Friday, September 24, 2010

It's not just beer

Camper English writes about cocktails in San Francisco, and has a blog called Alcademics that at times is pure booze porn: check it out. Nice guy; I met him through WhiskyFest, and we shared a pleasant lunch at Tales of the Cocktail back in June in New Orleans. He wrote this piece on low-alcohol cocktails for the San Francisco Chronicle this past Sunday. Hey, session cocktails! We used to call them "long drinks." No, those are just the same old highballs with more mixer; these are true lower-alcohol drinks, using new ingredients and a wider range of flavors than SWEEEEEET and fruit and bitter.

Hey, again, it's all about choice, right? Right, and again...well, just read the comments. Haters, man. Did Camper say, "We're going to take away all the wonderful, delicious classic cocktails and replace them with these lower-alcohol drinks"? No, just that they make a nice choice to have, an alternative. You'd have thought he said "No more liquor, forever, not for you."

Come on, people! Why do you give a damn what other people drink? It's going to kill you to watch me drink a lower-alcohol drink...that you won't really be able to tell is lower in alcohol in the first place?



  1. Those comments blow me away! I mean, granted, Camper could have done a better job at positioning the aperitif cocktail in its historic role, but these drinks are direct descendants of a very proud, pre-dinner drink tradition and I find it hilarious that the commentators -- many of whom would no doubt cast themselves as cocktail revivalists -- get themselves so worked up about it all.

    I'm betting at least half of the "haters" would drink a Campari cocktail, boasting all the while how "Old School" it is, and not ever realize that it is a low alcohol aperitif!

  2. There's a lot of vitriol on the SFGate site on dining out issues, and often it revolves around price. Fine dining gets smacked around a lot, and so do the wine and cocktail writings. SF does have a lot of $12+ cocktails. From longtime reading of SFGate's food/drink stuff, I'd guess that the folks reacting so much against this _aren't_ the cocktail revivalists, Stephen -- they're the ones commenting in mean ways on the cocktail columns as well. I could see a reaction against paying $12 for a barely-alcoholic beverage (might be stretching the "reasonably priced" part of Lew's definition!), but the commenters would comment similarly on full-strength options.

    There's some class anger/feeling-of-ripped-offness that's valid here, but much more, people are being way nastier than the topic calls for.


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