The Critical 'I'

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

COCKTAIL RENAISSANCE
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Many moons ago, I lamented the lack of bartending skills in the Tampa Bay area, wondering if it was just me. Now comes news that hipster drinkers are ordering libations beyond the simple brewski or booze-and-tonic.

"We're like an ice cream shop these days -- 31 flavors," said Bob McCambridge, a 33-year veteran of the San Francisco bartending scene. "It used to be simple stuff like scotch and water. Now, 99 percent of what these young folks order changes every day."


Hallelujah, I say. I haven't been going out as much the past couple of months; when I get back in gear, maybe I can sample some of the new variety.

By the way, this article was edited for length from the original MarketWatch piece, and left off some fun stuff:

More potential favorites

From the staples of the trendy bar scene, we move to the slightly more obscure cocktails that have been making a splash of late:

The Pisco Sour -- There's certainly a trend toward southern hemisphere cocktails, according to DeGroff, who lauded this tart Peruvian concoction. The main ingredients include Pisco, a brandy made from the Muscat grape, lemon, egg whites and Angostura bitters. A mainstay in Peru and Chile, this drink has begun to make a splash recently in the States.

Caipirinha - In keeping with the southerly flavors, this Brazilian specialty is a cousin of the mojito, consisting of a sugar-cane rum called cachaca (or substitute a light rum), lime, crushed ice and sugar. The caipirinha hasn't caught the eye of bar hoppers to the degree of some of the aforementioned drinks, but it just might if the trend DeGroff mentioned continues.

The Swimming Pool - "We get a lot of requests for colorful cocktails, mostly greens and blues," said Miss Cocktail. She mentioned this drink, in particular, as one that seems to be "spilling over from Europe." Described as "a pina colada with blue Curacao," the Swimming Pool "is 'in' because of its intense blue color."

The Pink Squirrel - BarTV.com put this creamy libation on its Top 10 cocktail list, recommending it for those "hot, summer nights." The recipe includes crème de cacao, crème de noyaux, and heavy cream shaken with crushed ice and served in a frosty cocktail glass.