Young and Hungry

So You Want to be a Cocktail Nerd? Pt. II

Image from

Image from

I don’t know exactly how it happened but the city is suddenly teaming with those bleary-eyed searchers who would take down glass after glass in a quest for the perfect flavor-to-buzz ratio that has been dubbed the cocktail movement. Recently a woman sat down at my bar and asked for an old cocktail from the 1920s called the Aviation. You might not find that remarkable in itself, but she specifically wanted to try it due to a somewhat obscure ingredient used in it–Crème de Violette–which joins gin, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur in the recipe.

Crème de Violette? Ever heard of it? Maybe you have. I wouldn’t be surprised. In the past year it has become more widely available due to the influence of Eric Seed, an importer that writer Camper English referred to as “the Indiana Jones of lost spirits.” But how did she hear about it? In fact, how does one stay abreast of these obscure spirits, bitters and recipes, cocktail seekers? How can a cocktail nerd ply his trade, which at its heart includes lording over people rarified knowledge of cocktails and spirits?

The answer: How does any nerd get his info? You guessed it, blogs and message boards. So below I’ve included a line-up to instruct the budding cocktail nerd. There are many more blogs than what I’ve listed, and great ones at that, but these are just to get you started and the ones I often turn to in a pinch. To be a true cocktail nerd you have to know the players like you were collecting baseball cards. So I’ve grouped them accordingly.

Home Team:

We are very privileged to have some fine bloggers in our midst, or at least in damn close proximity. These bloggers know the local scene and pepper their discoveries of new cocktails and old spirits with advice on where to get a good Sazerac. These are our hometown boys and for that matter a shade better than the other hometown boys, winning streak or not.

Away Team:

As I said before, there are many more than these blogs from around the world, but these are the ones I find myself reading and rereading. They range from L.A. to jolly old England. So you’re getting a lot more than local news.

Heavy Hitters:

When it comes to blogs, these are the blogs that bloggers read. I’ve stolen more recipes and passed off more second hand information from these blogs than I care to admit. In the end, you have to give credit where credit’s due.

The All-Star Team:

If you weren’t a cocktail nerd you might scoff at an online mixing forum or messaging boards where you discuss weighted spoons and the relative merits of aging and proof, but its served as a great source of inspiration for those of us who are. So check it out.