April 15, 2014
Once, long ago, in a galaxy far far away (or, in my office barroom), I surfaced a Cocktail Talk quote from the book Lucky at Cards, by master writer Lawrence Block. If you missed, go read it and all the Lawrence Block quotes now, and catch up on what I think and get the full view. Anywho, now that you’re back, I can say that I missed another quote from that book that is perfect for repeating, and which mentions a couple classic Scotches not so in evidence anymore.
The bartender glanced our way. I asked for Cutty Sark on the rocks for both of us. He didn’t have any. I tried him on Vat 69 and Peter Dawson and he didn’t have those fellows either. We settled on Black and White. He brought it over and Joyce and I touched glasses and drank. Most of her Scotch disappeared on the first swallow. She shivered a little, then let out a sigh.
–Lawrence Block, Lucky at Cards
March 11, 2014
It’s that time here on the Spiked Punch blog, where I unroll my latest blog posts for the Seattle magazine, in case you missed any and wanted to catch up (which would certainly make me happy and maybe you too). While some of these are attached to a particular time, the drinks within are good year round. Promise.
• Four Drinks to Make for Your 2014 Oscars Party
• Talking Vodka, Bacon Bloody Marys and Beyond with Reyka Vodka’s Daniel Brancusi
• Four Delicious Drinks Perfect for Valentine’s Day
• Five Fantastic First Date Bars
• Super Seahawks Super Bowl Drinks
• New Locally Made Spirits, Liqueurs and More
• Super Small Seattle Bars
• New Year’s Cocktail and Spirit Resolutions
March 4, 2014
Though it’s hard to believe for all but my mother (who of course always believes), the amazing Seattle magazine is still letting me write a column highlighting a different bar each month. Yeah, I’m lucky! But so are you, because you can read said columns and figure out where you and your pals are going go this weekend to kick up your heels with a dandy drink. Without further palavering then, here are three fine bars to read about:
• Teachers Lounge, Greenwood
• E. Smith Mercantile, Pioneer Square
• Witness, Capitol Hill
–See all of my Seattle magazine articles
January 14, 2014
Hello friends and those looking to have a drink, or pick up some drinking ingredients, or learn about local spirits, in Seattle! If you don’t already have it, Drink Seattle: A Spirited Journey Through Seattle Bars and Cocktails has every lounge, bar, distillery, or dive that’s worth sitting down and sipping within – and now has even more stops with the latest update. There are now more than 50 places detailed, covering nearly every neighborhood in Seattle, with specific cocktail picks for each place and a host of insights on individual bar personalities. Each recommended establishment features a review, notes on what to order, and great photos and tips for having the best experience you can. And the app has all those features you expect –GPS, one-touch dialing and turn-by-turn directions – and vital info like business hours, websites, etc. Yay, for drinking in Seattle! Heck, you may just see me in one of the bars. And then I’ll buy you a drink. Promise.
January 7, 2014
Hello Seattle cocktail lovers, visitors to Seattle, those who are thinking about a visit to Seattle, and anyone interested in cocktails. Recently, I was lucky enough to work on the lovely Seattle magazine’s end of the year issue, which was amazing and had a huge cocktail-and-bar-and-spirit focus. In case you missed it, or weren’t here to read it, some of the articles are now online for your reading pleasure, including:
• What’s Shaking Now: Drinks of the Moment
• The Superstar Bartender: Erik Carlson
• Best New Bars in Seattle (Plus One Standout in Tacoma)
• Top Shelf Advice: Where the Bartenders Go to Drink
• Entertaining with a Well-Styled Bar Cart
*Read all A.J. Seattle magazine articles
November 19, 2013
Calling all bar lovers from near and far (but especially near). It’s time to round up the latest bars I’ve profiled in my monthly Seattle magazine Bar Hop column. You should read the below, pick which best matches you and your mood today, and go have a drink. But don’t forget – tip your bartender people. They work hard. Bars to hop:
• Anchor’s Down
– See all A.J. Seattle magazine articles
October 29, 2013
Hello dear hearts. There’s time I think for one more quote from the The Compleat Imbiber #5, which we’ve been talking up here on the ol’ Spiked Punch due to it’s greatness and my love of The Compleat Imbiber series. This time, it’s from a piece called Four O’Clock at the Five O’Clock, by a gentleman named Hugh Massingham. It’s mainly a look at American drinking establishments by someone not native to this country, and is built off a stop at a spot in Denver (I wonder if it’s still there) called the Five O’Clock, which didn’t at first seem friendly, but which had, from the below quote, quite a friendly line up for the times.
Suddenly, behind the bar, artfully lit from below, is a blaze of welcoming friends. There is good old Johnnie Walker, as spry as ever. There is that authentic notes of Floreat Etona, Harvey’s sherry. There is historic Beefeater – the snob gin in the United States – and those two dogs yapping away on behalf of Black and White, and soft-tasting ding-dong Bells and kindly tempting Teachers and Cutty Sarks in full sail. There is bicarbonate of soda on draught and tots of Alka Seltzer – the necessities for a hangover morning, familiar sights in an English bathroom, but unknown in English pubs. True, there are a number of bottles that are strangers, and that wink away at you with the offer of novel and perhaps dangerous pleasures. Leroux’s ‘Ginger-Flavoured Brandy’ should surely tickle some secret spot hitherto unexplored by the milder and less adventurous brews of your native land? Then there is gay Dixie Rose, a cross, perhaps, between a Gone-With-The-Wind lady and a gypsy, who is offering for your relaxation in this subdued light a bottle of London dry gin. There is Hill Billy Reserve Whiskey, with its suggestion of some smoky still in a mountain chasm. There is Popcorn Straight Cut Whiskey, made, apparently – and yet can this be true? – from the same fat white salted ears piled up in the dish by your elbow. There is ancient Carstairs (established 1788) with his White Seal Blended. There is good old Thompson – don’t let’s forget his blended bourbon. And there is Vernon and Paddy and a bottle with a playing-card label, showing a King both face upwards and face downwards – delights still not tested after all these weeks of travel.
– Hugh Massingham, Four O’Clock at the Five O’Clock, The Compleat Imbiber #5
October 8, 2013
It’s time to take a tipsy spin again through some fun-tastic recent posts I’ve written for the swell Seattle magazine, covering such topics as local bar and spirit news and the best places in Seattle to eat when you’re having jury duty (for those living here), and drinks to have when you’re tailgating or on a hayride, or when you want to think of summer (since it’s, well, sadly gone now).
• Fall Spirit and Distillery News
• Early Fall Bar News
• Fall Cocktails Perfect for Hayrack Rides
• The Best Places to Eat When You Have Jury Duty
• Four Drinks for a Triumphant Tailgating Experience
• Late Summer Wine Cocktails
• Summer Sipper Recipes
See all A.J. Seattle magazine articles