B-List cocktails make a comeback

East India
Many factors have spurred the renaissance of classic cocktails over the last few years. Recipes have gone viral on social media, hipsters have brought back fashions including cocktails, and distilleries have brushed the dust off old recipes and reissued classic spirits (and other distilleries have reimagined them). Most bartenders can now make a proper Manhattan and martini, but those cocktails only scratch the surface of the classic cocktail genre. Now mixologists are digging deeper to find other lost gems, reports the online magazine Punch.

So what is a “B-list” cocktail? Drinks like “the Martinez, the likely precursor to the Martini, before maraschino and orange bitters were subtracted from the formula. Or the Aviation, which brought chalky purple crème de violette, a violet-flavored liqueur, back to bar stocks.” Other cocktails like the Last Word or Vieux Carré would also fit the bill.

And why are these drinks finding their way back into the spotlight? Part of it is like a badge of honor for bartenders to know these authentic and historic drinks. And in a chicken-and-egg-style situation, the folks on the other side of the bar rail are demanding these formerly obscure classics. “Some consumers have adopted cocktail-spotting as a full-time hobby, seeking out the newest and best watering holes with the same fervor restaurant junkies pursue new openings.”

Once rediscovered, these B-list drinks can be elevated to A-list status. Noted cocktail expert Jeffrey Morgenthaler (author of the recently published Bar Book) notes that when he started in this business, “a perfect example of a second-tier cocktail would be a Negroni. Now my mom knows what a Negroni is.”

The article notes three up-and-coming classic cocktails: De La Louisiane, Bamboo, and El Presidente, the last being “a combination of rum, dry vermouth, orange curaçao and grenadine-which is said to date back to 1920s Cuba.” Do you fancy any lesser-known classic cocktails? 

Photo of an East India cocktail by Darcie Boschee

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One Comment

  • hillsboroks  on  July 20, 2014

    During the past year I discovered the Sazerac cocktail. I find I like drinks that are not so sweet now and I really enjoy the complex layers of flavors in this drink. It is just perfect for slow sipping and conversation with friends. Not all places make it though.

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