Bartenders used to make everything from scratch -- at one time absolutely nothing came from a mix. But that was before drink menus were as long as wine lists and bartenders turned into novelty inventors. Old-timers, go ahead and shake your head here and repeat the following: We drank our whiskey without ice, and we liked it.
But there are still throwbacks (like the bartenders at M&S Grill) who understand that there's a reason classic choices are on the drink menu after all these years. And that brings us to 12-Second Cocktails -- a blog that offers instructional videos on how to make cocktails in -- you guessed it -- 12 seconds.
The idea was to eliminate the feeling that a lot of time was needed to make quality drinks. The actual mixing will take you longer, but it turns out that 12 seconds is the right amount of time for catching on to the gist of a drink. None of these cocktail feels complicated, even if you've never stood behind the bar.
Now the time limit imposed by the blog's name means that no drink has
more than four ingredients (garnishes not included). But that doesn't
mean the cocktails profiled are staid. July had the Cannon Cucumber (cucumber wheels, simple syrup, plum sake and Leblon Cachaca), Bell Pepper Margarita (bell pepper, lime juice, Cointreau and tequila), and Bangkok Bird (lime juice, mango nectar, Domaine de Canton and green Tabasco).
The site's founders -- Mike Ekey, Lindsey Johnson and Leo Borovsky -- talked to Serious Eats about how the Web site got started and what it takes to have a properly stocked home bar.
"Run, don't walk, away from any premixed cocktails. The margarita in a
jug is not your friend! Make sure you have plenty of fresh fruit and
juice to mix with your spirits," is their first piece of advice.
Somewhere, a scratch bartender is smiling.