Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't have a name for this

I (Chris) bartend Monday nights now, which, not-so-coincidentally, is Industry night. So every Monday night all of my tips are going to a local charity. Everyone should come in for fancy cocktails, and all of you service industry cats who are coming in and getting hooked up, your cash is going to a good place...

For October, I'm giving all of my Monday night tips to the local YWCA. Given current events, I think that this is a great place to start.

Show up for a cocktail, throw some coins in the coffers. Drink for a good cause this time.

Sorry for the cross-post. I'll make it up to you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1022 South's schedule

Ok, so I was shutting the down 1022 tonight when 4 different cars rolled up at 4 different times. It was a bit frustrating as I was so slow all day. I've heard the same story from other bartenders who work the early week shifts, so here is our schedule:
Sun - Mon. 4 -11
Tues - Wed. 4 - 12
Thurs - Sat. 4 - 2
If folks are hanging out Sun - Wed, then we'll stay open, otherwise we shut it down early.

There are specials every night, most of the time for $6. Happy hour is from 4 - 8 everyday and it includes $3 wells, $3 draft beers, and $4 glasses of wine (right now a pinot and a viognier).

Monday night is Industry night. If you do some sort of service all week, then come see Chris on Mondays for a bit of the apothecary. Tell your bartender where you work and ask him (or occasionally her) for the special. They'll take care of you. It might include absinthe or chartreuse, kava kava or damiana. Regardless, it will be fun.

Tuesday night are wine nights. 1/2 off all bottles, including the bubbly. We have fun, affordable wines and most Tuesdays Corey is working to explain each and every bottle to you.

Thursdays. Well, Thursdays are for the ladies. Our drink special is something pretty and Chris and Corey are there to facilitate your night. Plus, the ladies get happy hour all night. Sounds like a deal to me. Let's shake on it...

Those are 1022's hours, specials, and what we are up to. For those listening, we're going to have a rather impromptu party at some point debuting the fall/winter menu. Keep reading and we'll post the party info soon...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Shifter

People ask me all the time, what do I drink? The honest answer is everything. As much as I like not serving Bud Lite, I enjoy a cold Rainier, Oly, PBR, or High Life. And as much as I nudge and wink at people who scoff at shots, I do them. With probably alarming regularity. Probably more than I drink anything artisanal.
So, here's what I'm drinking tonight: starting with Liquore Strega and a luke-warm, half-full Henry Weinhard's private reserve. Why am I drinking a crappy beer in such a condition? Because I paid for it and it's the last one. One of my roommates, ahem: K, drank the rest. And also, frankly, because I don't care. I'm not squeamish about beer and I spend enough time in "flavor country" that I don't need my beer to be a taste explosion in my mouth. Besides pop-rocks, I probably need few things exploding in my mouth...
I'm drinking the Strega straight because it's tasty. And I'm tired. Yeah, I could break out the bar gear and whip up a tasty cocktail, but then I get to do dishes. And my shoulder is already sore from whipping up tasty cocktails for 6 hours. And I'm tired. And, finally, I like to taste, feel, experience, whatever I am drinking. For instance, up next is a glass of Wild Turkey 101. I want to feel that. The burn, the lurch, the physicality of it. Not always, but at 3 am when I am just off after negotiating screaming, shuffling, intoxicated masses and life's rich pageantry that constantly presents itself in Hilltop, I want a shot and a beer and I want to feel it.
To circuitously get the meat of the question, here's what I drink: sidecars, sazeracs, and negronis. I seriously love these cocktails when done right. They all help me get a lay of the land. I never order any of the aforementioned cocktails in bars that don't stock the ingredients. Once I've established that the bar has the necessary ingredients, I'll order the appropriate cocktail, each of which is a fantastic measure of the kind of bar you are in. Sidecars, sazeracs, and negronis are all classic cocktails with origins that tickle the tongue of any raconteur. In my humble opinion, these are the types of drinks that bartenders love to make. Simple recipes that need to be executed with care to create cocktails that stop conversations. Cocktails that dance across the palette and challenge bartenders to come up with something better. These are the drinks that are personal classics. You could throw in Old Fashions or martinis, but really, why? Only to be disappointed...?
Anyway, here's me after a long night. I don't actually have black eyes, but I might as well. I'm dog-tired and not wanting to mix much of anything at this point. That's why it's shots and beers...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beta testing, guinea pigs, and space monkeys

Before we place any new concoction, apothecary or otherwise, across the rail, we find a few brave souls who are willing to imbibe our concoctions. Most of the time the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of off-duty bartenders who are, and let us be honest, more than willing to be the monkey shot into space for the sake of a little research and development. Tonight, we experimented with the aphrodisiacs.

Before I continue, I must say that I was the monkey for the bulk of the soporifics and stress reducers/resistors that we will feature in the fall. That was fun...So, now we are a couple of stages later where we are experimenting with maca, yohimbe, and cacao. First the cocktail:
1.5 oz reposado tequila
1/2 tsp maca
1/2 tsp cacao
.5 yohimbe infusion
.5 kava infusion
a couple of healthy shakes of cayenne
.5 simple
Shake like hell and strain.

Initially the cocktail was earthy, dirty, and not quite there. I added .5 Licor 43 and that rounded it out. The drink was nice, but still not quite there. I think a different base spirit would work better...or maybe with the yerba mate infusion. That would certainly make for a long night...

So to the effects. My ever willing and always compliant test subject expressed feeling a bit funny initially. It very well could have been from the fact that it was a rather stiff cocktail, but we waited to see how it played out. After about half an hour, our little space monkey did indeed feel a bit randy. I'm not sure what to think about this as it could be the power of suggestion, a psychosomatic reaction, or simply the unremitting charm of the bartender. What we are left with are more questions. I suppose more exploration is necessary...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Apothecary

It's been awhile since posting for which I definitely have been remiss. I've been incredibly busy working on the fall menu. Our focus has shifted more towards the apothecary aspect of bartending. It started somewhere between deciding to make tonic and cola from scratch and deciding to make 1022 absinthe (which has led me down the rabbit hole trying to figure out how to make Chartreuse). I've followed this path to where I'm now consulting herbalists, visiting Chinese apothecaries, and endeavoring to make medicinal cocktails that are very, very tasty. We are working with such ingredients as kava kava, yohimbe, valerian, and chamomile. Now, I definitely feel like these are easy. If you check out any "apothecary" bar worth their weight, they are doing drinks with these same ingredients (and the others we use: nettles, yerba mate, etc.) We can do more. We can make better drinks; we can make cocktails the way they should be made: with care, exacting precision, and conscientiousness.
We can make drinks that are transformative.
Is this ambitious? Yes.
Is it pretentious? Yes.
Is it good for our community? Yes.
There's so much I want to say, but I'm not sure where to start. I want to write about the pound of damiana leaves I ordered today for our aphrodisiac infusion (with cocoa, yohimbe, kava kava, etc.); our experiment in a flower bitters that turned into a beautiful liqueur; or the stress relief formula that highlights the amazing properties of chamomile and valerian in conjunction with gotu kola and siberian ginseng. This doesn't even scratch the surface, though. Our 1022 bloody mary features an infusion of horseradish root and fire cider; we play with tulsi; we make drinks with golden seal, raw ginger juice, and turmeric infusions. I write all of this and I have yet to work with maca, catnip, sassafras, or mugwort. These are all coming soon...

So, suffice it to say, I'm very excited about what we are doing. I do have a difficult time translating this to marketing...but that's another post for another place. What I can say is that we are about to do something very interesting in our neighborhood. If you want a flavor or a feeling, then come challenge us to find it for you.