It’s human nature to look back into the historical record to seek guidance as to what to do now or into the future.
In a time where no one wants to stick their necks out too far, historical relativism becomes not only comfortable but re-assuring.
Classic cocktails for example provides a perfect historical time line from the past to the present…a linear progression without too many bumps along the way (Prohibition excepted).
Joining two different points in time and then assuming a straight line between them is fraught with danger.
The issue caused by creating a highway which extends from then to now, may not be a good bet particularly when un-factored parts change along the way.
In terms of modern hospitality concepts such as work safety, minimum wages, OHS&S, quality, consistency and excellent service were not considered in the earliest days of bartending; certainly not during 1920s and Prohibition. However today these concerns are considered fundamentals to business success.
The cautionary tale may be that quaint tradition (the reason why we still maintain certain modes of behaviour) may not be the best route to a desired outcome when everything is changing.
Progression in it’s purest form requires movement either in the shape of a jolt or some break from the past to help re-set the trajectory higher.
Doesn’t a certain type of laziness creep into intention and arising actions when one hears the following excuse for inaction “that’s the way we’ve always done it here!"
Breaking with tradition require the openness to learn or create new habits by jettisoning bad ones with better ones, it’s imperative.