Should a cocktail be delicious?!

The topic of todays post keeps on looming - so why not picking it up?

Should a cocktail be delicious?

This is a serious question. For a person, who tastes occasionally cocktails and don't have really a lot of insight, it might be obvious: "off course - a cocktail must be yummy."
But for bar flies and drink connoisseurs, it becomes more vague.

Lets have a look on the most popular, recognized and "decorated" cocktails:

  • Martini Cocktail
  • Manhattan
  • Old Fashioned
  • Classic Margarita
  • Mojito
  • Negroni / Americano
  • Sidecar
  • Classic Daiquiri
  • Mint Julep
  • Whiskey Sour
Out of those 10 drinks, non is "dessert tasty"; and if you are not used "proper cocktails" at least four out of ten are "repulsive". The other 6 would be not so extreme - but also not delicious in a conventional sense.

Don't get me wrong. I love all of these drinks and I really enjoy of ordering them, if prepared properly. But then there is even more emphasis on the question "should cocktails be delicious"?!

I have several times already mentioned, that there is a very high responsible of the bartender, due to the risk of alcohol! In a physical way, ethanol has a character, which is naturally revolting to our body [because it is a poison]. To cover up, the character of alcohol, makes it more "delicious" but also less cultural engaging and less responsible.

Drinking Culture

The beer and wine business [and connoisseurs] learned already and are quite contemporary in their approach. Most people will argue, that a beer should taste like a beer and that a wine should taste like a wine. And there is nothing wrong with it  - rather everything is right with this approach. Over the centuries, the bulk of wine became dryer and dryer. And especially the current trend of craft breweries are going into the same direction - a good rated beer is usually a real hop monster! 

And even the still quite confused trend of craft bartending is going into the same direction. When real mixology reemerged, people started over with properly made Old Fashioneds, the trend went on [without dismissing the Old Fashioned] to Sidecars, to drinks like the Last Word and so on. All drinks, which have a big spirit heart, and don't cover any of their base spirits.

Now and in the Future

In my eyes, the days of Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Teas [or whatever variant], Lemon Drops are counted, analogue to semi-sweet drinking wines in the sommeliers trade. It is not even important, that a cocktail is balanced [one adjective, which is stretched and used far to often…]; as long as it is not far too sweet, far too sour, or far to strong / watery. 
The most emphasis lays in the character. And as character should be authentic and "natural", you will only find it in the alcoholic ingredients: most of the time in the base spirit, sometimes in your specialty liqueur, wine aperitif or [in few exceptions] sparkling wine.

Once more: 

Should a cocktail be delicious?

"Hell no - it should carry character - and if you appreciate characterful tastes, you find it agreeable, maybe palatable. Delicious though would be definitely the wrong description!





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