Punched Up

Mixing Victorian-era cocktails with molecular gastronomy

Jamie Chung for TIME

Punched up. Mixing Victorian-era cocktails with molecular gastronomy

The coming of age of American drinking was easy to mistake for a goofy urban trend. Samurai-serious bartenders who waxed their mustaches and wielded ice picks to create perfectly sized ice chips--the parodies almost wrote themselves. There were the "Mixology Certification" episode of last season's Community, the spot-on spoofs this winter on Portlandia, the recent viral video about "S--t Bartenders Say." ("You should try my cherry-bark cayenne bitters.") It was all a joke. Everyone knows that real bartenders wear T-shirts, pour Jack and Cokes three at a time and keep a plastic jug full of sour mix in their speed rack....

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