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What to call the genre of new cocktails?

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I of course agree it is counterproductive to call someone's drink crap.

What I am suggesting is that it is unnecessary to attach some kind of additional sobriquet to a well-made cocktail. If it's a good Manhattan, it's good; it needn't be a "classical cocktail" to distance it from all the poorly-made Manhattans out there. To expand on this, it is also unnecessary to apply some kind of special term to the movement as a whole; simply observing that bartenders are getting better, caring more, and making better drinks needn't be called "mixology" when it's still really just bartending.

Still, if you are saying that words like "classical" provide us with some kind of reference point to help steer people in the right direction... well, I see how that is important.

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

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Yeah, I didn't mean to imply you were on the "crap" side of the fence. Having said that, I think that a lot of people believe that a well-made Manhattan is crap, and those people tend to be the ones waving twenties at bartenders across the land.

Now, if that Manhattan were on a sub list of "classic cocktails" across the page from the -tinis, maybe that person would consider it, or his/her date would, and the adjective would mark the difference. I dunno.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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How about reasoned, or considered...dare I say, proper?

We're running into the problem of trying to throw out the "crap" as Toby so eloquently put it, without ignoring any of the "good". I don't think there's a precise enough lexicon to accomplish that (eta: at least, not with concision). Especially since it's entirely possible to get a cocktail that is "crap" in some of the swankiest classic cocktail revival spots known for "good," given the wrong confluence of events.

Edited by KD1191 (log)

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

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My brief attempt to champion the basic concept of balance, for example, threw several of the competitors for a loop, because in their work they steadfastly believe that overly sweet drinks are in fact balanced, and they've got customers to prove it.

this is why i don't like the word balance in regards to structure or flavor contrast. it never ends up useful. to me cocktails have "direction". this allows for many more options, some being very popular and meeting the averages of many peoples tastes (usually what many call balanced). it also allows for more intensely acquired tastes. i firmly believe a negroni is not balanced (it doesn't meet the average of most people's tastes) but rather has an awesome sense of direction.

Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes


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I've been using the phrase "upscale cocktails" more and more frequently in drinks writing, which I guess is not that far from "high end." I also use "classic" and "classic-inspired" to refer to the speakeasy stuff.

I do like "neo-classical" and "craft." May have to incorporate those into my booze vocabulary soon.

Kent, good luck with your article! I hope you'll post a link here when it's published, I'm sure we'd all love to see what you've written.

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