My article on bespoke and “omakase” cocktails is out in the Jan/Feb issue of Food Arts magazine.
Yes, just as cocktail menus have become an industry standard, it’s become a knowledgeable wink among savvy imbibers to ask the bartender to stray from that list.
One of my favorite parts of the article is the sidebar: I asked several bartenders to “make me a drink” appropriate for cold-weather tippling. If pressed, I also specified dark spirits (rye or Bourbon), spirit-forward, and appropriate to drink before dinner. It was amazing to see the variety of drinks that bartenders constructed within those directives! The bartenders included Michael Neff of Ward III; Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common; Leo Robitschek of Eleven Madison Park; Eric Alperin of The Varnish; Brian Floyd of The Vanderbilt; and Gen Yamamoto of EN Japanese Brasserie.
Speaking of EN Japanese Brasserie, I was there for the Food Arts photo shoot (the photo above is mine, taken of the drinks assembled for the professionals to capture on film). Here’s my blog post from that outing.