I suppose there’s an argument that all professions look to the past, but tending bar feels unique. Aside from maybe urban horseback riding or the production of top hats, there aren’t many trades that reached their Golden Age before electric light. Cocktails are bigger now than they’ve ever been, but with very few technological exceptions, most of what we’ve been doing for the last couple decades is excavating the 19th century. That’s what all the twirly mustaches and suspenders were about, at least in the beginning. It wasn’t pretentiousness (or rather, it wasn’t only pretentiousness). It was about respect.
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