THE COCKTAIL AS A
CULINARY ART FORM
Odds are you’ve heard the phrase “craft cocktails” at a bar or restaurant recently. It’s such an in vogue term, that often comes however with very little explanation, even when found on a menu. Basically, a “craft cocktail” is one in which all elements are handmade or made special to a drink. The bartender has become the “bar chef” and making homemade syrups and bitters, serving up custom shaped ice cubes, and substituting more traditional spirits, you may find barrel-aged liquors. The results: whether simple or complex, “craft cocktails” are made with more attention than the usual mixed drink, and delivers a much more satisfying drinking experience.
“The process of making craft cocktails is a lot like that of the artisan food movement, focusing on flavor, high quality ingredients and taking your time in order to do those ingredients justice.” (The Barback, 08/13)
Mixology as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the art or skill of preparing mixed drinks.” The word was first used in 1892. In recent years, “mixology” has become a more commonly used word, and conveys a more refined study of mixing cocktails, than the typical “bartender.” And this certainly is a cause of much discussion among those who work behind the marble countertops.
This does not imply that one is better than the other. Each requires a different set of skills in serving the consumer.