The summer of 2016 is seeing a rise in popularity for a bartender trend that once seemed implausible, health and fitness.
Jim Meehan recently issued a rousing call to bartenders to live less as flash in the pan rock-stars. He wanted more career artisans in a technically challenging profession. I consider Meehan’s talk for pourdrink.org titled Serving Ourselves And Each Other required viewing for everyone in the hospitality industry.
And he’s not the only one pushing for changes.
LA Weekly food critic Besha Rodell noted in her piece The Booze World Trend No One Saw Coming: Health and Wellness; “When it comes to your health, the party can’t last forever.” She speaks about the increase in seminars at Tales of the Cocktail that dealt with health. Exercise, rest, nutrition and prevention of chronic injuries.
The January 2016 Bon Appetit contained a piece detailing 6 specific weight workouts to help enhance strength and injury prevention – for bartenders. Read it here: Cocktail Shaker Workout.
In previous years, to suggest early morning jogs and yoga at TOTC would have resulted in chuckles. That’s exactly what happened this year. Daily at 8am, workouts guided by Sweat Social. Sponsored by Brazilian cachaca maker Novo Fogo and it drew healthy crowds. This is in line with a broader Novo Fogo initiative found on their website that discusses their commitment to health and fitness and offers to sponsor the fees for bartenders to engage in healthy activities. Many other spirit brands are starting to introduce similar initiatives.
The craft experience of making quality drinks extend beyond cocktails. As a bartender at Bambudda, our team has learned the art of making kombucha. At present, I’m obsessed with lavender kombucha. We are working at extracting flavors out of medicinal herbs, juices and non-alcoholic tonics. A resource for incorporating healthier ingredients in your cocktails is found in the new book by bartender and lifestyle expert Jules Aron. Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker. She describes it as a guide to ‘doing the wrong thing the right way.’
.75 oz Odd Society Wallflower floral gin
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Red Clover honey water (1:1)
Build in Collins glass. Top with Lavender Kombucha