Food - The Atlanta Cocktail Issue

Behind the scenes from behind the bar and other cocktail-related hijinks

It's easy to take a good cocktail for granted. You sit down at the bar, peruse the menu, maybe chat up the bartender, and a few minutes later a lovely liquid creation slides your way. But do you ever stop to think about how many hours went into coming up with the cocktail's recipe? Would it even cross your mind that great thought went into deciding on the best form of ice to use to make the drink as good as it could be? What about the time it likely took to come up with a name that reflects the drink's personality and backstory perfectly? For this year's Cocktail Issue, we wanted to know what lies beneath the citrus-spritzed surface of Atlanta's craft cocktails so we decided to pick the brains of some of the city's top bartenders for answers.

We learned the cold hard truth about what goes into some of the most involved cocktail ice programs in Atlanta. We uncovered some of the thought processes that go into coming up with all those catchy cocktail names. We also devised a handy tool to help you come up with your own cocktail names at home. Also included: The origin stories — and recipes — for five iconic Atlanta cocktails, a chat with the CEO of a new Atlanta-based tequila brand, and a list of safe ride services available in Atlanta, because safety first! So sit back, fix yourself a drink, and enjoy the view from behind the bar for a change. — Brad Kaplan, CL food and drink writer

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