What’s the one thing you need to know from Tales of the Cocktail this year? Keep it simple, stupid.
We’ve heard a lot of good things that attendees took away from the event, but simplicity interested us the most. When we say “simplicity” we aren’t saying these cocktails are quick, or easy to make.
One of the seminars at Tales of the Cocktail was called “Simplexity: Complex Simplicity” and they explored “how we often mistake immensity for complexity and subtlety for simplicity, and how you can turn simple ideas into beautiful, complex and powerful concepts.”
Eater Austin interviewed Jessica Sanders, co-owner of the city’s popular cocktail bar/restaurant Drink.Well and it was interesting how she explained the shift to keeping things simple:
“I think that people who are the sort of ‘cocktail geeks’ who like the seven ingredient drinks will feel like their creativity will be taken away, but, if anything, you have to be more creative because every ingredient matters…It’s all about keeping it simple and not overwhelming the guests with a bunch of things they have to Google on their phones to know what the ingredient is before they order it.”
An example of a simple yet complex cocktail? The martini. There’s a reason it’s been around for so long and it’s not because it’s easy to just whip up at the bar. Creating the perfect martini is an acquired skill that few have mastered; there are so many different variables involved and each produces a different outcome – shaken? stirred? dirty? wet? dry? temperature? ratio of ingredients? vodka or gin?
It can often take as much skill to create a “simple” drink as it does to create a cocktail with ten different ingredients. It’s about thoughtfully considering each component and how everything will jive together. When you’re a good bartender, your job if half science and half art, which is pretty impressive any way you slice (or pour) it.