March 29, 2009

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany. Unless you go to a "Chili's"

Greetings and salutations to you all. I'm Chris, and I've decided that I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and start a booze blog. I, like so many, started drinking in college, and viewed it as a quick and easy way to, well, get quick and easy (moreso than normal, anyway). My tastes went from vodka (for its lack of taste) to beer (for its availability and low price point) to pretty much anything I could afford and/or mooch.

Since (ostensibly) growing up and getting into the real world, I've gone through a few more phases. For a while I was gaga over fruity drinks (don't judge me!), then I learned more about wine and grew to appreciate that, and then I moved into rum and the Tiki drink culture, which I'm still very interested in. But I've come to have a real appreciation for the drinks that predated Prohibition, and the ones that returned and arose after its repeal.

That's what started me posting on my own blog about cocktails, and that's what made me think "Hey, why not just start a blog devoted to your consumption of liquor? That way your friends can choose to see how much of a lush you are!" (The answer is "Not very." I usually don't have more than two a night, when I drink. My liver is grateful for that, I'd imagine.)

Part of the reason I latched onto "golden era" drinks, I think, is that they represent the antithesis of the predominant school of bartending here in the US...the mantra of "faster! bigger! cheaper!" and trying to pour simultaneously for 38 giggling sorority girls who want, "like, a Cosmo, but not something as totally cliché as a Cosmo, you know?" A Cosmo, as David Wondrich, eminent cocktail historian comments in "Esquire Drinks," is "[a] mutant child of the Sidecar and the Cape has all the appearance of tradition without any of the workmanship." We will not ever make one here. Hence the name of this blog. We are aiming to be urbane, not cosmopolitan...

Now, I've never been a full fledged bartender. I was a bar-back at a restaurant for a while, and I had my license and everything, but I saw what my bartenders would go through during the dinner rush, and it's hard to display any element of craftsmanship when you're pouring and shaking as though the very hosts of Hell are sitting at the bar, reaching for the salted peanuts. I much prefer the (most likely idealized) notion of the laid back gentlemen bartender of yesteryear. For a sense of what I think we need, please read "The Local Bar" by Kate Hopkins at "The Accidental Hedonist" (who's incidentally got a book on whiskey coming out later this year). If you find yourself nodding agreement, you're exactly the kind of person I'm aiming this blog at. If you think she's out of her gourd, may I suggest you head for TGI McTchotchke's GoodTime FoodDrinkery and pick up something candy-tasting in a commemorative hurricane glass?

My first posts will likely be reworkings of some of my greatest hits from my old personal blog, but after a while, I hope to get some new stuff up on here. Hope you'll stick with me.


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