I’m not sure what this video is, but since it features Tanqueray and even Angus Winchester doesn’t know what it is, I don’t feel bad about that. It is posted to a brand new account and has no information listed. It may be a preview of a new ad campaign to come, so I hope it isn’t taken down while this post is still fresh.
Update to the update: The video is back up, with appropriate product credit splash screens at the beginning and end. Also, I can’t find the song they are using. Could it be an original? A gin… jingle?
Update: …and it’s been set to private now. It was beautifully produced, I hope that they’ll add the appropriate branding screens and release it again soon. In the meantime, to make up for the lost treat above, here’s another Tanqueray video that’s shorter, and less about the drinks and more about the customer.
It is well worth the minute and twelve seconds it takes to watch, regardless. It seems to be a music video of a photoshoot of several Craft-y looking bartenders making drinks with Tanqueray and showing off some of the signature techniques and “moves” you see certain of the best practitioners employ.
The video does quite a bit to illustrate a point I’ve long held, that elaborate craft bartending is a very close cousin of Flair. Both are difficult and require a great deal of practice. Both are designed to entertain patrons. Both entail a certain amount of risk to the products and tools behind the bar. Both are a lot of fun.
The difference is that Flair is almost entirely unrelated to the finished product set before the customer, whereas most craft moves are directly tied to something about the drink. Juggling a lime has little impact on its flavor. Vodka tastes the same whether it is poured behind the back, over the shoulder, or not. Pouring seven drinks from nested tins at the same time does nothing other than produce messy drinks.
But wielding an ice pick to create a perfect ice ball is as visually amazing (and more dangerous) as juggling full bottles of Malibu, and contributes to a finished cocktail that is both unusually beautiful and able to retain its perfect dilution and flavor all through its consumption. Sure, some details are mostly for show, like 20 inch barspoons for the stir, or the perfect snap of the pitcher at the end of the pour. But if you think that little details like using an eyedropper to measure certain ingredients is just self-important twee…. Well, I used to think that too. But there are some great cocktails I love, but which I ruin more often than I pull off if I don’t get very precise with a dropper.
Exit Question: Which moves (love them or hate them) do you see behind a craft bar that you know are just for show? Which showy moves are essential to making a specific drink work?
Post Exit Question: Who are these bartenders? I feel like I’ve seen some of them before, but, um, memories can get hazy.