We Need To Stop Pretending That Craft Cocktails Are Superior Beverages
I’m a simple man with a relatively simple palate. I am as adventurous as they come when we’re talking about exotic foods, but that it not the case when discussing drinks. While there have been times where I’ve gone outside my comfort zone when it comes to beverages, I tend to stick to the classics, whether it’s with alcohol or without it.
I like a Perrier with no flavor notes (although on occasion I’ve been known to enjoy a L’Orange if the mood strikes). Drinking a Coca-Cola classic speaks to me on a spiritual level - you can keep your vanilla, cherry, and zero calorie gimmicks away from me.
On the alcohol side, I like domestic light beer. Seriously. IPA’s give me a horrible headache after two or three and while I do find sour beer quite tasty, that’s not something that is meant for longevity. I can suck down one or two of those before I start feeling like shit. And don’t get me started on beer flights, a trend that I honestly find offensive. I don’t want five glasses with four ounces of beer in each of them. I just want to sit down with a pint and drink without having to rate and give my opinion on the hot new IPA that got brewed in a Williamsburg bathtub.
And then there’s hard liquor, the stuff that we put into cocktails when beer just won’t do the trick. I’m a martini man, myself. I drink vodka sodas or whiskey ginger-ale when I’m out at the bar, and if it’s the appropriate setting I’ll even order a Manhattan to have at the dinner table before my meal arrives. Please not that a Manhattan is something you drink directly before a meal. Don’t be ordering one when you’re out with your buddies at a dive bar - you’ll look like an asshole.
All of these drinks have one major thing in common, though - they are incredibly simple to make and when ordered from even a fairly crowded bar take less than a minute to pour up for the paying customer.
Craft cocktails are nothing new - they’ve been extremely popular for years now. Entire bars sprout up out of the ground every week dedicated exclusively to the creation of drinks with high quality ingredients and mixologists who take pride in what they’re making. Drinks called “Penicillin” (two different kinds of scotch, lemon juice, honey simple syrup, and the must have ingredient - crushed ice) and the “Ramos Gin Fizz” (gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, heavy cream, and orange flower water) are just the tip of the iceberg.
We live in an age where you’re looked at sideways if you don’t order some complicated cocktail that takes the bartender five minutes to create. Five minutes may not seem like a long time, but I assure you it is when you’re standing at a crowded bar with debit card in hand trying to decide if you want to keep your tab open or closed. I can’t personally comment on working in a bar because I never have, but I can’t imagine being a mixologist is very much fun. You’re constantly getting peppered with questions about what is inside of a particular cocktail and the process of making these things is so time intensive and laborious that the juice doesn’t seem worth the squeeze.
I don’t want to pay 14 dollars for a craft cocktail that not only takes a long time to make, but also doesn’t even taste that much better than a vodka soda with a lemon wedge in it. Many of these drinks are heavy in the sugar department, meaning the hangover is just going to be worse than it would be for a night out where you’re drinking Tito’s/Perrier.
Just because your drink has ingredients in it that I can’t pronounce and requires a fucking blow torch to make doesn’t mean it’s better. Most people will have to Google the things put inside of drinks at a craft cocktail bar because in all honesty, who the hell knows what a pineapple marjoram cocktail is?