February 7th, 2007

Egotistical demigods

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 — 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.

Permalink | Filed under Booze in the news, Cocktails |

One Response to “Egotistical demigods”

  1. Stephen

    good excerpt…. a cocktail needs to be greater than the sum of its parts and only theory will get you there…. the problem is that not enough people teach it…. i’ve barely been able to learn anything within boston about mixology because the city is built on a foundation of bad habits…. but a tiny reminder…. bartending is 20% mixology and 80% service….

    earl grey was the secret ingredient of many bartenders of the past and is used in many folk rum punches…. and my blackberry shrub!
    not chipotle but cayenne aka capsicum is a very important ingredient, probably presently but definitely formerly, in gin….so integrated you can’t parse it but there to cure the delirium tremems….


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