Modern Luxury on the state of affairs:
From the time I muscled my way to the bar, imploringly stared down the busy bartender, and shouted in and received our order of four cocktails, the process took about 30 minutes. I don’t think it was because the bartenders were sloths. They were all working hard. I just think this kind of slow service is inevitable when a bar is making these kind of cocktails—especially if the bar is slammed. This gripe been thrown around since Bourbon & Branch was born in 2006 (though I personally think table service, like B & B, is the way to go). Years into the mixology movement, it’s clear that bars of this ilk aren’t going to change, no matter how much they say they’re going to simplify or speed it up. As a customer, we should know what we’re getting into and it’s up to us to decide whether it’s worth it. Which is to say—starting in 2013, it’s not the bar, it’s you. Or in this case, me.
When I left bartending about a decade ago, the trend was in its infancy. And honestly, it was kind of nice. A kaffir lime here, a custom vermouth there. “Mixology” was always a twee term, sure, but the idea of giving mixed drinks the same nuance as an appetizer or an entree was well received.
Now it’s an invasive species that needs to be removed, root and branch. If a drink can’t be mixed in 30 seconds, it’s not a drink, it’s performance art. The use of more than three ingredients is, as they say in Lubbock, burzh-wa.