I'll admit that I've become a cocktail snob. As I've been learning at home about bartending I've put my usual geek focus into it. When I go out it's hard to not be all "born again" on people. I've gotten to the point where I recognize that people should drink what they like, not what books or people tell you they should like. That said, I still have a lot of judgment in me for the bars who are serving the drinks. I used to get my nose out of joint from badly mixed cocktails, but I've come to understand that I just need to assess a bar for its capabilities and order accordingly. Here are a few things that I look for in a bar, and how that effects what I'll order so that I have a satisfying experience.
Anyone who has visited my home knows that I have a pretty extensive home bar. The world of cocktails is a big hobby of mine these days, and I've been slowly filling out my bar over of the last year. Luckily, I have a wife who supports my hobby, and so we have dedicated a fair amount of shelving space to the cause. That said, we do live in an apartment, and at the end of the day we only have so much space to spare. My home bar is now well beyond the simple list of a basic bar that you can find all over the web.