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Just Because Your Cocktail Ingredient Is Housemade Doesn’t Make It Good

Just Because Your Cocktail Ingredient Is Housemade Doesn’t Make It Good

Way back when I started getting into making cocktails, you couldn’t find many of the ingredients we take for granted today. Good grenadine, orgeat and ginger beer was in short supply. So when we’d read about a drink like, say, the Jack Rose, my fellow bartenders and I had to either use store-bought, artificially colored (and flavored) high fructose corn syrup, or learn how to make the ingredients ourselves. I wanted good drinks, so I pursued the latter, experimenting and refining my own housemade mixers. And because I wanted to spread the gospel of creating quality ingredients, I’ve had a calling to share everything I know about the subject on my blog, in my weekly column here, and in my book. Now, thankfully, we’ve come to a point where quality ingredients in our cocktails are ubiquitous. However, making our mixers—which started as a necessity because we lacked quality ingredients—has morphed almost into a fetish for handmade products. People have confused “housemade” with…