We know that making a good cocktail is like building a work of art, but we never knew the U.S. Forest Service agreed with us. They designed the incredible architectural cocktail diagram in 1974 that we’ve excerpted bits from here. The diagram shows you how to construct a Tom Collins, Zombie, Gin Fizz, and other delectable concoctions so precisely, it’s basically science.
The cocktails illustrated are an accurate account of what was popular in the ’70s. Drinks like The Stinger and The Grasshopper were all the rage back in the disco era. Why the US Forest Service felt compelled to chart their boozy preferences remains a mystery, but judging by the names they put down for themselves, “I Mixum,” “Jim Beam,” (and others highlighted in an image below) they didn’t want their supervisor to find out what they were up to.
How To Build A Cocktail!
To the right in this image you can see the patterns representing various liquors and mixers that are used in the cocktail ‘construction’ diagrams like the ones to left in the same image as well as some others we’ve highlighted below.
Details matter, as do the units you use. America is…special…when it comes to our general refusal to adopt the Metric system. While our engineers often use the essentially universal Metric system, as noted in large bold letters on the diagram below, ‘conversion accidents’ can cause far, far more damage than an incorrectly constructed cocktail.
Now that we’ve established our design language for the diagrams, let’s take a look at some of the ‘Assemblies.’
The immensely talented folks at the Forest Service who put together these diagrams decided to leave a humorous calling card…
Childish jokes aside, they did include some wise words that every bartender, amateur or professional alike, should never forget:
Here at VinePair we’re big fans of infographics, and this one is pretty intense. Which cocktail would you want to see charted out? Let us know and we may just sent you a print on the house…
Images courtesy of National Archives / h/t Kottke