the fault in our bars

The Starbucks Booze Worst-Case Scenario

Does this Williamsburg coffee shop owner sound a little paranoid? Sure: Bell, who leaped into action this week after finding out about Starbucks' plan to sell alcohol, said granting the chain a liquor license could embolden the company to seek a more and more. She said there could end up being a Starbucks-affiliated business on every corner, making it one of the only places to go.

It does not seem to be Starbucks' plan to open a "Starbucks beer garden, a Starbucks sports bar," or anything quite like that. But I do think the Starbucks alcohol initiative—there are locations with a "Starbucks Evenings Menu" in Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles [...]


The Rise of Fake Good Cocktails

New York City’s restaurants are in the midst of an epidemic of not-goodness. Sit down in any new dining room, and you are handed a cocktail list. Each drink on this document will have one ingredient you have heard of and seven that were apparently named after distant planets. Sometimes you may think you recognize a cocktail that you like (a good cocktail, in other words), but everything you like about it has been replaced by some other thing that you’re not sure about. “Hello there, that sounds like an old-fashioned!” you think. “But with burdock syrup instead of sugar, Croatian absinthe instead of bourbon, and hemlock bitters instead [...]


Death to Negronis

An aperitif is a bitterish alcoholic beverage that was originally meant to be served before a meal to stimulate the appetite because people in the nineteenth century believed all sorts of wonderful things about alcohol, which they had to drink constantly because water, prior to modern sanitation, was a biohazard. Also it's sort of weird to think that you needed to drink alcohol to become hungry since basically everyone was starving all the time back then.

Anyway, one aperitif is called the negroni. It is a cocktail that is made, typically, with one part gin (a neutral spirit not unlike vodka, but with plant stuff, most commonly and notably, juniper [...]