentals.
“We’re going through a big backlash to over-mixology,” he said. “I think like a chef. Like a chef, you can’t deliver innovation without renovation. You can’t modernize without a basic understanding of what it takes to make a great classic drink â€” why a Negroni is so different made with Aperol rather than Campari.”
In short, if you go to a bar where the bartender doesn’t know how to make a Negroni but instead offers you an Earl Grey-Chocolate-Chipotle Pepper-tini, pause and ask yourself: would I spend my money at a restaurant where the chef could whip up all manner of trendy foams and sculptural appetizers but couldn’t grill a steak to save his life? If your answer’s no, then move on to the next bar.