Mixology Jumped the Shark?
The writer has a point. Do you think mixologists have gone to far? or ar they just exploring creativity?
As for me, I tend to like classic cocktails, classically made that refresh or entice the palate. Not so much a fan of some of those wild and crazy concoctions
I think they've jumped the shark when something ridiculously complicated to make tastes like crud, but is on the menu anyway because it looks impressive. Otherwise, let people be creative.
Secondly, there are a lot of really bad classic cocktails. Don't kid yourself into thinking that everything in something like Old Astoria Bar Days is a "classic" because it's actually any good.
re: The Big Crunch
BC, I agree with both your statements. As for the classics, there are so many bad ones. I've literally made hundreds and hundreds of cocktails from old published recipes that were horrible. Even some of the most famous classics need tweaking to accommodate today's tastes, which are different than in decades, or centuries, past.
I also think that there are a LOT of amazing cocktails being created today. I am very involved with the cocktail industry and get to try a ton of cocktails, and not just ones making it onto bar lists, but the 90% that don't as well.
Was at Club Med Cancun in December, 1976. One night the bartenders presented about a dozen different cocktails in individual servings in the main hall. First time I saw dry ice in a drink as well as popping ice. (Glacier?)
All were original, mostly tropical, in every color of the rainbow.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Some of the weirdest liquors when introduced are now mainstays. My examples would be Midori and Galliano.
And I prefer well scotch or a manhattan at a bar.
My biggest gripe is calling them 'mixologists' instead of bartenders. I'm fine with creative and/or bespoke cocktails. I agree with the author in the comparison to haute cuisine. However, Grant Achatz is, was, and will always be called a chef, unless he decides to stop cooking. When did Jim Meehan stop being a bartender and become a mixologist?
I like the classic cocktails quite a bit, and I think that the young mixologists I've encountered up here make drinks that are well-informed by them, with creative variations that are founded in the basic concept of a base ingredient with modifier and accents.
If you're ever back up this way, I suggest checking out Alembic, Tradition, and Locando. All three places make great cocktails, both classic and with a little modern creativity.