I’ve written much on the why, how and when previously kind and hospitable bartenders mysteriously transform into utter assholes or douchebag mixologists. But, don’t take it just from me. I’m not the only game in this town (or The Wrong Coast for that matter). Enter Eric Alperin of Hey Bartender fame (I’m still waiting to see the movie) and barkeep at L.A.’s The Varnish.
“Aviation Aramos Fizz…” and 10 minute, $20 cocktails. “Smoked Salmon Infused Vodka… over Lava Rocks.” “Sazerac with some muddled Sage.” You can pin the blame for the mixologist craze mostly on Jerry mother-fucking Thomas. Yeah… more on him to come. Post-Prohibition revival and modern fainboi’ism of all things late-19th century have also had a hand. In the last few years, Brooklyn and San Francisco hipsterdom (who seem to have committed every passage of Imbibe to memory) took all this shit and ran absolutely raving wild with a ridiculously wide expanse of “throwback,” speakeasy’ish saloons. They’re not done. There seems to be no end in sight to this pseudo-retro explosion. It’s all gone a bit too far. Me? I heart me most of those cool spots as evidenced by my Pub Crawl. I just hate when folks go overboard and refuse to keep it real. I like to believe that I’ve got mad creative skills as well – no doubt. I’ve contributed to many a successful cocktail program. But mostly, I schlep my ass off in busy ass bars. Do yourself a favor and watch this epic video backlash.