The Secret of a Good Barman
“It is not true, for example, that the secret of a good barman is the strange concoctions he invents. If you discount the short-lived aberrations that unscrupulous bartenders invent in an effort to stir up a little profitable notoriety at the expense of their customers’ stomachs, there are actually few very few variations on the five possible starting points of any cocktail: gin, vodka, whiskey, cognac, and rum. The trick is to make the classic drinks well, and to fit them to the particular taste of the individual drinker.”
Credited to Giuseppe Cipriani, creator of the Bellini, in Harry’s Bar, by Arrigio Cipriani, 1996.