Check out this screen grab from the cocktail menu at Kitchen LTO. It's filled with cocktails that to some might seem plain and boring. But in the age of the neatly waxed mustache and fedora, cocktails that are easily recognizable are increasingly rare. Lists like this one are refreshing.
Of course the drinks served at Smyth are delicious, but it's nearly impossible to order the same drink again. And as more and more restaurants dip their stirring spoon into the beaker of craft mixology, you start to wonder if you're missing something when the bartenders aren't just focusing on the simple classics (hold the smoking wood chips and the pyrotechnic citrus twist).
Imagine a cocktail that still tastes like the Champagne that gives it effervescence, or a simple negroni that's medicinal and bitter. Remember the Moscow mule before it was offered on tap in five different flavors? The flamboyant spins on these drinks that are cropping up at many restaurants don't always add up to improvement.
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Jason Kosmas is behind LTO's drink menu and his "classic cocktails" may take some creative liberties, but they're minuscule and not enough to alter the character of the original recipe. It would be nice to see more restaurants in Dallas trim their drink menus back a bit and focus on the classics. The simple old-fashioned is still around for a reason.