I thought I should chime in with a hearty “Happy New Year” before the first of the year rolls right on past (I’ve still got an hour or so to go here on the West Coast), and give thanks to the many folks it was my pleasure to interact with in 2007.
But first, what an incredible year it was for good cocktails. If you spent last New Year’s hoping to mix up an authentic Aviation, Absinthe Cocktail or Arrack Punch, or if you were jonesing for a little elderflower flavor in a cocktail you were tinkering with, you would’ve been out of luck. But thanks to a handful of incredibly talented and motivated folks, you can now stroll into your local liquor emporium (assuming you don’t live in a backward government-run liquor control state like mine) and put bottles of absinthe, creme de violette, Batavia arrack and St. Germain in your basket. While looking for ways to mix this stuff, we also received brilliant new books from Jeff Berry, David Wondrich and Eric Felten in 2007. And here on the home front, my drinking attracted media attention with pieces popping up at Salon and Yahoo Picks, and led me to provide slurred quotes to news stories and magazine pieces around the country; and as if writing about drinks for one blog wasn’t enough, I’ve also been contributing two posts a week to the fantastic group food blog, Serious Eats.
And if you thought 2007 was a doozy, wait to see what happens this year. Already there’s a commercial pimento dram coming down the pike, along with a rising wave of absinthes (both foreign and domestic) headed for the market. And maybe the long-fabled Angostura orange bitters will finally show up on shelves in the U.S.
But what good is this talk about booze if not for the high-class boozers I met this past year. Tales of the Cocktail allowed me to finally get to know many of my fellow cocktail bloggers and writers, and at WhiskyFest in San Francisco, I met even more. Whether on the road or here in Seattle, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to encounter a fantastic array of dedicated cocktail aficionados too numerous to mention, and I hope 2008 brings much more of the same.
For 2008, I’m also looking to make a few changes around here. The site design is getting a bit dusty, but I’m working on some minor changes that oughta spruce up the place a bit (assuming I can figure out the damn code). I’m also thinking of new directions; for example, I’ve never been one to post much about product reviews and tasting notes — last winter’s rye extravaganza being a notable exception — but I’m starting to think it’s an aspect that’s missing on this site.
After two and a half years of keeping this blog, I’ve fallen into my routines, but I’m open to suggestions from folks who stop by on what you’d like to see. So what about it — you’re the ones who have to put up with what I’m posting; what would you like to see?
Anyway, here’s to another year. Thanks for your time, attention and kindness in 2007, and a happy new year to you all.