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  • Laurie

Change during the last year helped me find my way back to blogging

Back when I first started blogging about cocktails 5 years ago the landscape was littered with so many others writing about cocktails or doing spirits reviews, I found it difficult to differentiate myself from what others were doing versus what I was doing. Eventually I gave up. I couldn't find a way to differentiate myself. Cocktails, spirits, many of their recipes, and their preparation haven't changed much in 100 plus years. The fundamentals stay relatively the same. I also felt like a square peg in a round hole. Not quite in but not quite out. I'm in this weird limbo. A space where I felt so much contempt. Yet now I embrace my unique space. After the last year, I now have the clarity to see the possibilities. The possibility of change.

Before we move into the possibility of change, let's talk about what will remain the same. I'll still tackle the day-to-day questions people ask about spirits, categories, recipes, equipment, new products, ratios, and techniques. The information may be the same, but people still have the same questions. I’ll also share current events happening in the spirits industry as well as where people are drinking in what cities, and other experiences not to be missed. For as much as things change, they also remain the same. The players are what changes. Cliché I know but there’s a grain of truth in them.

However, some things will change. The most obvious change first and foremost is the name of the blog. It never quite sat right with me the blog was named after me. It seemed a bit narcissistic. Yet that's how most people knew me, and I thought this would be the easiest way to create traction. Also trying to find a different name seemed an impossible task given how many bloggers and writers inhabit the space. Perhaps I needed time and clarity. The two things I found last year.

The pandemic also brought a lot to the surface socially and practically. Maybe not enough of the right changes. As there are still too many people in vulnerable places where they don’t feel comfortable bucking the system. The system that is content to keep them in a vulnerable position to choose between paying their rent or being homeless. Don’t get me wrong there appeared to be some changes last year but are they real changes or are they performative changes?

So much in the spirts and hospitality industry is still broken. From some owners complaining no one wants to work to the misogyny that's a matter of business to the covert and overt racism that continues because people feel entitled. There is hope that maybe we can start to make a difference in this industry where people feel seen, heard, and valued for what they bring to their position. Rather than diminished for how they look, or the opportunities never presented to them for the same reason.

In every industry I've worked change is universally despised. We like the comfortable, the familiar, and what we think works. Even if it's not working, we're used to it. Real change is hard, ugly, and not fun. For some I'm going to touch a whole lot of nerves and it will bring forth a whole lot of emotion, good and bad. Along the way I'll share my point of view, but I'll also share the point of view of others too. It's through a chorus of perspectives that will make change possible. Many people will disconnect from me. It's to be expected. It's all a journey.

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