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Sunday, January 14, 2018
New Cocktail Appreciation, Raising the Bar, the South taking a a Front Seat
Just like wine, whiskey requires a master blender to take an strong and interesting palate. Often he or she practices an old art of mixing to bring things into balance for the final product and like second and third wines there needs to be constant sampling to be able to separate the exceptional from the acceptable. Today's bartenders are similar in the same way.
There is definitely a southern cocktail revolution going on out there. Whether it's a restaurant, saloon, neo-speakeasies, hotel bars or club a barrier has definitely been broken. I've been all over the south in the past year or so; it can be Asheville NC, Mobile Alabama, New Orleans LA, Charleston SC across the low country, Oxford Mississippi, Decatur GA, down all the way to Tampa FL. There's a movement of fakelore or folklore whatever you want to call it that has folks paying homage, exhuming lost recipes, trying to respect the old ways. It's even seething into the mainstream restaurants....and let's be clear; a lot of labor goes into conjuring a proper cocktail and the food the goes with it (but that's another story).
It's happening. So ask for a Gin Fizz, a bottled Sazerac, a Julep del Professore, Rum Negroni or a Rum Old- Fashioned or any of these playful libations and see what you are in store for. It's going to be a modern rebound of a drink that'll be refocused on the classic with a liberating variation. Take a chance trust the uncommon palate.