Thursday, August 15, 2013

:: 14 great old cocktail blogs you should read now ::

Last week, Michael Dietsch wrote an article on SeriousEats entitled 8 Great Cocktail Blogs You Should Read Now that included some of the new crop of bloggers. I was alerted that a few people in the comments section of that article, on Twitter, and in real life thought it was an outrage that CocktailVirgin was not included. However, I was not bothered since we aren't exactly new having been around since 2007; however, we were probably a year or so too new to make the Ted Haigh blogroll in the second edition of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails though.

In response to all of this, I'm paying tribute to the cocktail blogs that were around when I started blogging here in June 2008 (yes, I am not the originator of this blog as I started a year in). I have always given the advice to new bloggers that it is easy and fun to begin a blog; however, it is a lot of work with little payback. My estimation is that the average cocktail blog never sees its first birthday (or even half birthday), so I remind them that it is the love of writing (and drinking) and pushing yourself into an education that should keep you going. Therefore, here is my tribute to blogs that have hit their fifth-plus anniversary and are still active, and the order here does not connote any meaning. And a hip-hip-hurrah to all of the bloggers who have turned the lifestyle into a paying career via writing, cocktail ingredients, class teaching, or bartending and did not turn their backs on the blogging in the process!

• The Gumbo Pages. Chuck Taggart helped teach me a lot about cocktails in the years before I started blogging via his posts and his cocktail database. I remember being in awe when I realized that the Hoskins Cocktail I had been enjoying at Eastern Standard in 2007 was his creation. Oh, that Chuck Taggart.
Art of Drink. Darcy O'Neil has taken cocktails from historical, scientific, and social angles and helped to broaden my thinking about the art. I'm pretty proud of his successes in putting out both a kickass book, Fix the Pumps, as well as an ingredients line.
A Mountain of Crushed Ice. Tiare literally started blogging the same month that I did, and she was the first one to request a mutual shoutout in the blog roll. Her work on rums and Tiki in general has been pretty stunning and has been spoken about by several bartenders here in Boston as a great resource.
A Dash of Bitters. Michael Dietsch has been doing his blog around the time I started looking up cocktails on the web and has a keen angle on the history, marketing, and recipes of the last century or so of imbibing. Even with the successes of his professional writing career, he still has not turned his back on the freebie world of blogging.
Alcademics. Does Camper English even need more attention than he's already gotten via winning the Best Cocktail Writing award at Tales of the Cocktail in 2011? I say hell yeah. From his nerding on ice to globe trotting to various distilleries, it is great to see him making a career out of writing and sharing a good chunk of it through the blog.
Matt Rowley's Whiskey Forge. Matt started a few months before I did and has been going strong with historical drink and food posts that provide a good back drop to his great book Moonshine!
RumDood. Matt Robold's love of rum has been quite influential to many of us in the community and helped him to land a bartending gig at 320 Main. Things like trying almost every rum and liqueur pairing to figure out what makes the best Mai Tai definite gets my nod of approval.
Underhill Lounge Stomping Through the Savoy. Erik Ellestad is another blogger whose amazing efforts have gained him a spot behind the stick. Not only did he make his way through the whole Savoy Cocktail Book drink by drink, he continued finding new topics to write about once that project was over.
Scofflaw's Den. I have been following SeanMike and Marshall since their days on LiveJournal (which is where I started writing about cocktails in 2006), and they keep on keeping on and have used their success to teach classes and host other events.
• The Pegu Blog. A man who writes about the gin recipe, the Pegu Club Cocktail, that turned me from a gin skeptic to a gin lover? And one who uses a puppet as a blog, Twitter, and real life prop? Awesome. Cheers to Doug Winship!
Cocktail Chronicles. Paul Clarke has such a knack for writing that he could describe the history of the cocktail napkin and I would read every word of it. Also another great blogger who gained a professional writing career and did not give up putting out freebies via the blogosphere. Not as active as he once was, but still just as appreciated.
Dr. Bamboo. Craig Mrusek almost didn't make it on here as he hasn't written since February, but he has been busy taking his knowledge and putting it to work behind the stick shift after shift, so I'll cut him some slack. That and I see his artwork on the B.G. Reynold's syrups in my fridge pretty frequently.
Cask Strength. Andrew Bohrer is another blogger who has had success branching out into the publishing world with his Best Shots You've Never Tried book. His posts cover a lot of territory including discussing buybacks and how to drink like a man.
Two At The Most. Stevi Deter took the Dorothy Parker quote and ran with it. I almost wrote TatM off as a defunct tome but she made a save with a post in July! Cheers to you Stevi and I hope we get to read more of your musings!

Did I miss anyone? I'm sure I did. And there are plenty that I wish I could have included but they hadn't posted in well over my arbitrary several month cut off for activity. Please comment to tell me what a jerk I am for forgetting someone. And cheers to the undead cocktail bloggers everywhere!

13 comments:

Dagreb said...

Undead cocktail bloggers unite! That should be on a t-shirt or something…

Cheers!

ratedrcocktails said...

I'll never forget meeting alot of these guys I'd read for years on the mixoloseum. You guys have constantly made me better through reading your posts. And I love our community new and old. Which is why I always try to grow my blogroll. It was making drinks with you all every week, talking about product and technique however that really helped me step up my drink making game.


It's intimidating to write in the shadow of those that came before. But encouraging to to know we're all writing about something we love. Sorry to be cheesy, but thanks so much to you guys. We're happy we reached our first birthday and hope to be five year vets ourself someday. This is a great list.

frederic said...

Dagreb, Zombie must be served! If only we could find the best rum combinations and recipe...

RatedRCocktails, cheers! And long live the ghost of Mixoloseum!

Marshall Fawley said...

I'd like to thank the Academy, my liver doctor and all of my compatriots in the cocktail blogging community, new and old.

Great list and great post Fred! Here's to a properly chilled future stirring up cocktail related cacophony.

erik_flannestad said...

Thanks for the shout out, Frederic!

Blair Frodelius said...

Don't forget GoodSpiritsNews.com, born in the mid 00's!

pc said...

Who you calling a blogger, blogger?

Thanks for the shout-out, Fred--I've been meaning to get active on the Cocktail Chronicles again (though I've been saying that for several years), but this gives a little push.

Elana said...

This is a great list. These are the blogs I read before I decided to start writing a cocktail blog and who inspired me to get creative and join the community. I'm only 2-1/2 years in and hope to be there for another few years.

frederic said...

Sorry about that Blair. I also forgot BunnyHugs. A lot of my knowledge of blogs from 2006-8 had to do with Mixology Monday participants. Some of the heavy hitters from that time like Morganthaler and Boudreau have since gone the way of the blogging dodo.

Paul, it might be time for another 30 in 30 series (followed by you being too burned out to post again for a few months...)

Elana, just remember that today's followers become tomorrow's leaders. Keep up the good fight and inspire others to do the same. Cheers!

Doug Winship said...

Thanks for the shout out, Fred!

And don't you think The Undead Cocktail Bloggers would be an awesome band name?

Tiare said...

Thanks for the shoutout Fred! you are one of the bloggers i really admire bec you manage to post a lot and everytime i`m at the Tales you are like, everywhere! i dunno how you keep it up!

Can`t believe i`m doing my 5th year now...and sometimes i miss the "good olde days" with the Mixoloseum and all but life goes in stages and so does blogging.

I`m happy some of us still goes strong while at the same time i miss some of the old..

And i`m happy to see all the new blogs showing up - that shows me something...cocktail blogging isn`t dead!

Tiare said...

Thanks for the shoutout Fred! you are one of the bloggers i really admire bec you manage to post a lot and everytime i`m at the Tales you are like, everywhere! i dunno how you keep it up!

Can`t believe i`m doing my 5th year now...and sometimes i miss the "good olde days" with the Mixoloseum and all but life goes in stages and so does blogging.

I`m happy some of us still goes strong while at the same time i miss some of the old..

And i`m happy to see all the new blogs showing up - that shows me something...cocktail blogging isn`t dead!

Matthew Rowley said...

Thanks for the tip of the hat, sir. Nicely done, though.