2009 comebacks: Here's to the return of the classic cocktail

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A friend of mine, Wayne Curtis, has a new gig writing a monthly review of classic cocktails for theAtlantic.

Curtis, who is the author of And a Bottle of Rum, A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails, spent a couple of years roaming the continent researching the art of mixology. Nice work if you can get it.

I suppose the fact that Atlantic has instituted a cocktail column doesn't make a trend, but it is evidence that those of us who like beer cold and scotch neat are out of favor. The trade magazine Beverage World reports that sales of premium spirits – which in my opinion are wasted on sweet cocktails -- are up 92 percent in the last year. And USA Today says that the next big thing in alcohol is organic spirits mixed with natural flavoring.

So,here's to classic cocktails, especially green cocktails.

At our end-off-the-year getaway, while the kids skied, we trendy people had an argument over extra-dry martinis. My husband, who likes his dirty with blue cheese olives and a dash of vermouth got into it with my sister's bartending husband who prefers that someone across the room just wave the vermouth bottle in the direction of his martinis. It was the kind of argument my dad might have had. But I don't think the return to mixed drinks is necessarily synonymous with the onset of old age. After all, Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame started this round of mixed-drink mania by sipping cosmopolitans.

Instead, I prefer to believe it's a wave of civility that substitutes a few tasty sips for wretched excess. That's the way the world seems to be moving in general and that's worth toasting.

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