East Coast-West Coast

It seems like there are growing tensions in the bartending world these days.  The cocktail world is getting to be as New York-centric as Put It Up has gotten in the last couple weeks.

The main cocktail convention in the U.S. and probably the world is Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, which just wrapped up on Sunday.  Reports are coming back that San Francisco bartenders got snubbed there. But that’s just the latest example of the tensions between Tales and Frisco.  After SF cocktail week in May, the founders of Tales tweeted, tweeted about their displeasure with there being another big cocktail event.  A few weeks later nominees for the Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award  for best bar in America were announced.  All three were in NYC.  I’ve been to two out of the three, and let me just say they pale in comparison to an Absinthe or an Alembic.  7×7 SF is reporting that only two out of thirty awards given throughout Tales’ history have gone to anyone in California.

You don’t have to look very hard to see the problems with all this.  And all of this was before New York decided to host it’s own cocktail week on the same dates as San Fran next year.  As if they’re trying to snuff us out.

All of this doesn’t really matter how under-appreciated we are, because the city of San Francisco has the strongest and most vibrant cocktail scene in America.  Just come over for a weekend.

As a bonus, I’ve got a new cocktail, the Creole Sour after the jump.

Creole Sour

1 oz Herbsaint

1 oz Triple Sec

1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters

Fill a Collins glass 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice.  Add ingredients and fill the rest of the way with more crushed ice.  Stir until the glass is frosted.


I came up with this after noticing how nice lemon juice and triple sec complemented the pastis in the Nicky Finn and CR#2. The drink still felt like it needed something so a dash of bitters went in.  The drink’s not perfect yet, so if you can make it at home, give me some input.

5 Responses to “East Coast-West Coast”

  1. So, basically, New York won and you aren’t too happy about it? EAST COAST!

  2. Although, to be fair, PDT Lounge winning is lame simply based on the fact that it was on an episode of Sex and the City.

  3. I agree with your sentiment, and twittered about this right from the Spirit Awards because it struck me as very off-balance that all three bars up for “Best Bar in America” were in Manhattan. However, for me its not NYC versus San Francisco. Nor is it East Coast versus West Coast. I regularly visit bars in cities all around the United States (and abroad) for review on The Liquid Muse. And, I can assure you that not only San Fran was snubbed… So many bartenders are kicking butt all around the country, and I highlight some of my favorite ones in the “bartender diaries.” The Spirit Awards “Best Bar in America” category just made it clear that its time to get more vocal about supporting bars in all other cities.

  4. I’m sure you’re right. I’m not that well traveled, and you have to understand that I got a big hometown bias. And the 7×7 post, along with some of the things Camper English is saying, really sealed the deal for me.

  5. The Creole Sour has been tested, by me, and declared a winner. Really nice job John. A few notes: I did not have a collins glass and, after research revealed that it was a 12-16 ounce glass, I used a pint glass. Second: I could not, for whatever reason, come up with a reasonable way of crushing ice. I used whole cubes. Third: I used real absithine (mine being about 68% abv).

    All of that said, it is a great drink. I was amazed that it didn’t taste entirely like absinthe. Sour is the word for it. The lemon juice does its job well. The bitters are absolutely necessary.

    I believe Herbsaint is about 90 proof, right? My only point would be that this drink works perfectly well with a nice strong absinthe (granting that you don’t mind the taste of it to start with). Saying that, the drink does not in any way taste simply like absinthe.

    I attached a somewhat blurry version of my concoction to this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: