Young and Hungry

Derek Brown on Naming Cocktails: Drop the ‘Tini’ Bullshit

There's a reason Derek Brown shared Best Bartender honors this year. The Gibson spirits-tender knows not only how to mix a mean libation but also how to name one.

In his latest column for The Atlantic's online food section, Brown mocks two of the many Obama-related cocktails that drenched our fair town in kitsch and bad puns. He singles out such drinks as the Obama Mama and the Barack-a-tini, which Y&H somehow managed to avoid, but overlooked even more dreadful offenses to mixology: the "Yes We Cran-berry" martini, the "Americano = Change," and the O'Pama.

Regardless of the oversights, Brown has a recipe to smarten up your drink names. He leans on cocktail history to show bartenders, both professional and home-based, how to name their drinks. For example, Brown explains popular culture's role in branding cocktails, including his own:

Plays, movies, and popular songs are sometimes drafted for name recognition. The Rob Roy was named after a famous operetta, based on a famous novel, based on a famous poem about a Scottish, Robin Hood-like character. I myself enjoy using albums titles or famous songs from bands I like. I have both a Paul's Boutique and Lebanese Blond cocktail named after the Beastie Boys' best album (go ahead, try and argue otherwise) and the Thievery Corporation's breakout song.

You can read the rest of Brown's ideas here.

Photo by Dan4th