Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to the Old School

“What did you get?”
This is one of my favorite questions to ask someone with a cocktail in front of them. Sometimes it’s a simple answer, “rum and coke,” “vodka soda” or “gin and tonic.”

If you ask this question, you will hear similar answers. However, recently, what you will hear more and more are drinks that have been around since the start of the 20th century. That’s right- lots of the great classic cocktails are that were popular before World War II are becoming the newest trend. What are some of these drinks?

Have you ever has a Sidecar, Planter’s Punch, Old Fashioned, Nutty Irishman or Brandy Alexander? These are the most recent of the old school drinks to become popular again. There are also some classics that are better known such as Martinis, Manhattans and Cosmopolitans.
There is also a whole category of modern type martinis- Chocolate Martini, Apple-tini, Blueberry Martini, Pomegranate Martini… the list goes on and on. There are even entire bars that pride themselves on their extensive martini menus.

It used to be that either nobody, or at most, old people drank these. Now I am serving them to hipsters and young urban professionals left and right!

How did this happen? I don’t have a complete explanation (besides they are delicious!) except for TV and movies.
What was James Bond’s drink? A Martini- now I feel like a cliché whenever I am about to make someone’s martini and I ask them if they would like it shaken or stirred.
Cosmo- this was the preferred cocktail of the ladies on Sex and the City. This show was so popular that it became a movie. This is why the Cosmopolitan is now know as a total chick drink.
I have never seen Madmen, but I heard that they drink classic cocktails on that show, like the Sidecar and Old Fashioned.

So there you have it- this is the new hotness in cocktails- drinks from the old school are in again. I highly recommend that you go and try them because they are delicious!!
I have two recommendations when you do:
1) Go to an upscale place with well-trained bartenders. The bartenders will more likely know how to make the drinks right and still be reasonably priced. A club or lounge or something will more likely than not make them the wrong way and rip you off.
2) Order them with call liquors- it will taste WAY better. I will get more into why the name brand booze later, but just trust me for now.

David

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