Basically I’m getting a little bit fed up with the snobbery that comes from alcohol world, yes I understand that people want superb brands, different hints of flavours in their drinks and to look cool drinking, well something just that! However, at what point can we cut to the chase and just say “just give us a decent drink” ?
Bar men love to waffle on about how this brand of gin is better than that, of course we all know this, we’re not stupid, but I think some are losing substance over branding and the flavour thing is going out the window. I’m wary of highlighting some ‘top branded’ items at this point so I’m going to be careful as there can be a backlash in the drinks business, but I think a lot of people are remembering that everyone has different tastebuds in their own mouth, not everyone will appreciate a smokey whisky to a peaty one, or a drier wine to a sweeter one... everyone is different, tasting sessions are great for finding your favourite flavours of spirits and wines, I’d highly recommend them.
I may not have been in this business long but I can sense when someone is trying to con me into trying a ‘better brand’ of something because it isn’t owned by a mega brand.
Take Rum for example, most of my friends know I like a mega brand of spiced rum with another brand of cola I have been questioned why, I mean, yes I know there’s other brands out there, all lovely too, I’ve tried a lot of them, but for me it’s still got to be the big brand stuff, not because of the branding or because I‘ve been ‘brainwashed’ into liking it, but because for me, nothing else tastes as perfect than those 2 brands together, it hits my happy tastebuds in about 2 seconds.
I know a lot of drink will taste different from each other, I don’t need to be told that this brand is better than that, or I can’t order a Merlot because it’s the uncool wine, who cares, I’m the one paying for it, and I’m the one drinking it, if I like it, I DON’T CARE!!
Last week I put a pretty picture of a drink that I made up on a mixologist page, (picture above, The Miami Vice) I was shot down in flames for serving a "Creamy vomit central" in one viewers opinion, the joke was actually on him though as it was already an affiliated cocktail AND once I put a link up for the basic recipe (not with my own recipe but one from another website) it was a case of "Premixes?? Ergh disturbing” now that was funny, as I hadn’t used a premix and I used fresh strawberries and pineapple juice, and also used a decent rum, not that he would have known as he judged me and the cocktail from a picture only, I mean how stuck up is that? Talk about taking some fun out of cocktails! Who actually bothers as long as it looked and tasted good and I used decent ingredients??!!
My own personal view is that cocktails can not only be serious but also fun, I think a lot of people have forgotten this! Everyone know’s I’m a follower of the likes of ‘The Tipsy Bartender’ as he brings fun into the mix, and why not, okay so he uses pretty girls in his video’s that are clearly models and not bar trained but that’s actually part of the fun too, it’s not offensive it makes me giggle anyway!
Now there’s a LOT of brands out there, trendyfying one’s that like to look hip and cool, but taste ‘meh’ to some people, and then there’s the price... god where do I start with that one?
Where on earth did we start to decide it was okay to charge a small fortune for a drink, I mean, it’s a DRINK! I’ll stop short of saying that the next sentence or two are not about vintage, champagne, aged or rare bottles of drink, I know those bottles are going to be more exclusive and cost more, I’m simply talking about MAINSTREAM AVAILABLE ALCOHOL, but charging £12 for some liquid in a glass is actually beyond a joke, no matter where you are. Some of the cheapest cocktails I’ve had in the world are in New York City, where you would expect it to be silly prices, but mainly it’s reasonably priced, why? because there’s so many places they keep their costs down to compete.
In the UK it seems to be the opposite, it's almost like charging more to get the exclusive rights to the customers.
It’s time to question why we go out and what we drink, do we go out and become disappointed when we don’t have a basil infused mojito with pomegranate and vanilla muddle? no I thought not, we go out to relax, unwind, have fun and enjoy our friends/family/partners company.
As usual this comes right back to why I continue The Cocktail Queen, people like the experience, they’re not just ordering drinks at a bar but remember the experience shouldn’t cost above it’s worth, or claim to be cheaper than it usually costs, you pay money out of your pocket for what you’d pay, don’t get conned into believing the ‘bargain basement bin’ or ‘ special exclusive offers’ is actually real, because it’s not. Something at 50% cheaper isn’t always the truth.
Maybe it’s about time we all started to buck the trend and not get sucked in by the 'next big brand’ but enjoy the experience of going out /staying in for some nice drinks, food and enjoyment, isn’t that why we go out anyway?
Now, where’s my Morgan’s and Diet Pepsi?