2007 Year In-Review

Darcy O'Neil :: December 30, 2007 12:07 PM

As usual,it is the time of year where I like to reflect back on the last twelve months and list some of the highlights and lowlights for the Art of Drink. Overall it was a great year with the idea of a good cocktail having broken through in a significant way. There is still a long way to go before cocktails replace beer and wine, but 2007 was a very progressive year. It was also a good year for the Art of Drink. Currently this is the 315th article published, and the site has 1766 comments. This year the site had 484,761 unique visitors with 2,106,623 pages delivered. Not bad for something that started off as a way to collect my thoughts on all things bar related. Testing123

The most obvious highlight of 2007 was attending Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. It is a rare opportunity to meet such a large group of people with the same interests, that you’ve only known through the Internet. It is even more impressive when those people you meet are even better in person. If you haven’t gone to Tales, I’d highly suggest you make an effort to attend. It is a great event.

As for spirit highlights, in 2007, there are three stand-outs. Taboo Absinthe, El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum and Amaro Nonino. Obviously, absinthe has made serious waves in 2007 and many versions are starting to become more widely available. Taboo is a Canadian absinthe which is well done, but more importantly for me, it is easy to get.

While at Tales I had the privilege to help Ed Hamilton judge a a wide variety of rums. The one rum that came out on top, for me, was Eldorado 12 Year Old rum. After a discussion with Ed, at the Carousel Bar, he indicated that the El Dorado 15 was a really great rum, even though it was only 3 years older. And as usual, he was right, it is a great rum.

The last discovery in 2007 was Amaro Nonino. This is a mild bitter that is more liqueur like than amaro. But it has all of the characteristic flavours of the more potent amaro’s. If you can find a bottle, I highly recommend picking it up.  

Photography has been another improvement on this site in 2007. I’m hoping that will continue in 2008 with, hopefully, some new photography equipment.

Even though 2007 has been a great year, there are a few lowlights. The Art of Drink has been very successful, by my standards anyway. But, for the effort I put into it, there isn’t much return, except for all the great comments. But even the comments are turning into something unexpected, such as the rash of overtly opinionated bartender hacks who insist that nobody wants a good drink, just a fast one. But then again, this is the Internet and anyone can have an opinion without backing it up. These comments make me laugh, but with people like that out there, it makes being a professional that much harder. Unlike beer and wine, cocktails have the problem of convincing tens of thousands of bartenders that quality is important. “Every thousand mile journey starts with one step.

As for industry participation, in the blogging realm, has been moving very slowly, and even then companies are only providing free products for review. I usually don’t get a lot of free products because of my location (Canada), which seems like the “iron curtain” to product manufacturers. Almost every product I write about, save a few, is something I’ve purchased, which is starting to get expensive. But I’m not really looking for free products, since they don’t really benefit me. I’d like to see more support from companies for the blogs that showcase their products. I’ll chat more about that in my “Looking to 2008” post, which is coming up.

The other lowlight is my writing productivity, which has been dropping over the past few month. It’s not because I’m becoming less interested in the topic, but more the format, or at least the format of my site. I’d like to make it more photograph friendly and add areas where I can do quick updates and possibly more contributions from others. More on that in the “Looking to 2008” post.

Over all it has been a great year. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the posts and look for more in 2008.


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