The Death Of The 15-Minute Cocktail: How Bartenders Produce World-Class Cocktails In Seconds

Photo: Viktor Fj / EyeEm (Getty Images)

Even though some of our favorite movies were made in the ‘80s, the decade was a truly dark time for the world of cocktails. While classic movies like Teen Wolf, The Breakfast Club, and Back To The Future were gracing movie screens, bartenders were putting out some pretty awful mixed drinks. At the time, the movie Cocktail (starring Tom Cruise) seemed like the pinnacle of cocktail culture. Now it seems more like a cloyingly sweet, neon-colored joke.

“Everything was made from processed ingredients, nothing fresh,” says Gary Wallach, director of food and beverage at Arlo Hotels. As we headed into the ‘90s and beyond, people began to see the value of quality cocktails and bartenders began to develop and define the craft that we know today.

But, the rise of cocktail culture lead to myriad bartenders feeling the need to add to create cocktails to include a half-dozen ingredients, including various shrubs, herbs, spirits, and garnishes. And these cocktails took a long time to make.

“It’s not easy to create a cocktail with upwards of five ingredients, make it taste balanced, and serve it in quick manner,” says Wallach. “This added a new style of refined bar service that started to add time to the clock. Great food and great drinks take time, but I feel the business is learning how to meet the volume needs more than ever.”

Brews news: Smoked Beers Are The Hot New Craft Brewing Trend

Bartender approved: Best Whiskey Cocktails For Winter Drinking

Follow Mandatory on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.