First off, I'm going to kick off a semi-regular series of in-depth examinations of classic cocktails. When I first started this up, I wanted it to be more of a personal log of original cocktails, but I'm now seeing that as a strategic error. Bartenders and enthusiasts alike draw a lot of inspiration from the days of cocktails past, and I think it's important to remember your roots. Classics are classic for a reason - many of them far surpass my own original work, and when made well they can be incredible. But execution's critical, and I'm coming to see that as a marker of mixological skill. A good bartender (or enthusiast, or mixologist, or whatever) will know the proportions and assembly of your beverage of choice, be it Manhattan, Negroni, or Sidecar. But a great bartender has put enough thought and experimentation into those drinks to make them really memorable again.
That's what I want to do, as a means of pushing myself to the next level. I sort of haphazardly started on this on a brand-new, totally unadvertised second blog, but I wound up with only a single overly-verbose post on the Manhattan before trailing off. I'll be moving that over here shortly as a starting example, but I'm determined to restart the series - if only to keep me busy during my periods of lassitude.
Second, for a lot of cocktail posts I've included information on the spirits and what-have-you used to create them, and I've done a couple of dedicated posts on some funky spirits that I enjoy. Digging up this information is always fun for me, nerd that I am, so I'd like to make this a larger focus too. I've got a sporadic habit (my wife would say a terrible one) of pouring small samples of different spirits to taste them side-by-side. This was always intended as an exercise for myself, but in retrospect I don't know why I didn't post my notes here. We'll fix that soon enough. I've got a couple bourbons picked out that I'd like to sample against each other, which would complement the Manhattan post nicely.
Third: pictures. This blog is visually boring, I know that. Frankly I just haven't really cared before, since attracting readers has never been my intent. But, you can't get better without feedback, and you can't get feedback without an audience, so I'll be doing my best to spruce things up and including pictures with my posts (where relevant) from here on out. Most of them will be as amateurish as the recipes themselves, but that's okay, we all have to start somewhere.
Obviously, the core focus of the blog won't change. I am hopelessly committed to cocktails, and most of my posts will continue to be the same terribly-named, occasionally-successful stuff that has come before. I'm not going to suddenly start reviewing wines or anything like that. If I had anything like a mission statement (which would be pretty fucking bold for so casual and hobbyist a place as this) this would be an amendment, not a rewrite. I'm sure all none of my regular readers will be disappointed.