But Parisian bar master Thierry Hernandez has raised the cocktail to couture levels. At the Plaza Athenee, he serves up bright mojito and Cosmopolitan flavored Jelly Shots, not frat-style in a Dixie cup, but sushi-style on a platter. Sound confusing? Hernandez also mixes up a little something called Thierry's Mind, quizzing his clients, then crafting drinks to suit every psyche."
During these first weeks of summer, over-worked bartenders on both sides of the Atlantic have shaken themselves silly. In London, barflies like Naomi Campbell call for the Rubabu, a rhubarb infused sake concoction served at Zuma. At New York's trendy Bungalow 8, the Strawberry Mojito is the drink of choice. And the high-concept cocktails just keep on coming. "They're drinks that say, `I'm on my island, hanging out, sipping my drink,"' notes Bungalow bartender Joe Arongino. "As soon as one person orders one, everyone wants one." But in Los Angeles -- where most who drink also have to drive -- Vine's Lemon Ginger Drop is gaining momentum. It's made with lemon juice, ground ginger and soju, a gentle Korean potato liquor. "We're a nice social bar," says Ken Garito, bartender at the hipster hang. "It's not about pounding drinks."