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Cheers: Returning to cocktail civility



Dipsomaniac. I'll bet you didn't even realize you were one. That's OK, my friends, admitting your true nature is the first step. I've named this column as a nod to the arcane, obscure and true roots of the cocktail. The quest ahead of us: to celebrate ingredients, techniques and history, transforming our obsession with boozy concoctions into the future of cocktail culture.

There was a time in which the cocktail was a critical part of our nation's daily ritual — a tool to cast off the burdens of the workplace, the flame that sparked the move toward relaxed togetherness at the end of the day. The cocktail disconnected us from the daily grind and returned us to home life. Cocktails also fueled social gatherings, stimulated free thought and brought us closer through very real sensory experiences. Let us return to this most civilized ceremony.

To be clear, I am no great oracle. Only through constant experimentation (and enduring failure) do we reach true enlightenment. But my revelation is this: Anyone can make a great drink! I aim to de-mystify the art of the cocktail so that all who enjoy a good drink will have the confidence and enthusiasm to create and share with others. If we neglect to return the cocktail to its place in our hearts and homes, its current popularity will fade ... but for how long this time? I know that I haven't been alone in waiting years to see drinks like the Sazerac take their place on cocktail menus again. We must keep them alive.

Over the past six-and-a-half years, I've had the pleasure of making drinks for you, the thriving life force of the city of Atlanta. Your support and accolades have given me the confidence to share with you what I've learned, however humbly. I have no formal training, just reading and experimentation. I hope to inspire you aspiring mixologists to pick up your shakers and experiment for yourselves.

Unite and stand fellow dipsomaniacs! Let's show 'em that whiskies and gins just polish our copper insides!

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