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Where’s The Next Classic Cocktail? Why Isn’t There One Already?

on 24/01/15 at 12:40 pm

Booze News
4e5c4141d940c6b8d3cb058794a034e5We may love drinking them, but there hasn’t been a cocktail since the Cosmopolitan to have struck really big. What’s gone awry in the mixing?

There’s something missing from the Great Cocktail Revival, something strangely and profoundly absent in the midst of an otherwise superabundant trend.

To be sure, there’s no shortage of ambitious bartenders pouring hand-crafted cocktails made with obscure liqueurs, rarified spirits, house-made bitters, and bespoke tinctures.

Many are the mixologists who can quote the venerable Jerry Thomas or the irascible David Embury while deftly hand-chiseling a perfect sphere of ice. There is even, finally, a widespread understanding that a Martini is a drink made with gin, and not that pallid impostor, vodka.

So what could the craft cocktail movement possibly lack? Merely the most fundamental trophy to be had in the world of cocktails—a new drink added to the cocktail canon, a drink known to most drinkers and bartenders.

We know the great eras of American drinking culture by the drinks they produced. The Gilded Age saw the rise of the Manhattan and the Martini; the aught years delivered the Bronx and the Daiquiri; post-Prohibition exuberance gave us exotics like the Zombie and the Mai Tai; mid-century gave us the Margarita.

Even when the cocktail was in what seemed to be terminal decline, new concoctions managed to come forward, capture the public imagination, and enter the list of ubiquitous drinks.

The Long Island Iced Tea got rolling in the 60s, followed by the dread days of double-knit polyester, which witnessed the rise of the Harvey Wallbanger. Which raises the question: If even the 70s could lay claim to contributing a recipe to the cocktail canon, why hasn’t the decade-long, 21st century cocktail reawakening been able to do the same?