Wow! Gin Goes with Tonic? 

Faddish drinks are odd little numbers. And by that I mean it’s hard to say what people are going to go for next, or why. Some trends have obvious provenances, like the emergence of the Cosmo. Clearly that fad was spawned by misguided women trying to ape the lifestyles of those unctuous crones on Sex and the City. Sadly, that one stuck around far, far too long and ended up producing droves of middle-aged, single office managers who go out to tarted-up yuppie bars for $11 Cosmos with "their ladies" and think to themselves "I am totally the Carrie of Philadelphia." TV shows and movies are a good source of drink fad material, though.

I remember right after Swingers came out, cherry Vodka Sours were the cool thing, and The Big Lebowski fathered a thousand White Russian parties. Not to even mention Sideways with the goddamn pinot noir. Other trends are more about expedience and practicality, like the vodka and Red Bull: Red Bull makes you hyper, vodka makes you drunk, bada bing, bada boom, bar fight heaven. Still others are nigh unto unfathomable. Why do people like that Pom crap in their booze? Who the hell knows? They just do. And that, in my opinion, is the proper way to approach fads in the world of alcohol: with a shrug. Unfortunately, if you make your money hawking liquor, this strategy is pretty untenable, which is why we end up with monstrosities like Budweiser’s new caffeinated beer, "B-to-the-E." Yeah, I know. I guess the idea was that "people like energy drinks" plus "people like beer" equals "people love beer energy drink." Too bad it tastes like a stray dog farted on battery acid. Why haven’t these people caught on to how this whole thing works? Everyone else gets that you can’t just combine two trends to get a supermegatrend. You don’t see the Gap or General Mills fucking up this badly. And it’s not just the sauce manufacturers, either — you see tons of bars with the same tin ear for marketing, like this Libation place on Ludlow Street. Who thought that putting a dumbass club on the LES was a good idea? Is it just that alcohol is too easy to sell? That in truth, we sots will buy anything that effectively delivers ethanol alcohol? Well, probably. But that doesn’t make it right, dammit.


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