The Best Cocktail in Yolo County: The Criteria

I guess before I start I need to pick a representative cocktail, don’t I? I could try every IBA cocktail at every bar in Yolo County. Or I could order the house’s “custom” drink, but those are usually awful derivatives of good cocktails. But I’d truly do love my free time and my liver. So, that’s a no go. What I need is a representative cocktail. A stand-in. Something classic yet challenging. A drink everyone has heard of but not one that everyone has had. Something that requires careful mixing but is not overly complicated.

I have the perfect cocktail! The Whiskey Sour. That’s my stand-in.

If I’m going to rate the best cocktail in Yolo County I should probably come up with a consistent method for evaluating these drinks. Cocktails is serious business. But I won’t be approaching it as such, as that’s a great way to take all the fun out of it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. I’ve asked strangers, friends, and acquaintances for their thoughts. What are the key components of a cocktail? How important are those components to the overall experience of a cocktail? What am I looking for in the components of a cocktail? When can I drink another cocktail? Should I eat this garnish or just order something to eat? As long as I am drinking with friends I’m not an alcoholic, right?

I think I’ve broken it down to five criteria:

  • Taste (10 points) – How does the drink taste?
  • Presentation (5 points) – How does the drink look? Is it garnished?
  • Balance (5 points) – How well does the alcohol interact with the mixer and other ingredients. Am I getting all the flavors without one overtaking the others?
  • Correctness (5 points) – Is this an actual Whiskey Sour? Does it have lemon juice? Is there egg white? Is the garnish correct?
  • Delivery (x points) – This is the squishy one. Did the bartender follow IBA standards? Did they ask what alcohol I wanted? For an egg white? Was there any flourish to the mixing? Eye contact? Is this an enjoyable experience?
  • Total x/25

Perfect drinks will have a score above 25. Great drinks should be at or near it. Good drinks will be in the high teens. Anything lower than that is serviceable but forgettable.

Curious what all this is? Read about the project here. See the competition here.

Author: Jonathon

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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