When I explored the Bay area cocktail scene a couple of months ago, I was struck again by how trite and bland most bar and restaurant mixed drink lists are. I guess it reflects the food scene, which is also behind the times in our area, but c'mon: cocktails are easier. Or, if not easier, than simpler to experiment. Think of flavors, start mixing, taste, judge and refine the recipe until it's right, like a kid with a brand new chemistry set.
So, in the hopes that it will spur some imaginations among the bartenders and mixmasters of Tampa Bay, I have a challenge: