Of all the decade end* lists of "Best of This" and "Worst of That," one that caught my eye in particular was Slash/Food's quick review of "The Decade in Cocktails." Personally, my decade in cocktails could be summed up by a gradual but continuous transition of mixers from sugary sodas to diet coke to water. Now I'm lucky to get some good ice to drop in my glass of Old Forester.
But according to the Slash/Foodies, the decade was about the return of artistic preparation and artisan ingredients to the cocktail trade. Gone are the flash bartenders like Tom Cruise circa "Cocktail" and their punnily named innuendo shots of "Sex on the Beach" and "Sloe Comfortable Screws." Syrupy drinks served in cocktail glasses are no longer readily referred to as blank-"tinis" and liquors of interest have emerged from fiercely regional camps like the cachaça of Brazil and Pisco from Peru and bourbon from Versailles.
Bartenders have become "Master Mixologists" and "Bar Chefs." No matter whether you think those titles are pretentious and silly, they really have raised the thoughtful art of getting you slightly schnockered to a higher level. Getting home is still up to you. Or Zingo.
So what's your favorite or most despised liquor trend of the past decade? What do you hope keeps on flowing or finally gets corked for good?
*and don't get started on how the decade isn't really over until next year because there was no year zero. Blah, blah, blah.