It is 21 August 2023, and following on the heels of a temperate week of weather that reminded old-timers of those halcyon summers when school ended around Memorial Day and did not begin anew until after Labor Day (don’t worry, there’ll be no references to school buses in this post — wink wink, nudge nudge), doom-laden excessive heat warnings currently echo through the Louisville metropolitan area, and thoughts have undoubtedly turned to which beverages we might choose to consume while huddled around our air conditioners awaiting the delivery of burgers, pizza and the occasional shish kabob as conveyed by those workers unable to choose their own thermostats.

As for me, I’m the beer guy, but this occasion calls for different avenues of potability counseling, and so please welcome my colleague Heather “The Cocktail Contessa” Wibbels to today’s interface; specifically, take a look at Heather’s column in the most recent print edition of Food & Dining Magazine, as available throught the good offices of issuu: Raising the Bar,” with recipes for a Mezcal Mule, Cosmo-sbagliato, Modern Appletini and more.

Here’s a teaser. Head over to issuu to read Heather’s article in its informative entirety, and remember to shop for ingredients in the morning, when it’s still (relatively) cool outside.

A cocktail revival was stirring in the late nineties and early aughts, but for most of us outside major metropolitan cities like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, great cocktail options had yet to arrive. Patrons were limited to drinks like the Cosmopolitan and Mojito, while well-made Old Fashioneds and Manhattans headed our way from the coasts. As a nation, we were still developing our cocktail palate in 2003 when Food & Dining was first published.

Today, mixologists at bars across the country have refined the drinker’s palate to expect well-balanced, consistent, satisfying drinks, and the bar scene is better for it. Modern cocktail trends include a focus on simplicity, the celebration of quality ingredients, and low/no alcohol drinks. What would it look like to reimagine some of those cocktails as if they were created today?