June 19, 2018

Cocktail Talk: Park Avenue Tramp

Image result for The Vengeance Man / Park Avenue TrampRecently got my hands on another one of the superb (if you’re into such things, which I hope you are, so we can be friends and all that, though of course we could maybe still be friends even if you aren’t, but it’s not quite as easy) Stark House Noir Classics collections. Often these are collections of out-of-print books by a single author, but in this one, there are three authors from the pulp-y period. All are worthy reads – your favorite is up to you – but the one I’m highlighting here is Park Avenue Tramp, a book by Fletcher Flora (great name, too, and one I hadn’t been acquainted with before) about booze, a dangerous (in a sort-of different way) broad, a piano player, and bleakness in the best way, the way true noir books deliver it. Enough so that I was fairly, oh, downbeat for a moment when finishing this tale. Then I moved on to the next one (which is nice in these collections). A bar plays a central role, too, which is also nice, and where we get the below Cocktail Talk quote from.

She looked at him gravely and decided that he was undoubtedly a superior bartender, which would make him very superior indeed. It might seem unlikely on first thought that a superior bartender would be working in a little unassuming bar that was only trying to get along, but on second thought it didn’t seem unlikely at all, for it was often the little unassuming places that had genuine quality and character and were perfectly what they were supposed to be, which was rare, and it was exactly such a place in which a superior bartender would want to work, even at some material sacrifice. She felt a great deal of respect for this honest and dedicated bartender. She was certain that she could rely on him implicitly.
“Perhaps you can help me,” she said. “In your opinion, what have I been drinking?”
“You look like a Martini to me,” he said.
“Really, a Martini?”
“That’s right. The second you came in I said to myself that you were a Martini.”

–Fletcher Flora, Park Avenue Tramp

May 22, 2018

The Ultimate Ninja at Pablo y’ Pablo

Sometimes writing about drinks is awesome (okay, it always is). But sometimes it’s even better, and recently, I had one of those times, getting to write about a drink which pays homage to a sadly-departed former coworker and friend. The world of the bar is a place that’s sometimes hectic, sometimes nutty, but also a place where many good people become good friends around good drinks. But don’t listen to me ramble, go read the story about The Ultimate Ninja, a drink at Seattle bar Pablo y Pablo, which I wrote about for Seattle Magazine.

May 15, 2018

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

  • Hey pals and friends and compatriots from here and there and everywhere. I’ve been having some fun on the funtastic Seattle Magazine lately, with a number of pieces talking about some swell spots here in the Emerald City and near to here. Not that I’m saying you’ve missed any of these, but just in case, check out the below:

 

 

 

March 13, 2018

Make It Christmas Year Round with Rob Roy’s Truffled Tom and Jerry

Recently (okay, it was like three months ago – but hey, time flies and all that), I was lucky enough to stop into the genius and amazing Seattle bar Rob Roy during their flurry of holiday amazement. Seriously, Scrooge would have come around twice as quick if he would have just stopped in the Rob Roy. One of the dandy drinks I have there was the Truffled Tom and Jerry, a long-time hit from their cocktail advent calendar. You can’t pick it up there now (cause it’s March!), but I did write the Truffled Tom and Jerry recipe up for Seattle magazine. So, party like it’s the holidays year round!

March 6, 2018

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Hey cocktail-and-bar-loving pals! I’ve recently written up a whole host of new-ish (when writing, at least) local bars and bar-restaurants for the swell Seattle magazine, and I’m guessing you want to hear all about them, right? I mean, I think you’ve probably read them already, really, but just in case, check out the below so you know where to drink and enjoy life a little more:

 

 

January 23, 2018

Cocktail Talk: Made in Miami, Part II

Image result for willeford made in miamiOur trip (we’re taking it together, I feel) through some of the Charles Willeford oeuvre, via Willeford Cocktail Talks, is almost done, and ending with a second from the Floridean funky mess (among other things) Made in Miami, originally called Lust is a Woman, which isn’t actually as good, or as accurate, a title in my mind. You’ll need to read the book to see why! And also read the Made in Miami Cocktail Talk Part I, if you haven’t. You’ll dig it. The below quote isn’t drink specific like many of the Cocktail Talks we have here, but is a great view into bartenders of a certain time period. Or perhaps how some people view or viewed bartenders. You decide.

Ralph sat down on the bench to smoke while he waited for Tommy. Two bald middle-aged bartenders entered the locker room from the back and began to change their clothes. Ralph examined their dour faces with the dawning realization that all of the bartenders he had ever known looked exactly like these two. Not that they were all bad, although most of them were, at that, but their expressions were all alike. All faces, like character actors in the movies; expressive eyebrows, small chins, and large liquid eyes. Ralph pictured these two men later working behind the bar, changing their expression to match the mood of each customer at the busy half-price cocktail hour in the Rotunda Lounge. But right now, in repose, their characterless expressions oddly reminded Ralph of the ex-Presidents born in Ohio.

–Charles Willeford, Made in Miami

June 13, 2017

Chile Dreams at Cursed Oak

I recently (and by this, I mean months ago, as magazine time is very different from regular time) rolled into the less-than-a-year-old Seattle bar Cursed Oak, sidled up to the bar, chatter with amiable bartender and owner Mike Carroll, and sipped on the Mule variation and refresher Chile Dreams. Then I wrote about Chile Dreams for Seattle magazine, a piece you should read right now. You deserve it.

March 21, 2017

Cocktail Talk: Black Wings Has My Angel, Part II

black-wingsIf you missed Part I of our Cocktail Talk tour through lesser-known (though it should be known) noir classic Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze, then I strongly suggest you go read it now. You back? Cool! Here’s our second quote from that darkish crime tome, where main character Tim Sunblade is at a well-named bar drinking an old whiskey.

I drank a Coke in the Tuscany bar on Fifteenth. It tasted like gasoline. I went out and got a newspaper and came back into the Tuscany and sat in a booth with another Coke and the paper. Waiting. Somehow it got to be three o’clock. I bought myself a double I. W. Harper and water and four o’clock came around faster and then I went outside, walking toward the three-story building on Essex, not fast, but not slow, the whisky glowing just right in me.

— Elliott Chaze, Black Wings Has My Angel

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