The Cocktail Hour asks Are Bartenders the New Celebrity Chefs?

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Are Bartenders the new Celebrity Chefs?

With the surge of interest in pre-Prohibition cocktails and the artisans behind the bar making their own infusions, bitters, crafting new cocktails and gaining new professional credentials, we really have an embarrassment of riches here in Boston. 

Misty Kalkofen @ Drink - one of only a handful of BAR certified mixologists around. This designation is awarded to bartenders who pass a grueling three day examination process and is similar to a Master Sommelier designation for wine. Ms. Kalkofen took the BAR’s five-day Intermediate course (tuition: $3,500), and by passing the grueling exam received the greater of the two levels of certification, BAR-Ready, which recognizes professional-level bartending skills in high-intensity environments, plus broad knowledge of the culture, history and makeup of spirits and cocktails.

Jackson Cannon @ Eastern Standard - as noted in the Chronicle segment linked here (Shake it harder, Mary!), he's been a curator of cocktail history and lore for a long time, makes his own infusions.

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli @ Craigie on Main - I believe he's making his own bitters and he's also a fan of classic cocktails.

Mixologists, Cocktailians, Bartenders - what's in a word?

I don't know why the word bartender seemed insufficient, but it seems to me that Mixologist sounds a bit defensive like a garbage collector insisting on being called a Sanitation Engineer. Bad analogy, I know but it's late. The latest portmanteau is "Cocktailian" maybe it's too much Star Trek but doesn't that sound like "Reptilian" to you? What's wrong with bartender?

Let me know your thoughts and here are links to couple of cocktail posts to lubricate the ride...

For Lunar New Year see Lunar New Year Menu that Matters.

And what would a Cocktail Hour post be this time of year if I didn't answer a few queries about V-Day. That heinous Hallmark hijacked day when all the Western world is made to feel under- appreciated or insufficient. Well, stay home with friends and rent a good movie, like maybe Let the Right One In. This film, okay yes, it's about a vampire and yes, there's a bit of gore, some people and limbs go missing...sure it's in Swedish, but you get used to...Really this is a very romantic film at its core. I do recommend it. And to drink? Here are two sparklers that are well under $20 and well worth a try:

  • Willm - this Alsatian sparkling wine was the surprise of my frigid New Year's Eve. We went to see the Ice Sculptures (first time ever!) and nearly froze but for the trusty flask and Antarctica coats. Check Bauer wines, and remember they deliver! 
  • Another surprise in the under $20 sparkling wine category: Gruet Rosé from New Mexico. I know, New Mexico! But you know what, it's not bad at all.

Or you could go with the theme and drink some Egri's kind of on theme.