Eleven years ago, when I penned my first column for Nation’s Restaurant News, I declared that “the glory days of the American barroom are upon us—right now.” I wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t 100 percent right, either.Fact is, in 1996, we were seeing just the tip of the ice cube in the highball glass, and it took a few years before the cocktail movement really took hold, changing the job of the cocktailian bartender forever. Note, please, that I qualify bartender with “cocktailian” in this ...

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