The 1970’s and 80’s were not good for cocktails. The primary drinkers of the time were trying to distance themselves from the cocktails of their parents, meaning that vermouth and bourbon were out and sweet liqueurs and vodka were in. The balance that classic cocktails enjoyed started to tilt to the sweet side and chemical side. Fresh herbs and squeezed juices were replaced by schnapps of all flavors and hues and juice from concentrate.
Bartending in that era took a nose dive as well. Instead of a career in hospitality, it was seen as a quick fix between “real” jobs. This is still true today, but the perception is changing as hospitality workers see a career path in the industry. The bartenders were not looking to create new cocktails, they were looking to pump out drinks as fast as they could, maybe juggle some bottles while they did it. The craft of making cocktails disappeared into a sea of blue curacao and bottled sour mix.
Fortunately, modern mixologists took the time to brush off some of these discarded cocktails and give them new life. The art of making your own sour elements and syrups have come back into fashion, and there is a class that can teach you how to make these cocktails taste much better than their disco-era counerparts. This class will teach updated recipes for:
The Stinger – Brandy has a lovely flavor all of its own. Burying it with something artificial and syrupy like Crème de Menthe does not showcase its nuances. We will remake this cocktail with simple syrup and freshly muddled mint.
- Pina Colada – It is very easy to head out and buy some premade Pina Colada mix. It is almost as easy, and better tasting, to use the original Coco Lopez and fresh pineapple juice to make one yourself!
- Tequila Sunrise – Not a difficult one to make, but there are elements you can make on your own to enhance the flavor! No cheap tequila here and juice from concentrate here. We’ll use fresh squeezed orange juice and homemade grenadine to enhance this 80’s staple.
- Appletini 2.0 – Will it be neon green? No. But neon colors have not been popular for a long time. You can still make a delightful apple cocktail with all-American Applejack, fresh pressed apple juice, and a little sour mix.
“Re Imagining the Cocktails of the 70’s and 80’s”, taking place at Scratch Event Catering on September 29th, will help you make all four of these cocktails, plus give you the recipes to take home for your next cocktail party! There will be some time appropriate snacks to munch on while we make drinks to sample and learn how simple it is to make some popular ingredients. Space is limited, so get your tickets soon!