Legends of Bartending

The Blue Drink Crusade

Hands up if you're barrel aging your own bitters

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a secret holy war being waged around the world. It’s playing out across bar counters and in back rooms around the world and the colour of your drink is at stake.

One one side, you have the Cocktail Mujihadeen, intent on crushing all the fun out of your drinking with a strictly fundamentalist interpretation on the holy books of bartending. They speak the words of Thomas and Embury, scoffing at the lack of true peach brandy and the changes in percentage of cereals that have been used to produce rye whiskey through the ages. They belittle the modern advances  that the imperial western drinking establishment has bestowed. In short, they want to tell you what you’re drinking tonight, and you better bloody well enjoy it.

Early days in the Crusade - Winning hearts and minds in London

On the other end of the spectrum you have Jacob Briars.

It is a little known fact that in Jacob’s early occupation, blunderbussing hobbits in the Takaka limestone cave system, he had stumbled on a forgotten grotto that contained the Holy Grail.

Now some of you may have read that terrible work of fiction, The Davinci Code, and be under the impression that the Holy Grail has something to do with a dude from two thousand odd years ago and a cup that held his blood, or a bastard royal bloodline of some type.

The Holy Grail

The truth is somewhat less plausible, Jacob had blundered into the last resting place of Jābir ibn Hayyān, 15th century alchemist and inventor of the process of distillation to concentrate alcohol.

Inventing the finest spirits, however, were not enough for the man. He also turned lead into gold and unlocked the secrets of massively extended life. Despite these great achievements his driving passion though, was making drinks blue. Among the breakthroughs he uncovered in his painstaking and tireless research, was the Holy Grail, a vessel capable of turning any drink placed inside it blue. The pubescent Briars was giddy with excitement, stopping only long enough to unshackle his mule, he hurried down to his parnets ramshackle cottage and told them breathlessly that he had found his calling.

The next morning he set off from the Southern Island in his Currach, bound for a fabled mountain, the Matterhorn, to hone his skills and knowledge to support him in his quest.

His one man crusade has been visible to since noticing a facebook based Jihad from members of the Mujihadeen that specifically targeted blue drinks went live, it was time to return to a higher calling. Sick of having uppity bearded men with squinty eyes tell him what to drink, Briars reworked one of the holy cocktails of classical bartending, the Corpse Reviver No 2, making it, well, blue.

It didn’t exactly take off. So soft had the liberal population of bartending become, they thought at first this was just some type of witty irony that they didn’t quite understand but laughed along with anyway. How could a man who seemed to enjoy serious drinking actually enjoy something so incredibly gauche?

A major strategic victory

Recently though the tide seems to be turning.

Receiving canonical support from Dale De Grof, whose Blue Blazer opened the door to Briars and his way of thinking. After all, if flames on a serious drink can be blue, why can’t a serious drink be blue when not alight?

The ultramarine forces of Briars have gained footholds in the cocktail books around the globe, the picture above, from PDT in New York, represented a massive victory in turning the tide on fundamentalist bartending and prompted Briars to make a unheralded and extremely public admission of both his goals and progress towards them.

Briars claims success - will history judge his actions premature?

Flying onto an aircraft carrier for his Press Conference was seen as a bullshit move by many around the world, but Briars remained focussed and unphased as he addressed his people and the world at large.

“This is a victory not only for Blue Drinkers, but for the world at large. We strive for peace, freedom and blue drinks for all.”

Some commentators have questioned the true motives of the Blue Drink Movement, although aside from capitalisation of the words, they have yet to provide any insight or value whatsoever.

The South Pacific Mai Tai

The war is by no means won. While drinks like the South Pacific MaiTai have been seen on the streets of Paris as recently as last week, they are, in fact, more of a tealy green than a brilliant blue.

Briars seems unphased by such observations, stating “I stand for all shades of blue, from the palest sky to the murkiest bluey-green. Drinks are to be drunk for their enjoyment alone. Let’s get Tropical.”

The glass in the top picture just might be the world’s most tropical drinking vessel. It was handcrafted by a master craftsman named Kiva. He, like most of the creative classes in the US right now, sells his wares on Etsy. You can check them out here.


3 thoughts on “The Blue Drink Crusade

  1. Jason Williams says:

    Love it!

    Jacob and co have started something that will be hard to wash out.

    Sean Baxter has just written a page of blue drinks in Melbourne and Sweatshop has been upgrading their drinks to blue for years.

    Just this Sunday gone Kit & Kaboodle hosted a World Cocktail Week wrap party dedicated to blue 80 drinks.

    There is even a new backpackers drink. A snakebite with blue curacao added – the ‘stingray’.

    Cheers for another great post

  2. Jacob Briars says:

    Wow, sorry it took me so long to post on here, and thanks for the hilarious and amazing write-up. Tho I may have been the most widely-travelled and most ardent fan of blue drinks, the spiritual Godfather of ironic uses of blue curacao is probably the much-missed Gregor de Gruyther, who used to throw down blue shots whenever the tone at LAB bar was getting too ‘cocktailian’. In Australia credit is due to Jason Williams and Adi Ruiz at Sweatshop and Sebastian Reaburn at 1806 for promoting Vitamin B at their bars, and to Dean Callan and James Dub Dub in London in recent years too. Philip Duff and Angus Winchester are now busy giving it a veneer of respectability with their ‘Frozen Corpse Reviver Number Blue’ which probably means the end is nigh… Hilarious as always Ben!

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