Things are different in the world of cocktails. It’s a rapid change that began in bigger cities like New York, San Francisco and New Orleans almost 10 years ago, but has slowly crept into the Austin bar scene in the past few years. No longer is a gin and tonic just a splash of house gin and Schwepps tonic water with a twist of lime. Instead, you see things like Sloe gin poured with house-made tonic, a dash of orange bitters and a single monster-sized cube of ice in your glass. And chances are, the list of specialty cocktails offered on a menu are meticulously thought out concoctions inspired by pre-Prohibition era classics such as the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned and the Vieux Carré.
The level of artistry and depth of flavor we’ve seen develop within Austin’s craft bartending scene in recent years has been both swift and captivating. Not only does the Capital City boast a vibrant food scene, but an equally tantalizing wine, spirits and cocktail scene as well. And it’s something worth celebrating.
Which is why we’ve nominated five craft bartenders who have shown a breadth of creativity and skill in the past year that is worthy of a 2013 CultureMap Tastemaker Award.
Top from left: Brian Dressel, Steven Robbins, Tacy Rowland.
Bottom from left: Jason Stevens, Josh Loving.