I’ve been hearing plenty of talk lately about which prohibition and pre-prohibition cocktails are currently being celebrated on menus across the country. Most often cited are the Last Word, Aviation, Bees Knees, and the French 75 (which you can find in its originality and in variations such as the ’76, ’79, etc., etc., in pretty much every good cocktail joint in every major city). As someone who is relatively new to the scene, even I know that the inclusion of any of these drinks on a menu stands as a indicator that you’re in a nouveau cocktail bar that is worth its snuff. Yet many of these drinks have already become passe to the people ‘in the know.’
I suppose that explains the tendency for mixologists and bartenders to go forth and create new and complicated cocktails that fly in the face of tradition. I agree that there’s a time and place for that, but I’d also like to see bars staying true to the tricks that worked in the beginning, and getting a little more creative in what drinks they decide to revive from the dusty pages of cocktail books.