Cocktails are generally a beverage over which arguments are put to rest, not started, but over at the Statesman there is a righteous cocktail nerdery battle a-brewin'. In one corner, we have writer Dina Guidubaldi, whose "Back-to-Basics Bars" article asks Austinites to "snub the cocktail rebellion and order a plain old martini." She advocates skipping the "fancy retro cocktail trend" in favor of more basic fare, saying the trend gives her an "unsettling feeling that despite the fancy, historically authentic ingredients, something's missing." Well, the "cocktail rebels" were not too happy about it.
In fact, Tipsy Texan/founding officer of the Austin chapter of the United States Bartender's Guild David Alan did not like that one bit. From the comments on the Statesman article:
The biggest thing happening in the culinary arts right now, second only to the Farm-to-Plate movement, is cocktails. It is one thing to dislike artfully prepared drinks and to favor something simple. That is a drinker’s prerogative. It is another thing entirely to imply, as this article does, that “something’s missing” from the art and craft that we have devoted our professional lives to fine-tuning. There is indeed something missing—it is this author’s knowledge of the subject matter at hand.
Then, on his blog, Alan calls the piece "a hackishly written slam piece that would be more appropriate for a high schooler's or insufficiently talented college kid's blog." Them's fightin' words! The rest of the lengthy response is the comment Alan wanted to post on the Statesman site, but couldn't due to character limitations. Can't wait to see if/how Guidubaldi responds.
And lest you think him above a "plain old martini," here's Alan giving a talk on that very subject at Austin Nerd Nite.
[Photo: Paula Forbes / EATX]