Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Rogue (now beta) Cocktails

Reference

  • Please log in to reply
221 replies to this topic

#1 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:12 AM

Has anyone else had a chance to take a look at this new book/manifesto published by Kirk Estopinal and Maks Pazuniak of Cure in New Orleans (Rogue Cocktails)?

I've paged through it a couple times this week, and have been intrigued. It contains two score of recipes that are aimed at being rule breaking. That conceit could come across as somewhat too precious or trite, to some, but there are interesting things going on here (to my estimation...but, maybe it's all been done).

The drinks are really only part of the book, though. They are used to bolster the philosophy they are espousing. On their blog, it's compared to the Chris Rock bit in which he tears into those who want to be congratulated for the very least of accomplishments (i.e. "I raise my kids." == "I stir my Manhattans."). The goal is to be somewhat of a kick in the pants to the community, to break free of the "How many times do you stir a Manhattan?" debate and continue to evolve as creators.

Their approach may raise some hackles, but they also take a very relaxed and open view, saying that there's no perfect way to make a drink, that the many various styles and methods of bar tending should be respected, and that, "[s]ome people will love the recipes in this book, some will hate them. We are cool with this."

What do the rest of you think? Is this a fad, a glimpse into the future, or history repeating?
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#2 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:28 AM

I've only briefly glimpsed through it, but I know that the cocktails I've had from it are delicious, and that's enough for me. I'm not a professional, so I don't have much to say re the philosophy espoused, but I like the guys who wrote it, and they make good drinks.

#3 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,901 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

It contains two score of recipes that are aimed at being rule breaking. 

View Post


A Cuba Libre is rule breaking? I'm sure these guys are great bartenders, but this book is hardly earthshaking. It's a compilation of some drinks. Spare me the "philosophy."

#4 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:41 AM

Janet, I haven't looked through the book thoroughly enough to notice the Cuba Libre, but my look was thorough enough to notice that most of the drinks included are a fair piece more creative than that.

Also, the "philosophy" behing the book seems more to be "there is no philosophy, and it isn't all about rules."

ETA: It would really surprise me if a standard Cuba Libre was included in this book, given that they explicitly decline to include recipes for drinks like daiquiris and negronis.

Edited by MikeHartnett, 10 July 2009 - 10:43 AM.


#5 Alcuin

Alcuin
  • participating member
  • 644 posts
  • Location:Madison, WI

Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:44 AM

On their blog, it's compared to the Chris Rock bit in which he tears into those who want to be congratulated for the very least of accomplishments (i.e. "I raise my kids." == "I stir my Manhattans.").  The goal is to be somewhat of a kick in the pants to the community, to break free of the "How many times do you stir a Manhattan?" debate and continue to evolve as creators.

Their approach may raise some hackles, but they also take a very relaxed and open view, saying that there's no perfect way to make a drink, that the many various styles and methods of bar tending should be respected, and that, "[s]ome people will love the recipes in this book, some will hate them.  We are cool with this."

What do the rest of you think?  Is this a fad, a glimpse into the future, or history repeating?

View Post


I haven't read anything more than their few blog posts linked above, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

As they themselves acknowledge in their post about stirring, the basics are still very important. If they're blown away by a shaken Manhatten with no bitters, they should come to my town (Madison, WI) where if you're not careful, your "Manhattan" may very well be unbittered, shaken, served over rocks, and (here's the kicker) use brandy as the base spirit. That's right, a glass of watered down, shaken brandy with a dash of musty old vermouth called a Manhattan. And I'm not talking about a dive bar drink here either. Technique is very important and the idea of breaking the rules seems to have been around forever.

I don't think their project suggests leaving technique behind though or that "breaking the rules" is new. The project seems to want to be a kick in the pants to the tradition of writing bar books by beginning with the basics and assuming little to no technical proficiency with the craft. This is cool and valuable, but their rhetoric seems to me a bit overblown. Bar books have been evolving quite a bit, emphasizing history, understanding of drink structure, technique, etc., over a dizzying multitude of recipes.

Anyway, even if this book isn't Paine's Common Sense for the cocktail "revolution," I'm still interested in checking out some adventurous recipes. Philosophy or no, that's enough for me.
nunc est bibendum...

#6 brinza

brinza
  • participating member
  • 457 posts
  • Location:Pittsburgh

Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:26 AM

Janet, I haven't looked through the book thoroughly enough to notice the Cuba Libre, but my look was thorough enough to notice that most of the drinks included are a fair piece more creative than that. 

Also, the "philosophy" behing the book seems more to be "there is no philosophy, and it isn't all about rules."

ETA: It would really surprise me if a standard Cuba Libre was included in this book, given that they explicitly decline to include recipes for drinks like daiquiris and negronis.

View Post

I'm wondering if the inclusion of the Cuba Libre was meant to remind people that a Cuba Libre is more than just a Rum & Coke.

It looks like an interesting book, if for no other reason than to add it to the collection, but I saw at least three drinks in the preview pages that look rather enticing.
Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

#7 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:27 AM

The book is worth buying for the Art of Choke alone. What a fantastic drink...

#8 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:30 AM

A Cuba Libre is rule breaking? I'm sure these guys are great bartenders, but this book is hardly earthshaking. It's a compilation of some drinks. Spare me the "philosophy."

View Post


That's the one recipe that caused me to do a double-take. It's not exactly your standard rum & coke, though. I quite enjoy the particular formulation, using dark rum and Mexican coke (just returned from lunch at a taqueria with a medio litro which will likely be put to this purpose tonight). It's probably the least 'earthshaking' drink of the 40 in the book, so I wouldn't damn the endeavor based on its inclusion.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#9 Alcuin

Alcuin
  • participating member
  • 644 posts
  • Location:Madison, WI

Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:51 AM

A Cuba Libre is rule breaking? I'm sure these guys are great bartenders, but this book is hardly earthshaking. It's a compilation of some drinks. Spare me the "philosophy."

View Post


That's the one recipe that caused me to do a double-take. It's not exactly your standard rum & coke, though. I quite enjoy the particular formulation, using dark rum and Mexican coke (just returned from lunch at a taqueria with a medio litro which will likely be put to this purpose tonight). It's probably the least 'earthshaking' drink of the 40 in the book, so I wouldn't damn the endeavor based on its inclusion.

View Post


Even if all the drinks aren't completely revolutionary, they're pretty cool for their interesting combinations of ingredients. I might pick it up when I can--it looks like it's up my alley.
nunc est bibendum...

#10 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,104 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 01:33 PM

I think that many of the cocktails look pretty good. What I don't get is the whole "rogue" and "breaking the rules" shtick. None of the drinks in there will seem in any way revolutionary, subversive of breaking of the rules to anyone who has spent time in top NYC cocktail bars.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#11 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 10 July 2009 - 01:41 PM

The way I understand it, it's not that they are aiming to break rules; it's kind of a "chill out about all these rules, and make things that taste good."

Where the "rogue" fits into that, I'm not sure. Maybe it just sounded cool.

#12 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,104 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:02 PM

Part of the problem is their premise that "the international cocktail renaissance is in danger of falling into a state of discontent and stagnation. It seems that many in the community are resting on their laurels, copngratulating themselves for bringing back fresh juices and for stirring Manhattans."

There is simply no evidence I can see that this is the case. Not to be cruel, but I suppose I can see how two New Orleans bartenders might get that impression, considering that this is a city which was decried in the cocktailian community as a place where you couldn't get a decent drink as recently as a few years ago. Which is to say that I don't think the state of cocktail books is reflective of cocktail culture, and they may not have had much opportunity to sample the fullness of revival cocktail culture. But anyone who thinks that "many in the community are resting on their laurels" and cranking out formulaic drinks hasn't met most of the bartenders I know. Richie Boccato, Alex Day, Damon Dyer, Giuseppe Gonzalez, Kenta Goto, Don Lee, Toby Maloney, Brian Miller, Del Pedro, Audrey Saunders, Phil Ward. . . none of these guys (and at least a dozen more who didn't happen to spring immediately to mind) are "resting on their laurels." More to the point, all of these people have come up with as many interesting and growing-the-tradition cocktails on an individual basis than are contained in the Rogue Cocktails book.

The other problem with their premise is the idea that cocktail books are meant for bartenders. They aren't, and haven't been primarily for bartenders since at least the start of Prohibition. Cocktail books nowadays are written with the home bartender in mind. As such, of course they all have to include a section on how to make garnishes and how to make a proper Manhattan (or the equivalent). To the best of my knowledge, there is no book currently in publication which approaches the cocktailian craft with the professional cocktailian bartender in mind, offering any ideas as to a way to approach mixology in a way that grows the tradition. The Rogue guys are perhaps correct that there is a need for such a book -- but this isn't it and, as good and well intentioned as they might be, it's not clear that they're the guys to write it either. Other than someone like Audrey Saunders (e.g., someone who has spent plenty of time growing the cockailian tradition, and also proactively mentored several generations of cocktailan bartenders who have gone on to grow the tradition, and who has clearly put a lot of critical thought into this particular subject), it's not clear that there is a clear choice for a book like this. More to the point, it's not clear that there is a clear choice other than someone like Audrey to write a book like this that will sell enough copies to interest a real publisher.

As for "throwing out the rules" -- the last point of the "manifesto" section says "The roots of this book lie within the 19th century culture of cocktails. The cocktails featured in this book utilize treatments and formulas that have been with us since the beginning: sours, fizzes, bitteres slings, juleps, etc. The ingredients may be different, but the techniques certainly are not." It's unclear to me that any of the drinks in the book are any more forward-looking than, say, the Jimmy Roosevelt. Which is fine... The Jimmy is a pretty forward-lookind drink! But let's not start saying that everyone in the business is resting on his laurels and needs a kick in the pants.

Edited by slkinsey, 10 July 2009 - 02:10 PM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#13 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

But anyone who thinks that "many in the community are resting on their laurels" and cranking out formulaic drinks hasn't met most of the bartenders I know.  Richie Boccato, Alex Day, Damon Dyer, Giuseppe Gonzalez, Kenta Goto, Don Lee, Toby Maloney, Brian Miller, Del Pedro, Audrey Saunders, Phil Ward. . . none of these guys (and at least a dozen more who didn't happen to spring immediately to mind) are "resting on their laurels."

I don't think that comment is at all directed at the folks you mention. Evinced by the fact that at least one of them has recipes in the book.

Cocktail books nowadays are written with the home bartender in mind. As such, of course they all have to include a section on how to make garnishes and how to make a proper Manhattan (or the equivalent). To the best of my knowledge, there is no book currently in publication which approaches the cocktailian craft with the professional cocktailian bartender in mind, offering any ideas as to a way to approach mixology in a way that grows the tradition. The Rogue guys are perhaps correct that there is a need for such a book -- but this isn't it and, as good and well intentioned as they might be, it's not clear that they're the guys to write it either.

Have we reached the point in the revolution/revival/reformation where books that assume a certain level of knowledge would be useful? The middle ground between the professional bartender and novice does appear to be somewhat under served by the existing literature. Does this book solve all those problems? No, but it's a start. I would absolutely love to see a compilation of selected recipes, compiled by any of those you name above. Maybe this book motivates one of them to do so. Maybe from this humble beginning starts a tradition of cocktail compilations by all-stars of the industry...published with the experienced home bartender or the lonely professional in an exurban outpost in mind. Or, maybe they are already in the progress of doing so, and this first foray is but an intro to what awaits us. We can dream, I guess.

Edited by KD1191, 10 July 2009 - 02:46 PM.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#14 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,104 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:10 PM

But anyone who thinks that "many in the community are resting on their laurels" and cranking out formulaic drinks hasn't met most of the bartenders I know.  Richie Boccato, Alex Day, Damon Dyer, Giuseppe Gonzalez, Kenta Goto, Don Lee, Toby Maloney, Brian Miller, Del Pedro, Audrey Saunders, Phil Ward. . . none of these guys (and at least a dozen more who didn't happen to spring immediately to mind) are "resting on their laurels."

I don't think that comment is at all directed at the folks you mention. Evinced by the fact that at least one of them has recipes in the book.

Well, then I guess I'm wondering: what laurels?
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#15 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:34 PM

Well, then I guess I'm wondering: what laurels?

View Post

I'd guess perhaps the ones they were awarded for passing the "Manhattans must be stirred" exam.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#16 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:41 PM

Have we reached the point in the revolution/revival/reformation where books that assume a certain level of knowledge would be useful? 

View Post


I think Imbibe! would fit this category: the book is indespensable for anyone who frequents a board like this, but no one is going to recommend it as a first cocktail book.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#17 TAPrice

TAPrice
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,782 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:30 AM

There is simply no evidence I can see that this is the case.  Not to be cruel, but I suppose I can see how two New Orleans bartenders might get that impression, considering that this is a city which was decried in the cocktailian community as a place where you couldn't get a decent drink as recently as a few years ago.  Which is to say that I don't think the state of cocktail books is reflective of cocktail culture, and they may not have had much opportunity to sample the fullness of revival cocktail culture.

View Post


Kirk Estopinal was on the opening crew at the Violet Hour and worked there two years before coming home to New Orleans. He also participated in the bartender exchange with Death and Co.

Maksym Pazuniak is a career changer. He was in commercial real estate in New York before deciding to take the B.A.R. course and become a bartender. Not sure if he worked anywhere in New York before moving to New Orleans, where he had gone to school.

Over the last year, the level of talent has increased dramatically in New Orleans.
Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"


Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

#18 Alchemist

Alchemist
  • participating member
  • 922 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 11 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

I have not read this book yet so If I am incorrect about what I am about to say, I ask to be forgiven. And in full disclosure not only did Kirk work with me at The Violet Hour, & I think he is a fantastic guy all around.

The Cuba Libre, (Analyzed and Improved) specs are most probably from Charles H. Baker. For which his insurance carrier heartily disliked him. It was Bakers idea, to take a drink that was sloppy, and boring and try to make it interesting. I think that is what these gentlemen are getting at. Let's get beyond the rules that we at this point should take for granted. A Manhattan should be stirred, you need fresh lime/lemon. The newest generation of bartenders take these truths to be self evident.

Each “generation” of bartenders hopefully builds on the work of the last. We are so very, very lucky to have the work of some unbelievably talented people to have as our teachers. This group, I am not going to mention any so as to not forget any, taught us the fundamentals and then showed us where we could go from there.

Without Audrey’s’ Tantris Sidecar, Dales Whiskey Smash, & Gary’s Valintino (just to name a few) I think we (the new generation) would be making square wheels. They showed us the value of integrity and creativity in the art of the cocktail.

Back to the Rouge Cocktails. I believe that what Kirk and Maksym are saying is there must be some way to break the rules that we all have ingrained in our bones, while still creating something we love to drink. I know that Kirk mentioned the Cynar Flip as something that was a major AH-HA moment for him.

I think that this is iconoclastic in the best possible way. With out people trying to stretch themselves artistically we would still be drawing stick figures on cave walls.

Toby



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#19 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 11 July 2009 - 07:05 PM

Let's get beyond the rules that we at this point should take for granted.  A Manhattan should be stirred, you need fresh lime/lemon.  The newest generation of bartenders take these truths to be self evident.

View Post


I think as their blog post illustrates, the sad state of affairs outside of a few select enclaves is that these are in no way self-evident. Nobody expects the guy in a dive to stir a Manhattan, and frankly those ordering Manhattans in dives deserve what they get. However if every place with pretense to serve alcohol in a stemmed glass would just teach rules as simple as these, the state of drinking in this country would be far better than it is. The truth is that Mojitos are still state-of-the-art in most places (not that there is anything wrong with a properly made one), never mind an Aviation.

And I think it's fair to say most folks on this board don't even consider an Aviation to be a particularly exotic drink. Classic, sure. Indespensable maybe even. But 3 years ago it was the toast of the cocktail revival and now it's almost passe. And not one in a thousand people in the community I live and work in have heard of it.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#20 johnder

johnder
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY

Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:27 PM

Having recently come back from Tales of the Cocktail I can give a little insight to this, as I went to cure and tried some of these drinks and Maks was an apprentice under me and donbert (and jeff) in which we batched all the cocktails for every seminar (over 220 of them).

I have seen the book and as I mentioned, tried some of the cocktails, including the gunshop fizz and that drink in particular is awesome. I think it is a bit of a loss leader as the pour cost is too high, but flavor and balance wise it is awesome.

I am not sure these guys are looking to be revolutionary in the sense they are doing something completely new, but having people look at ingredients and techniques in different ways.

The gunshop fizz as a drink that illustrates this, as well as their drink that has Cynar as its base (2 oz). I think it is great they came out with the book, and commend them for it.

Edited by johnder, 13 July 2009 - 06:30 PM.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2
--
I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

#21 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:41 PM

Can we get the lineage of the Art of Choke that's mentioned above? That was a game-changer for me, and I'm interested to know who got propers for it.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#22 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:05 PM

Kyle Davidson of the Violet Hour created the drink and got credit for it in the book.

#23 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,901 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:25 PM

Kyle Davidson does indeed get credit, but the book doesn't include anything about his working at the Violet Hour. (On the other hand, maybe there's a bio section in the back; I'm just going by the online preview.) In general, though, what the authors have chosen to write about the drinks they present is rather capricious and not helpful at all if one is interested in the provenance of the drinks.

#24 MikeHartnett

MikeHartnett
  • participating member
  • 672 posts
  • Location:New Orleans

Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:53 PM

Kyle has worked at the Violet Hour since just after it opened, and he still does.

Edited by MikeHartnett, 13 July 2009 - 08:54 PM.


#25 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:05 AM

Kyle has worked at the Violet Hour since just after it opened, and he still does.

View Post


Indeed, last I knew he was also at The Publican.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#26 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,901 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:20 AM

Kyle has worked at the Violet Hour since just after it opened, and he still does.

View Post

My point wasn't to ask where he works, but to say that the book should include that information. If I see a recipe by "Kyle Davidson" (or whoever) and that's all, then if I don't know who he is, that doesn't give me much information. But if I see that the creator of a drink worked at Violet Hour (or Pegu Club, or PDT, or Zig Zag, or Holeman & Finch) it'll tell me more -- it may give me a clue as to the style of the drink, if the place has a certain "style"; it will at least tell me that the creator of the drink comes from a serious cocktail venue.

Details like this make this book much less than it could be.

#27 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:03 AM

it will at least tell me that the creator of the drink comes from a serious cocktail venue.

Details like this make this book much less than it could be.

View Post


Knowing about who came up with a recipe might help in making a split-second decision on whether to read the recipe or not, but the recipe rather speaks for itself. If someone who worked at a Red Lobster came up with the same recipe, wouldn't it be the same drink?

I don't disagree that the book could have been more informative about the history of a drink or a bartender. Maybe this was an oversight, or maybe that style of relating recipes is also one of the conventions they are challenging. As they say, it's just a drink.

Edited by KD1191, 14 July 2009 - 09:03 AM.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#28 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,901 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:07 AM

Knowing about who came up with a recipe might help in making a split-second decision on whether to read the recipe or not, but the recipe rather speaks for itself.  If someone who worked at a Red Lobster came up with the same recipe, wouldn't it be the same drink?

View Post

In the pages I've seen, the recipes don't speak for themselves. Some of them, in fact, sound very unappealing. But if I see that they were developed by a bartender from a place I'm familiar with, I'm much more likely to believe that they're worth trying.

For instance, the "Broken Shoe Shiner" calls for Pernod, Aperol, Benedictine, pineapple juice and rose water, among other ingredients. That hardly speaks for itself; it actually sounds completely unappetizing to me. I don't know who the creator, Stephen Cole, is, but if I knew that he'd worked at (for instance) Pegu Club, I'd be likely to try it, because I trust the place and know that a disgusting drink is unlikely to make it on the menu there. (It doesn't mean I'd love the drink, but it guarantees a certain base level to me.) If on the other hand it came from Red Lobster, I'd give it a pass, because to my knowledge, Red Lobster doesn't produce bartenders with the kind of skill necessary to make a good drink from those ingredients.

#29 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 902 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:22 AM

In the pages I've seen, the recipes don't speak for themselves. Some of them, in fact, sound very unappealing. But if I see that they were developed by a bartender from a place I'm familiar with, I'm much more likely to believe that they're worth trying.

View Post


Understood. I guess in that case it would be an issue of interpretation from context. If you trust the gatekeepers/authors of this compilation, or to a lesser extent the other contributors, or if you are intrigued by how such an apparently bizarre concoction could end up in a book of otherwise intriguing recipes, then perhaps you give it a whirl...if not, trust your instinct and avoid.

I know you are just using Stephen and the Broken Shoeshiner as an example to elucidate your larger point, but for any who might be interested Stephen is also of the Violet Hour in Chicago. From my conversations with him, he appears quite devoted to absinthe. The Broken Shoeshiner was featured on TVH's Summer and Fall menus in 2008. The first two Google hits for "Broken Shoeshiner" lead to positive reviews of the drink (from the same source), the third and fourth to Toby's own posts in the Violet Hour threads at the Chicago LTHForum and here on eGullet regarding new drinks for Summer '08.

Edited by KD1191, 14 July 2009 - 11:29 AM.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#30 Splificator

Splificator
  • participating member
  • 527 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn

Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:57 AM

I'd like to briefly dip my oar into these waters. I have a copy of this little book, I've read through it, and on the whole I'm impressed. It's made me think a little bit about complacency and creativity, and for that I thank them. Now that I'm comfortably midde-aged I would phrase things more diplomatically than they do, but in many respects I think their manifesto is spot-on.

There are too many drink books that repeat the same recipes and recycle the same factoids, even now.

There are too many cocktail bars that can muddle lemon verbena and watermelon in Lillet and top it off with house-made bitters (usually not bitter at all, N.B.) but would blink if you handed them a bottle of bonded applejack and asked them to make something butch with it.

There are too many pleasantly-flavored, utterly forgettable sours floating around the cocktailosphere. (I'll also add that there are far too many "challenging" drinks laced with heavy doses of Averna, Chartreuse, and their ilk--the buzz spirits of 2008-2009--that are only challenging in an Emperor's New Clothes sense; but here rogue rocktails is guilty of beholding the mote that is in its brother's eye but considering not the beam that is in its own.)

Finally, there are an awful lot of people taking the whole thing terribly, terribly seriously. When mixing drinks moves away from its bistro roots into fine-dining, a lot gets lost. These guys are conscious of that. As they say, "a bar exists to serve customers, not cocktails."
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Reference