Three Portland bartenders—Trey Hughes, John Myers, Nathaniel Meiklejohn—were interviewed for an article in The Morning News about how bartenders go about naming the cocktails they invent.
This sort of creative referentiality runs rampant in mixonymics. Perhaps because, for many bartenders, the name comes at the end of the mixing—and the sipping, sipping, sipping. Many cocktail menus contain a fascinating, nearly Joycean sediment of in-jokes, failed poems, portmanteau words, geographical and historical reference, hat-tips, thumb-bites, and general alcoholic homage. Bartenders don’t need lawyers, they need lexicographers.