Ahh… Tek-EE-la! No! Mes-KAL! No, Tequila! WTF’s the difference? Up until a few years ago, I’d be damned if I knew because in truth - none - of the bars I’ve worked over the last 20 or so years ever bothered to carry any Mezcal whatsoever. It just wasn’t “a thing” or in demand. Well folks, times have changed. With the proliferation of speakeasy’ish throwback bars in NYC the last few years, obscure, off-beat, and unique spirits are all the vogue and Mezcal is no exception. In other words, Hipsters and wealthy urban professionals are demanding here in The Big Apple are blowing this previously unpopular spirit up making it the next “thing.” But don’t the fact that douchebag-central loves them some Mezcal stop you from enjoying an utterly enjoyable off-the-beaten-path bevie come bevie time.
Fellow booze slinger Michael Neff (NYC bartender of Ward III fame) waxes poetic on the distinction between Bartenders and Mixologists and nails it.
“As much as I appreciate the current state of the spirits and cocktail game, I think we’ve taken the difference between bartender and mixologist too far. At the end of the day, they are impossible to separate. Bartenders tend bar. We make drinks. Sometimes, even in the dirtiest of dive bars, those drinks are cocktails. Thus a mixologist is born.”