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  1. #1
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    "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    Thought this article about "cocktail snobbery" I came across on another board might be of interest to fans of the new-ish cocktail culture. It has spawned a lively debate on the other board but there are probably more professional bartenders there than here.
    Last edited by tanstaafl2; 03-16-2013 at 09:59.
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  2. #2
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    Just more of the hipster douchebaggery that prevails everywhere and everyone is a pseudo intellectual.

  3. #3
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    I'm definitely a fan and proponent of the resurgence of cocktail culture. Just as I won't go into my local Irish pub this afternoon and order anything more complicated than a Guinness and a shot of Jameson, nor would I expect a fancy cocktail bar to have a Coors light in their well. The article makes out the consumers to be persecuted victims of culture that's too hip to accommodate the working class drinking folk. To me it just comes off as sour grapes. "When in Rome..."

    In a restaurant, the owner and the chef have the right and obligation to come up with a menu that fits their vision. If a gourmet menu is specifically planned, then they have no obligation to accommodate someone that orders a hot dog or PB&J off menu. Likewise, if a specialty bar advertises their specialty as pre-prohibition cocktails with handmade infusions, then I can't say I sympathize with someone that orders a Jack and Coke. However, if the bartender steers them gracefully towards a cocktail or other offering that is similar, they have done their job.

  4. #4
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    I'm definitely a fan and proponent of the resurgence of cocktail culture. Just as I won't go into my local Irish pub this afternoon and order anything more complicated than a Guinness and a shot of Jameson, nor would I expect a fancy cocktail bar to have a Coors light in their well. The article makes out the consumers to be persecuted victims of culture that's too hip to accommodate the working class drinking folk. To me it just comes off as sour grapes. "When in Rome..."

    In a restaurant, the owner and the chef have the right and obligation to come up with a menu that fits their vision. If a gourmet menu is specifically planned, then they have no obligation to accommodate someone that orders a hot dog or PB&J off menu. Likewise, if a specialty bar advertises their specialty as pre-prohibition cocktails with handmade infusions, then I can't say I sympathize with someone that orders a Jack and Coke. However, if the bartender steers them gracefully towards a cocktail or other offering that is similar, they have done their job.
    I think you're missing the point though. The article wasn't saying that the cocktails or bar themes were arrogant and condescending, but the people serving the clients were. I don't care how unsophisticated you think bud light or vodka is...you don't tell the customer that orders it that only idiots drink that stuff. That was the point of the article.

    I also don't agree that a person needs to do their homework on a bar or restaraunt's offerings before they go there. How many times have you decided to go somewhere while just passing by?

  5. #5
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    You're right, I kind of got sidetracked, but the last sentence of my post captured my point.

    You certainly don't need to do any homework on a bar or restaurant. However, if you are going to go into an establishment without knowing what to expect, you should be able to adapt to the "culture" and not impose anything on the servers or chefs that is far out of scope of what they normally provide.

    The service providers shouldn't be rude nor should the customers be rude.

  6. #6
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    The service providers shouldn't be rude nor should the customers be rude.
    That is really the vital point. Everyone in the bar is there to either facilitate or have a good time. Any happy, successful patron or proprietor knows this.

  7. #7
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    "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    It is hard to describe a bartender refusing to pour a Bombay and tonic--with a bottle of Bombay in plain view--as anything but rude. Same applies for anything the bar stocks. If they don't want to serve it, don't stock it.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    There is no excuse for this kind of attitude, even if you are a hipster bartender with a false sense of worth.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 03-16-2013 at 18:24.

  9. #9
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    Quote Originally Posted by that article
    The rum and Coke is “a hideous waste of rum,” says Phil Ward. “All you taste is the Coke.”
    Um, no. Every time I've ever made myself a rum and Coke (which is many), I've been able to taste the rum. If you can't even make a rum and Coke in which you can taste both the rum and the Coke, you have no business making more complicated hipster mixologist cocktails.

  10. #10
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    Re: "Cocktail Snobbery"?

    This reminds me of a bar I used to be a regular at. It had an awesome selection of Michigan microbrews on tap. But every day I was in there, at a particular time the same guy would go in and order a bottle of Bud or two and just sit there, reading his newspaper and drinking his Bud. I always wondered why someone would go to a place like that and order Bud. The wait staff, one of whom also worked at a microbrewery, would always give him what he asked for and didn't treat him any differently than any other regular.

    On the other hand, just for kicks, I once ordered an old fashioned there. The bartender made it without complaining but was terrible. I think they used 7 UP and garnished it with a cherry and a lime wedge. I didn't complain, but I didn't order a cocktail from there ever again.

    As a customer, one gets the best results if one plays to the bar's strengths but as others have said even more important for everybody to treat everybody else with respect no matter what the situation.
    Last edited by Josh; 03-17-2013 at 10:39.
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