About seven years ago, it wasn’t Iran, North Korea or a bunch of missiles flying around the Middle East that had you rattled. No — a bunch of you were pretty nervous about a phenomenon called ‘Y2K’ — something so fearsome that it was going to leap out of your laptop at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999 and grab you by the throat — or at least leave you stranded on high-rise elevators, have you flying in endless holding patterns above airports (if you were lucky) and strip you of all of your bank accounts. The office nerd enjoyed comic book super hero status for about six months while the rest of you poor slobs hung on his every word, hoping against fear that he would find a way to save us all; Uncle Norm was out buying two-gallon jugs of water and freeze-dried beef stroganoff like it was going out of style; and guys like Gary North were only too happy to indulge your fears with elaborate apocalyptic scenarios. Ah, the good old days.
Unlike paranoid websites, cocktails named after such ephemeral phenomena don’t have much of a shelf-life, unless they are instrinsically well-constructed cocktails. The “Y2K,” consisting of 1 oz. of bourbon, 1/2 oz. Pernod and soda, was actually a rip-off of a traditional “TNT” — and my guess is that neither gets ordered that much anymore. The “Y2K Shot” (1 part Kahlua, 2 parts whiskey in a chilled glass) has not faired much better, although the combination is not in and of itself unpopular or distasteful.
I haven’t seen anything out there in the literature yet about recipes for a “Taepodong” or a “Hezbollah,” but I guess you never know. Proprietors beware: just don’t bet the whole bar on them, in the event the phenomenon passes quickly.