Thursday, December 4, 2008


Obviously, I love cocktails. Thursday nights, as you know, are cocktail night here in my household. Interestingly, a friend of mine once wondered if by cocktail night I meant going out with girlfriends for drinks. No, I stay right at home where my favorite bartender, Brian, makes my cosmos exactly the way I like it.

And, yeah, his cosmopolitan is way to strong for you.

I don't mean to be nasty about it but I have yet to meet someone who has tasted Brian's cosmo and not said, "Oh that's a bit strong."

And I love them! But I can have only one.

I'm so not into that cosmopolitan cocktail mix they sell in grocery stores. It's not a cosmopolitan-- it's flavored sugar-water that you mix with vodka. As Miss Brodie would say, "For those of you who like that sort of thing..." Brian makes my cosmo just right: vodka, triple sec, cranberry and lemon instead of lime (or that horrid Rose's lime juice). He rubs the glass with the lemon as well. Tasty!

I'm picky about my cocktails or so I thought. In the NY Times (the source for all my information, have ya noticed?) I found this article about cocktail geeks or cocktailians as one person prefers. These guys are picky about their cocktails--going so far as to make their own ice or bring their own vermouth to a bar. When I first read it, I thought, 'making your own vermouth? Really, that's a bit much' But then, why not be as picky about cocktails as you are about food or wine or beer?

Foodies discuss the intricate details of a foie gras and wine connoisseurs understand what is meant by 'hints of leather,' (why anyone would drink leather is beyond me) so why wouldn't a cocktail lover want only the best ingredients for his manhattan? I've noticed that my tastes have changed or matured might be a better word, over the years. I used to drink whatever beer was cheapest until I spent a year in Ireland and learned what good beer is. I was on the Yellow Tail bandwagon--drinkable and cheap--but now I find it to be headache in a bottle. Even my vodka can't be just any vodka, I prefer Stoli or better yet Grey Goose. Smirnoff's? Absolut? I don't think so.

By the way, Mark Bittmann does a great job in this video of breaking down the parts of a cocktail, but notice that even he insists on good ingredients.

I do enjoy cocktails of finer ingredients or beer with an actual taste but I'm not always into discussing them. Sitting around before our party on New Year's Eve, Brian and a few of his friends opened barley wines from a few different years. Each bottle had to be sipped and analyzed. I kept thinking, 'drink the damn beer already.'

So I guess I can't really call myself a cocktailian if I'm only asking for lemon instead of lime in my cosmo but I'm sure some bartenders have called me a pain in the ass.

1 comment:

  1. I'm tempted to comment, but I won't.