Monday, March 11, 2013

Drank No. 10: Some things bars are doing

Guest bartenders
It’s increasingly common for serious bartenders in big cities to either hold shifts at multiple bars, or to do guest residencies. The first time I noticed this was in San Francisco when I had drinks at Bourbon and Branch, Heavens Dog and Alembic on three different nights and had the same bartender serve me each time. The New York Times saw it too.  Chefs and cheese mongers and baristas have done this for some time, I think it shows how the craft of bartending is maturing.

Guest drinks
I’ve been to a couple restaurants and bars where they offer a drink from another contemporary establishment. The other place is named, the drink is given full credit to the bartender who invented it, and there’s maybe a short explanation about it on the menu. I think it’s a great idea that builds community and credibility.

Bars based on a single alcohol
New York now hosts bars whose entire cocktail menu is based on gin (Madame Geneva), tequila (Mayahuel) and rum (Cienfuega). There are several who do brandy (The Brandy Library) and Bourbon (Char No. 4), though they mostly focus on the main ingredient, not mixing it. There’s also The Bubble Lounge which features champagne, something we should all be studying. I am sure there are some that I’m missing. These are great places to taste a spirit in depth and see how it performs in all kinds of concoctions.

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