You wouldn't know it from looking at my cocktail blog, A Dash of Bitters, but I used to be a somewhat active cocktail blogger, and I've been in the blogging game for a long time, since 2006. (Well, that's a long time for a cocktail blog, anyway.) I've seen a lot of cocktail blogs come and go. I've seen some blogs come, stay a while, and fall asleep on the couch. I've seen cocktail bloggers forget to renew their domains and have their sites taken over by e-cig vendors.
I've met fellow bloggers at Tales of the Cocktail, gone bar-hopping in NYC with others, and even joined a writers' collaborative with a group of fellow grog-bloggers. I've seen a few of my fellows break out into professional (that is, paid) writing, and nearly abandon their blogs altogether. (Hey, I resemble that remark.)
But dammit, I still love cocktail blogs. I enjoy it when I see blogs by people who are drinking their way through their city's cocktail scene. I like watching people rediscover classic recipes, and turn up recipes and cocktail ideas that few people have seen before.
With that in mind, I'm going to discuss a few of the newer blogs I've come across and explain briefly what I think is cool about each one. I'm focusing here on blogs that are entirely or primarily about booze and cocktails, and only including those that have been updated regularly in 2013. Let's give some love to the men and women who keep their blogs fresh and vibrant!
Started by a couple of friends in Seattle, Booze Nerds takes an appropriately nerdy approach to cocktails, if by nerd you mean intellectual and mildly obsessive. In one recent post, for example, they mail-order some acid phosphate and use it in cocktails that ordinarily use lime juice, and then they compare the phosphate version to the original. Who'd do that? Nerds, of course. I won't tell you how it turns out; just go read it already. The blog has a witty, accessible writing style.
Death to Sour Mix
What a great name for a cocktail blog! Part of the vibrant, innovative, and criminally underrated Boston cocktail scene, Death to Sour Mix features a mix of classic and original cocktail recipes, highlighted by sharp writing, fantastic photography, and a killer design.
The Straight Up
Aiming squarely at the Pre-Pro beat is The Straight Up. The proprietor, Nick, comes to cocktails from a similar background to mine: he started with whiskey, then wanted more whiskey, and then wanted better whiskey, and then wanted whiskey cocktails, and finally wanted other great cocktails. The site features Pre-Prohibition drinks, as well as modern drinks with a classic spin, all highlighted by a clean design and good photography.
Fogged In Lounge
Based in San Francisco, Fogged In Lounge also features old-time drinks and bespoke creations. FIL offers crisp writing and great images; for example, check out his original cocktail, the Hold the Cucumber.
Rated R Cocktails
A tiki blog in Alabama. Stranger things have happened. It's always fun to find a blog that embraces the campiness of tiki, and Rated R Cocktails certainly fits that bill. The recipes are serious, and so is the blog's approach to theory, but little else is. For an example of theory, see the Planter's Style series, which examines tiki's roots in the Planter's Punch. For an example of whimsy, pop a can of cheap beer and look at PBR in Paradise.
Stir and Strain
Coming to you from Los Angeles, Stir and Strain bills itself as a 'cocktail scratch pad,' and although I don't think the author takes that description too seriously, I like it. I like the idea of a blog being a place to sketch out ideas, and then discuss them with your readers. Another well-written blog with great photography. Thirsty now, dang it.
Ginhound is run by a woman named Andrea, blogging from Denmark. Though she's an ardent fan of the juniper-flavored spirits, she's branching out into other distillates. In other words, she blogs for one of the best reasons there is: to teach herself about spirits and cocktails by trying new things and writing about them.
From Atlanta, we have Tempered Spirits, a blog from Ian Lauer, who takes a quite methodical approach. He describes what a cocktail is, provides some basics of mixology, talks about party planning, and even gives an overview of glassware. Aside from that, he reviews Atlanta nightspots, discusses classic cocktails, and covers modern recipes. I'm especially intrigued by the Cheerwine Cocktail #1, which uses the cult-favorite North Carolina soda. More cocktail blogs should feature recipes using regional sodas and other mixers, I think. I still kick myself for not making something boozy with Del's while I lived in Rhode Island.
Name Your Favorites!
Talk to me, drinkers! What newish blogs appeal to you these days?