Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 3, 2008

NYT Focus on Cocktails & Spirits

Today’s Dining & Wine section of the New York Times has been turned over to focus on cocktails and spirits. There’s a lot to go through, but here’s the run-down.

Let 100 (O.K., 8 ) Bartending Philosophies Bloom

Oliver Schwaner-Albright tries to divide up the current craft cocktail revolution into 8 categories and assign bars and cocktailians to it. It’s an interesting endeavor, but I don’t know how valuable it is.

White Russians Arise, This Time at a Bowling Alley

An in-depth look at how The Big Lebowski created a cult following for the White Russian. As someone who spent a lot of time quoting from the movie during college, I appreciate where this piece is coming from. That said, I never made the full leap from loving a character in a movie (and accompanying cocktail of choice) to fetishizing an overly sweet bit of alcoholic candy. Oh well.

Highland Friends to Warm the Night

This is a really interesting article on how the rise of single malt scotches lead to the development of serious, boutique bottlings of spirits like bourbon, rum, tequila, gin, and vodka. Eric Asimov then goes into a detailed tasting of Speyside whiskeys. I’m not a big scotch fan and when I do, it’s almost always a blend or as part of a cocktail. Still, Asimov’s tasting makes me curious to explore, which I suppose is what a good review would do.

A Brotherhood Formed With Cocktails and Ice

This is probably my favorite article in today’s Times, as it documents the rise of cocktail geeks without devolving into curiosity. It’s common for articles about cultural niches to try to make them seem silly or absurd, but I think the Times’ Jonathan Miles does a good job at capturing the zeitgeist without making cocktailians seem weird. Or at least that’s how I read it as someone who could identify with pretty much everyone quoted in the piece to some degree or another.

Anyway, lots of good stuff in today’s Times. Go give these articles a read.



  1. […] about cocktails, bars, and spirits. This is both a blessing and a curse. Last month a series of Times articles on many different aspects of drinking was generally quite good. This piece on absinthe is trite and annoying. Clearly there will be a […]

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