So it appears that we San Diegans are right in the midst of the craft cocktail revolution. For those of you not in
the craft cocktailis a drink composed of finer, more classic, more obscure, more hand-made, and more superior ingredients. Some bartenders are even now
referring to themselves as ‘mixologists’.
Similar to the craft beermovement that we became involved with a few years back; the craft
cocktail seeks to add a bit of history and ‘craft’ t
o bartending. Thismovement also tends to frown on the crappy mixed drinks that most of us are accustomed to.The first time I ever had one of these craft drinks was in New York at
bar called P.D.T.
(the name stood for “Please Don’t Tell)
It was one of those bars that you had to have a password to get in to. Thebartenders looked like wild-west barkeeps. The drinks were excellent and goddamned expensive. They contained weird ingredients like
‘Demarara Syrup’, and ‘Peychaud’s bitters’. T
he whiskeys had names Ihad never heard of and the walls were adorned with stuffed deer andbear heads. Needless to say it was a pretty unique new experience.
…..pan to San Diego a few years later
(we are always a little late) and wenow have a wealth of these kitschy new bars opening everywhere. Thebars share a lot in common:1.
The bartenders usually dress in some sort of costume (like ariverboat poker dealer
from the 1920’s, or something old
-fashioned-ish) . They wear moustaches, fedoras, ruffled shirts,and generally play
the part of a ‘hipster mixologist’
Some of these bars require an easy-to-find-on-the-internet password in order for you to enter. (you are not as exclusive asyou think you are).3.
There is most likely an air of pretension at most of theseestablishments. Not snobbish, but more of a feeling that you lack
a sophisticated palette. (Hint: don’t ask for vodka at these typesof places, as the spirit lacks ‘character and flavor’ as one
scriptedbarkeep once told me.) Most of these places do
n’t even carry
vodka. Hint: This rule also applies to ketchup if you are diningthere.4.
The bartenders can spend 45 minutes talking about ‘hand
black cherries’ or ‘heirloom bitters’, if you venture to ask.