February 21, 2017
I recently re-read (for the, oh, let’s say, fourth time) Graham Greene’s classic short post-WW-II Vienna thriller The Third Man. It was written specifically to be made into the (possibly) more classic movie of the same name, and is entirely worthwhile. And a quick read, too, as it both keeps you on the edge of your reading chair or couch – as you, along with the amazingly-named Rollo Martins, unravel the mystery of Harry Lime – and because as mentioned, it’s short. It also has a couple of neat bar scenes. I especially like the description below.
After he left me, Martins went straight off to drink himself silly. He chose the Oriental to do it in, the dreary smoky little night club that stands behind a sham Eastern façade. The same semi-nude photographs on the stairs, the same half-drunk Americans at the bar, the same bad wine and extraordinary gins – he might have been in any third-rate night haunt in any other shabby capital of a shabby Europe.
– Graham Greene, The Third Man
January 20, 2017
Not too long ago, I was able to track my way into the animal-tastic (and still sorta new) Corvus and Co.
in Seattle, to chat with the neato staff, nibble on the Mediterranean delights, and most of all sample the cocktails, chief of which was the Antivenom. Then, I got to write about it for Seattle magazine
. And now you can read all about the Antivenom and Corvus
. Do it!
January 10, 2017
Well, the holidays have passed, and I of all people know how busy they can get. Which means that maybe you’ve missed some of my recent blog posts for the swell Seattle magazine. No problem! You can read them now. Make a resolution of it. Oh, a couple of these are gift posts, in the holiday way, but you know, people deserve gifts all the year round. So, still relevant. I swear!
• Seattle Bartenders Talk Holiday Drinks
• Cocktail Lover’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Local Edition
• Cocktail Lover’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Local Edition
• Three Impressions of Cursed Oak
December 20, 2016
As a longtime reader (you are, right?) of this here weblog, you probably know that I have a fondness for the pulp-y writer Day Keene, who churned out an incredible amount of stories and novels in the classic pulp era. It’s not always easy to track down his books (though some story collections now available help), but there is a reprint from the swell folks at Hard Case Crime of one novel, Home is the Sailor. A typically fast-paced Keene read, it follows the travails of a sailor who wants to do right, but runs into the wrong bar and the wrong lady. It’s well worth tracking down, not only for this quote, which happens south of the border:
The Mexican license bureau was closed. I’d expected that. There was a bar on the main drag with a faded sign that proclaimed it to be the longest bar in the world. I parked Corliss at a table and bought her a rum Collins to work on. Then I brushed off my rusty Spanish and buttonholed the first cop I met on the street.
–Day Keene, Home is the Sailor
December 13, 2016
Salute! All my cocktail-and-spirit-loving pals! I’ve recently had some fun imbibing-inical pieces on the salubrious Seattle magazine
, which I’m guessing you know, because you probably keep up on all things (whether you’re a WAingtonian or not). But just in case! Here are some of the highlights, for you to catch up on:
• Local Spirits and Liqueurs to Sip When You’re Full
• Three Impressions of Flint Creek Cattle Co.
• Three Impressions of No Anchor
• Three Impressions of 190 Sunset
• Three Impressions of Foreign National
December 6, 2016
Canlis is one of Seattle’s restaurant gems, and I (and wife Nat of course!) recently got to stop in and sit at the re-designed bar and sip and chat with friendly bar manager James MacWilliams and bartender José Castillo. One of the sippers was the Ouroboros, a mezcal-based delicious drink that José came up with. Then, I got to write about the drink (including the recipe for it) and the place and the people for Seattle magazine. You should read about it now. Then head to Canlis yourself.
November 22, 2016
See, I told you (in Part I) that I’d probably have a second quote from Hal Masur’s (aka Harold Q. Masur) lawyer-y pulp-y book from last century, You Can’t Live Forever. And here we are! Check out the below, and know that I can predict the future.
It was a nice quiet bar on a side street off Park Avenue, cool and dim and silken, a high-class oasis with retiring waiters and a hushed atmosphere. The chairs were softly pliant to make you comfortable and the pretzels crisp and dry to keep you thirsty. Enclosed booths ringed the room and smoke wove a gauze-like web that hung motionless in the still air.
We were on our third pair of Martinis and were calling each other by our first names. Conversation so far had been limited to that polite badinage used between two people on mutual fishing expeditions. I was in rare form.
— Hal Masur, You Can’t Live Forever
November 8, 2016
I, not too too long ago (in the grand scheme of things), traveled way up to the 13th floor of Seattle’s new-ish Thompson Hotel to check out The Nest, the bar that’s settled there, run by bar manager John Nugent, who also made me a drink called the Eagle. Pretty fitting for the pretty views, and tasty, too. And then I got to write about the whole thing in an article for Seattle magazine. You should check it out so you can fly the Eagle, too.