Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Everything Old Is New Again

I'm finally getting around to reading Boozehound, Jason Wilson's 3-year old book about (surprise!) booze.

I'm not even halfway through, but finding the book very bloggable so far. Case in point: for years, Wilson and his brother have played a game called "liquor store archaeology." They go to older liquor stores - the kind that used to be busier, but today don't turn their stock over super quickly - and look for old, out of production bottles.

This is my wheelhouse. I've currently got a bottle of Tia Maria, a bottle of brandy, and a half-drunk bottle of pre-mixed vodka sour sitting on the counter in my kitchen. Cail pulled them from my grandmother's bar over Thanksgiving and I brought them home with me - not so much to drink as to ogle.

Wilson observes that he never quite finds what he's looking for, but often finds something he couldn't have imagined in the first place.

But these days, he doesn't always have to look as hard for the obscure, since many of those old timey bottles, the smaller brands, are being resurrected and marketed to hipsterish bartenders (I say that with love).

One of those so-old-it's-new liqueurs is crème de violette, a floral mid-century staple that fell out of fashion - and production - by the late 1960's.

Crème de violette got its first mention here on M+G about a year ago, when I was searching for purple cocktails during the Ravens playoff run (this year I went the kir royale route...and it worked, obviously).

I'm considering buying a bottle for the Super Bowl, but that is actually beside the point. What I find so interesting is our generation's obsession with anything and everything from our grandparents' generation. Mad Men, mid-century furniture and design, cocktailing, even baby names.

The lesson here, I guess, is this: if it's two generations old, it feels fresh again.

But let's just hope this doesn't carry over to the food. I've seen my grandmother's cookbooks. I'm pretty sure I don't want to start stealing from them.

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