Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the mixologist returns

Just returned from assisting a yoga teacher training and will be incorporating some of what I learned there to my mixology (I'm missing the wonderful basil lemonade already...)

so for now, find me here and once the yoga and the dust settles, I'll be back with some new recipes---or you can come to the bar and try them, the new drink menu is revealed at the SLT!

Friday, June 11, 2010


The word tender is embedded in the word bartender. Tender means to give, whether it be a monetary transaction or an emotional one. Which is what one of my regulars reminded me of, actually, two of my regulars, both people I have met while serving them drinks and now I share in their confidences about love, loss, and life. I'm reminded and humbled at this responsibility I have for others well-being, not just in limiting how much they can consume in an evening, but how much we all consume in life on a deeper level. Like those balanced drinks I've mentioned, we all have our fair share of sour, of sweet, and of spirit. It was an evening that served me as it was my last night tending before heading up to assist a yoga teacher training tomorrow.

This morning I taught my 7am yoga class gate pose, saying how much power we have to choose what we keep out and what we let in. And I'm reminded of how much I am a gate keeper in my own life. A former co-worker in DC told me that we as bartenders are the gate keepers to the underworld, but what I've found is that we are also keepers of an inner world and inner space. To help people see more than the bottom of an empty glass, but to provide service, counsel, and cheer.

So here's to naming more than just drinks, but naming what truly matters.

Cheers and Namaste.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Look it Up Dear

Many of us from my generation remember when "Look it up dear," meant going to the dictionary or the encyclopedia rather than "googling it." Growing up, I was (and still am) a huge fan of Scrabble and Balderdash. So my growing up years had me flipping pages and reading lots of historical fiction. In 6th grade I read Roots and Sacajawea. In 7th grade, I heard the word "yoga" and checked out books at the library and enrolled in a class at the JCC. There was always something new to learn. One of my favorite tricks was that I memorized all the state capitals. When we went out to eat, my dad always told the waiter or waitress to pick any state and then I would proudly relay the capital of said state. My science fair project one year was how to distill perfume, to extract the essential oil from the rose.

As a yogi, I know all of these are linked (I'm not saying it is my karma to be a mixologist), but there's something about the chemistry, geography, history, and this idea of learning. Many of my colleagues probably hate when someone comes in with some obscure drink, or says, "I had this amazing thing involving passion fruit juice at a hotel in Miami, can you make that?" But in truth, I love those moments.

When it's slow, I love reading the bar book. Who knew there were so many drinks with the word "screw" in them? Some involving the pacing, the location. Most with triple sec. But I digress...

Towards the end of the night on Monday two gentlemen come up to the bar. "Do you know how to make a Sazarac?"

I don't, but I know that I love my bottle of Sazarac Rye. It's my favorite vase at home, and though we have the Rye, I decide after consulting the recipe in my trusty book and what I have available at the bar to mix it this way:

coat the bottom of a rocks glass with Pernod
top with ice
add 2-3 dashes of bitters (we have Angostura)
2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1/2 oz. simple syrup

stir, add a lemon peel for garnish

A woman who had come in for wine got caught up in watching me make the drink and ordered one just because she had been hearing so much about the resurgence of the Sazarac.

And if you google it, you'll learn about pre-civil war New Orleans, a senate bill proclaiming this the official drink of the city, that the drink was originally made with Cognac...and perhaps that will give you a thirst for more than just a good drink, but a chance to learn something new about someone else, delve deeper into history, or even make some new discovery, to get a thirst for something that you will have to make the time to look up. But I promise, it will be worth toasting about. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ohio Lady (sans the sauce!)

Memorial Day in Ohio, I'd be remiss if I didn't share an Ohio treat here---and this one doesn't have the sauce :)

Here's a mock-tail inspired by the homemade lemon shakes at the Canfield Fair (the Labor Day tradition).

Even in a kitchen sans proper bar equipment, you can make an Ohio Lady!

Microwave two mugs full of hot water (one mug per person).
Stir in 3 teaspoons of sugar.
Put in fridge to cool.
Slice fresh 2 strawberries and half a lemon per person.
Shake each serving in a mason jar with ice and mug of simple syrup.
Drink up and toast your loved ones!