What Makes a Craft Cocktail Not Just a Regular, Old Cocktail

What Makes a Craft Cocktail Not Just a Regular, Old Cocktail

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So just what is a craft cocktail, anyway? This trend of “crafting” unique drinks, using specialty liquors, regional ingredients and a bartender’s imagination is nothing new, according to Bob Higginbotham, general manager of Max’s Social House (#GoSoHo). Think back to the 1980s when movies like “Cocktail,” starring a younger Tom Cruise, were in theatres. That’s when bartenders started to become rock stars. From there people started taking a look back to prohibition era cocktails and with the availability of some many great spirits and other ingredients the modern evolution of the cocktail began. Max’s Social House is happily carrying these traditions forward into the modern day. At the social gathering spot in Delray Beach, the bartenders are available to make what’s on the menu or be inspired by a customer’s mood. “A lot of times, people will come in and say just make me something,” Higginbotham said. “Our bartenders can easily make something that’s not on the cocktail list, but chances are it’s something they’ve made before. Even if a patron orders from the SoHo menu, it’s a craft cocktail featuring artisanal spirits and natural flavors such as local fruits and herbs, Floridian honey, Rabbit Coffee from Riviera Beach and beer from Palm Beach County.  The vodka in SoHo’s “Up ‘N Cumber Lemonade” is made by suppliers who infuse it with organic cucumber, not with a syrup or artificial flavors. “We serve food that is only grown and raised in a certain manner. To apply a different amount of effort or a different standard to what goes into the glass, as to what goes on the plate, doesn’t make much sense,” Higginbotham said. With fall approaching, he is asking the bartenders to dream up craft cocktails that reflect the season, but with South Florida style. Hot and creamy drinks may work up north, but in steamy Palm Beach County, seasonal drinks must be approached with a different kind of creative flair. “We’re researching Old Floridian drinks. We’re a melting pot here. I want to know what Cuban, Mexican, and Islanders drank years ago and tap into what people like to drink here,” he said. So to sum up – a craft cocktail is a blend of what’s in season, what’s local, what’s natural and what comes from the mind of an inspired bartender. Craft cocktails are the drink extension of the “farm to table” food experience that diners are literally eating up these days. And they are part of the ambiance and personality of Max’s Social House. Cocktail, anyone? Be sure to like Max’s Social House on Facebook , follow them on Twitter and Instagram and see what everyone is saying on YELP. Want to try to play mixologist at home? Here’s the recipe for SoHo’s Tijuana Street Corner:

Tijuana Street Corner Photo Credit: Katy Lynch

Tijuana Street Corner
Photo Credit: Katy Lynch

Ingredients

  • Caña Brava Rum
  • Sweet Corn Juice
  • Ancho Chile Licor
  • Lime Press
  • Agave
  • Habenero Shrub

Directions

  • Combine 2oz rum, .75oz corn juice, .5oz ancho chile licor, .5 oz lime press and .25oz agave nectar in a mixing tin with ice and shake hard.
  • Double strain into half chipotle salted chilled coupe and top with 3 drops of habanero shrub.