Man, cocktails are hard. They’re, like, full of complicated stuff and they take at least ten minutes to make. Plus, can you even make them if you don’t have a bow tie and a moustache? Ok, so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but cocktail culture may have gotten a bit out of hand. Sometimes more ingredients do not equal better cocktails. Sometimes you just want your drink – and you want it fast. And sometimes, just sometimes, that getup that you’re wearing behind the bar…it’s just stupid.
With good cocktails becoming more and more accessible, the tolerance for pretentiousness is getting shorter. The current information age makes it easy to bring cocktail culture right into your home bar. From lost recipes to custom equipment, the art of cocktailia can now be easily approached by anyone with a passion for the craft. This has begun a movement of which we here at The Savory are big fans: simplify.
Simplify your cocktails. Remember, when hosting at your home bar just as when bartending at a craft cocktail bar, your guests are your number one priority. There is never a reason to make someone wait ten minutes for a drink because you want to recreate the way they did it in the 19th century. Your friends are there to celebrate with you and they would like to do so with a cocktail in their hand. So give them one. Make simpler cocktails when you are hosting. Three should be your magic number. Three ingredients is all you need to make a great cocktail. Stick to drinks like the Negroni, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan. This way, you have your history and a delicious cocktail to go with it, without taking too much time to make them.
Simplify your conversations. Don’t be pretentious about your craft. It is truly interesting what types of tools you are using, how you learned to make your cocktails, and even why you are using the glassware you chose to use – but remember not to be stuck-up about it. A great bartender is one who can talk with the customer, not at them. Involve your guests in your interests, but don’t be surprised if they just want to enjoy a vodka and soda and be done with it.
We will never argue that bartending can be an art. Actually, we truly believe that it is. But we are also very aware that at the end of the day, your job, even as an artisan craft cocktail mixologist, is to make people drinks. That, my friends, does not have to be very complicated. Be knowledgeable. Be approachable. Mix with a smile. Simplify.