On Monday, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” aired a skit that came straight for pompous cocktail bars. Fallon and guests Keegan-Michael Key and Boy George hit TV screens donning tacky hipster wear to poke fun at the stereotypical speakeasy barkeep. The bit’s title: “Cool Bartenders.”

While the lyrics rang true with some of the things we love to hate about today’s bar culture, much of its jokes instead brought us back to the early aughts mixology scene and the institutions it boomed in. Don’t get us wrong, speakeasy stuffiness is still alive and well, but most of the sketch felt stuck in the past. Here’s what the show got right and wrong about the current state of cocktail bartending.

The Accurate

“Ernest Hemingway quotes in the bios of our Tinders”

Hemingway was arguably equally skilled in writing and drinking. The American writer’s tumultuous life also made him something of an icon to moody dudes who also like to write, drink, and make drinks. Some bartenders still see him as an editorial muse of drinks culture, and whether or not they’ve read “The Sun Also Rises,” they’re still slapping Hemingway quotes on their dating app bios. If we see “I drink to make other people more interesting,” we’re swiping left.

“Pour it in a Julep cup. That’ll cost you 50 bucks”

A $50 Mint Julep is absolutely batsh*t insane, even when there’s edible gold and a Dom P sidecar involved. But we can’t deny that it’s never been more expensive to sit down for a cocktail. Sure, the pandemic and inflation are largely to blame, but living in a time when an $18 Martini is considered a steal makes this one feel too real.

“Our ice comes only in two sizes: crushed or giant cube”

Ah yes, ice. It’s one of those things that at-home bartenders have little control over, but any prestigious cocktail bar in 2024 likely has an ice program of its own. Crushed ice and hefty cubes are usually involved, but these days, they’ve got to be clear. With companies like Hundred Weight Ice holding a monopoly on the NYC cocktail bars in recent years, the allure of clear and specialty ice has never been more top-of-mind. Maybe production should have shot for the Collins glass-friendly ice spear.

“Want a Margarita? We’ll make it blue”

It ain’t the ‘70s anymore, but even the worst trends tend to come back around eventually. Though there was a hiatus for a few decades, bartenders are once again reaching for the Curaçao and making drinks blue again. Blue Hawaii, anyone?

The Outdated

“Soul patches and suspenders”

While we’re not here to judge what people wear or how they style their facial hair, we’re not sad that the early-aughts mixologist costuming of buns, twisty mustaches, flat caps, and suspenders has gone by the wayside. Nowadays, great bartenders can be found looking much more casual — prescription-free glasses aren’t necessary to show guests a good time. That being said, don’t be surprised if you see an increased presence of Fernet tattoos in the coming years.

“The only beer we have is IPA”

When Boy George’s cameo finally arrives, he hits us with a bridge about the sad state of the cocktail bar taplist: “No pilsners, no stouts. That’s not what we’re about.” But we’re happy to report that beer lists are looking a lot less bleak these days. Sure, the dust of the haze craze still hasn’t fully settled, but even the most experimental beverage programs out there now usually carry at least three options in the beer category. You’re also more likely to find a lager as the only option: from a business standpoint, lagers are a crowd-pleasing style, and a keg of Budweiser will certainly cost less than a dry-hopped double IPA from the sticks of Vermont.

“We don’t hear you over there, we’re listening to Bon Iver”

Don’t get us wrong, Bon Iver’s still around. And while they make a great soundtrack for driving around Maine on a gray winter day while thinking about what went wrong with your ex, it’s not necessarily the best background music for sipping on a banana-infused Negroni. Maybe Phoebe Bridgers is the up-to-date equivalent. Either way, leave Bon Iver out of this one, guys.