Striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar is accepted, even expected. And storytelling is a big part of that engagement.
But when it comes to origin stories behind cocktails, Wayne Curtis has noticed a shift in focus over the last ten years. Hand in hand with the recent cocktail revival and the increased professionalization of bartending, an obsession with fact over fancy has emerged.
I started hearing a phrase in bars that I don’t think had ever been uttered before inside a bar: ‘What’s your source on that?
In this episode of Gravy, Wayne Curtis reflects on what’s lost and gained as cocktail and spirits writers—as well as curious consumers—seek out well-supported history over well-spun stories behind the bar.
Wayne Curtis is a freelance journalist and writer. He writes about travel, architecture, history, and historic preservation for such publications as The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bon Apetit, among others.