Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why We're Like This

I was in New Orleans a little over a year ago for a cocktail conference. I'd never been before and I was excited as it was one of the few large cities in the contiguous US that I hadn't yet visited. The conference, Tales of the Cocktail, is debaucherous blend of work and play; we drink, listen to people talk about alcohol, take a break to eat, then drink more, listen to people talk about alcohol, then the fun begins when we go out and play... The conference ends up being what I think most people think our careers are like instead of fishing lemons out of floor drains and the end of the night, cleaning up vomit/blood/shit, or banging out hours of prep and studying menus only for people to be pissed that we don't have their brand of vodka/energy drink/mixer du jour, or losing their shit because they can't stand in the aisle and drink not because the bartender is a pretentious asshole but because that's what the boss says are the house rules (sorry). Instead, Tales is/was wild, late nights full of too much alcohol, too many stories, and more that a little bacchanalia. And the best part? It starts again in the morning w/Kahlua sponsored coffee bars and Bloody Mary bars sponsored by some anonymous vodka or another. In short, it is (or was...that's a different post), fun.

The anecdote I want to quickly relate, one that I'm sure if you've heard before if you've either been served by me at the bar or had the misfortune of drinking w/me at another establishment, is my last night in New Orleans. I'd had a wonderful, surreal time for 4 or 5 days, when on the last night I was drinking at one of my favorite bars in the world, Bar Tonique. I'd been there many times and I've been back subsequently and it stands up every time. I was enjoying a couple drinks before catching a red eye back home when I asked the bartender for a quintessential New Orleans cocktail. I explained that I was in town for Tales, that I loved Bar Tonique, and that I would like something to send me off on the right note. Without hesitation, he knew what to make. However, before making it, he went over to the stereo and changed the music to Slayer's Reign in Blood and then proceeded to make me the best Ramos Gin Fizz I've ever had. It was amazing, he was gracious (as has been every bartender there), and it was exactly what I needed to wrap up my experience.* My takeaway was that fancy, obscure, pretentious cocktails do not a bar make. I wanted Bar Tonique in Tacoma more than I ever wanted Zig Zag, Alembic, Sambar, or Bourbon and Branch.** I wanted (and am still wanting) a divey kind of place that I can get a fantastic drink, listen to Fugazi, and play pinball. While we can't be all things to all people (or even really everything I want), I did stop wearing ties (at least for a long time), we did start playing more rock (although Botch is still a bridge too far), and we've tried to be more of a neighborhood bar (which is what we were always trying to do), and we strive to give good service and make everyone comfortable.

This is a really long way to say that if you come in and we're listening to Nas or Fugazi, or if you order and Apothecary Cup and get a BLUE DRINK(!) or something spicy or bitter over a large ice cube, this is where we're coming from. We know we're not the fastest, but we try to say hello, to remember your drink and/or your name, and to treat you well regardless of what you order.***

* What made this even better was that as soon as he starting playing Reign in Blood I bummed cigarette from an attractive, older woman who was talking to me. I hadn't smoked for a long time at that point and I was thoroughly enjoying the cigarette when the drink arrived. As soon as he set it in front of me the thought, persistent and unbidden, c to me that I was going to spill the drink all over the bar. I drank a third of the drink while obsessing about this before accidentally spilling the Ramos Gin Fizz all over the bar. I was embarrassed and apologized profusely, but he never missed a beat in cleaning up the drink and quickly whipping up another, which I enjoyed in its entirety.

** Links aren't working for me tonight. Go to these bars and also Liberty (Capitol Hill, Seattle) because they're awesome and doing it right.

*** It's your money and your drink. If you want your vodka, vermouth, and scotch shaken, or if you want all of the ice chunks in your cocktail glass, I don't give a shit. You're paying for it, so you get it your way. Just don't be an asshole, please.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MxMo: Retro Redemption!

Over a decade ago I was working at Boeing mopping floors, taking out trash, and trying to work as little as possible while avoiding my bosses and co-workers. It was a pretty sweet job as I was paid fairly well, I only had to work about half my shift (while I spent the other half getting caught up on my reading), I had full benefits, and Boeing was paying for school. However, there was also mandatory overtime and I worked nights, which definitely put a cramp on my style (by style, I mean ability to go to punk shows and chase girls). At the time I had a friend who was waiting tables at a shitty chain restaurant and making the same money as me, but working half the time. That was really all it took for me, so I quit Boeing and took the f job waiting tables that I could get with no experience, which was a graveyard shift at Denny's. Suffice it to say, it was awful, and after months of grinding it out working 16 hour shifts, having customers threaten to beat me over brown vs. white gravy, and making pennies (literally bags of them), I was given the option to get off graveyard if I would take over for the bartender who'd just walked off the job. This was in the late nineties, so when Jacob over at Liquidity Preference chose Retro Redemption as this month's Mixology Monday theme, it resonated with the young bartender in me who made too many Alabama Slammers and Alien Urine Samples.

Those of you who've been in the bar know that I don't really stock any of the saccharine sweet, sticky, hypercolor liqueurs that seemed to dominate the back bars of my early bartending jobs. So, here's what we've come up with:

Hilltop Slammer
.5 oz Evan Williams bourbon
.5 oz Pacharan
.5 oz Lazzaroni amaretto
.5 oz Kuchin peach brandy
Splash of oj
Splash of lemon juice

Combine ingredients in shaker over ice, shake, then strain over ice into pint glass. Finish with orange twist.

It actually wasn't too bad. Sweet, orange, and boozy. I definitely won't be having another, however.

Hilltop Iced Tea
.5 oz well vodka
.5 oz well rum
.5 oz well gin
.5 oz lemon juice
splash triple sec
house made cola
.5 oz Lemon Hart 151

Combine the first five ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake, strain into a pint glass over fresh ice. Add cola. Light the 151 on fire, make an ostentatious show of it by swirling the flame around the glass, then pour over the top of the drink.

Ya, so, this one is kinda tasty and really boozy. It does exactly what it's supposed to do, which is why we have a two drink limit.

Finally, I finished with a Balvenie Doublewood as a palette cleanser because through this entire endeavor I was reading Pacult's Kindred Spirits. He mentioned that the popularization of scotch in the late eighties opened the door for the proliferation of single barrel small batch whiskeys. Regardless, I needed something a little..sturdier. I do this for you guys...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MxMo: Morning Drinks

Now, despite the fact that I drink more than the average Joe and that I do find myself drinking in the AM (as in last call), I'm not really one to drink in the mornings very often. However, occasionally when I am on vacation I'll find myself enjoying a tipple w/my eggs and hash browns. With that being said, here's this month's MxMo theme courtesy of Kevin at Cocktail Enthusiast:

The theme is “morning drinks.” Breakfast cocktails were the norm in the nineteenth century, when cocktails were a common beginning to one’s day. The drink’s purpose was to help the imbiber recover from the past night’s indiscretions and to steel their resolve for the coming day.

I'm not going to be around next week (enjoying my weekend after the Fall/Winter menu party), so I'm posting this early.

Journey to the End of the Night
1.5 oz Ron Zacapa
1 oz cold pressed Ethiopian Harrar coffee (we use Valhalla)
.5 oz simple syrup (1:1)
3 shakes organic cocoa
2 shakes cayenne
garnish: 1 shake cocoa, 1 shake cayenne

Combine ingredients in shaker over ice. Shake like a hungover person, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass or whatever you drink out of in the mornings. Garnish.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MxMo: Beer!

This month's theme for MxMo was a bit fortuitous as we've been screwing around with beer cocktails for the last month or so. Here's how Frederic over at Cocktail (Virgin) Slut describes our theme:

“While beer being used as an ingredient in modern cocktails has gotten a lot of press as of late, this is not a new trend. Beer has played a historical role in mixed drinks for centuries. For example, it can be found in Colonial drinks like the Rumfustian, Porter Sangaree, and Ale Flip. While many of these drinks are not seen in modern bars save for craft cocktail establishments, other beer drinks are though, including the Boilermaker, Black Velvet, and Michelada. And present day mixologists are utilizing beer with great success including Kelly Slagle's Port of Funchal, Jacob Grier's Averna Stout Flip, and Emma Hollander's Word to Your Mom. Bartenders are drawn to beer for a variety of reasons including the glorious malt and roast notes from the grain, the bitter and sometimes floral elements from the hops, the interesting sour or fruity notes from the yeast, and the crispness and bubbles from the carbonation. Beer is not just for pint glasses, so let us honor beer of all styles as a drink ingredient.”

This theme works for us this week because, as it turns out, we're hosting an event this Sunday as a kick-off party for Tales of the Cocktail. Ted Munat, the ever-charming writer behind Left Coast Libations will be there reading from the aforementioned book and Liberty's Andrew Friedman will be guest bartending. The idea behind the event is that if people procure tickets ahead of time, then they get their choice of 3 cocktails for $20 from a shortened menu which will feature 6 cocktails (3 from our favorite Seattle bartenders that were published in Left Coast Libations, 3 interpretations of those cocktails by 1022 staff). The event is being put on with Tacoma Alcohol Consortium. Check TAC out, Todd's doing really good work.

Anway, here's our interpretation of Jay Kuehner's drink, Cavale. This guy kick's ass. Go see him at Sambar. He's the bartender I want to be when I grow up.

Running Up that Hill
1.5 oz Clear Creek Apple brandy
½ oz Pineau des Charentes
½ oz Domaine de Canton
½ oz lemon juice

Combine everything except for the Ephemere in shaker over ice. Shake and double strain into chilled cocktail glass. Float with Ephemere.

Those of you who've read the blog or checked out our contributions for MxMo, then you know that we're never satisfied doing one. Here's what Corey concocted (w/a few tweaks by me) when someone requested a Flaming Dr. Pepper

Corey's “Flaming Dr. Pepper”
1.5 oz Zaya rum
.5 oz Lazzaroni amaretto
2 dashes St Elizabeth Allspice dram
1 barspoon Ramazotti amaro
Ephemere (Corey used Duvel, but I had a bottle of this open)
Combine everything except the beer in shaker over ice. Stir, strain, into Belgian glass. Float w Ephemere.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wine Tasting

1022 invites you to drink wine with us! We've just received a shipment of wines through Small Vineyards, a company dedicated to bringing quality Italian wine to the United States, directly from the wine makers. We have bottles from Monte Tondo, Le Rote, Perazzeta and Maurizio Marchetti for the sampling at $5 all together. Light snacks are included in the price. It's a nice way to get to know some fantastic wines that you don't see every day. Quantities are limited, so stop by and pick up a bottle at 50% off today! Bottles will be open for tasting from 4p-7p, Tuesday 6/28.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MxMo: Niche Spirits

Well, it doesn't get more niche than this, I guess. Thanks to Filip for hosting. Pics forthcoming.

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
1 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Green Chartreuse
.5 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
cocao powder
soda water

Combine everything (3 healthy shakes of raw cocoa powder) sans soda in shaker over ice. Shake like a psychopath. Double strain into a short collins over ice. Finish with soda water and more cocoa powder. Drink.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MxMo: Flores de Mayo

Edit: More like Mixology Tuesday...

So, I've missed the last couple MxMo's and have felt...guilty. It's not like I haven't come up with drinks, or been following. I've just been busy. With life. Really, with running the bar. But still, solutions, not excuses.

Here I am! Blog post! MxMo! Here are the perfunctories:
Our host this time around is Dave over at Barman Cometh. Here's what he has to say about this week's challenge:

“The challenge is to feature a cocktail that highlights a floral flavor profile or includes a floral derived ingredient, whether home-made or off the shelf.  With the ever expanding catalogue of spirits (and the kitchen labs of home enthusiasts), there’s a whole host of directions for you to choose from – elderflower liqueur, creme de violette, chamomile infused gin, hibiscus grenadine, rosewater, lavender syrup – or to create.”

We do a lot with flowers from the hibiscus/coriander/black pepper syrup in the Devil's Buck to the sticky, ever-popular Lavender Cocktail. What I wanted to highlight are two of my favorites that are currently featured on our spring/summer menu:

1.5 oz Bols Genever
1 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz lavender/chamomile infused honey
Sparkling wine
Shake, strain into a chilled coupe. Top with sparkling wine

1022 Old Fashioned
2 oz Woodford Reserve
.25 oz simple syrup
3 dashes saffron/cardamom bitters
Wide swath of orange peel
Express orange oil into glass and drop peel in. Add remaining ingredients and the largest ice cube you can find. Stir. Drink.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring/summer menu 2011

For those that missed the party, here are the new menus. Suffice it to say, I am immensely proud of everyone for their hard work on these, especially Lauren who put together this food menu.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

1022 Second Anniversary Press Release

For those of you who didn't see it.


1022 South, Tacoma’s nationally acclaimed craft cocktail lounge, will celebrate its two year anniversary on Tuesday, March 29 with a debut party for the delicious new spring/summer menu featuring over 40 inventive, meticulously handcrafted cocktails and exciting new food options.

Tacoma, Washington, March 21, 2011

1022 South will throw a cocktail party to celebrate its two year anniversary and to debut the new spring/summer menu on Tuesday, March 29. Featuring over 40 cocktails, the new menu showcases 1022 South's commitment to seasonal and local ingredients, and passion for classic and apothecary-inspired cocktail construction. Look for the return of some favorite drinks from last spring. Complementing the new cocktails, the 1022 food menu will feature a variety of delectable new plates. The night of the party, all menu cocktails will be specially priced at $6.

Open since March 2009 in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood, 1022 South crafts cocktails with a keen observance of the history and evolution of the mixed drink, and an appreciation that the distinction between bartender and apothecary was once only loosely made. 1022 pays homage to the history of bartending by featuring classic and often forgotten cocktails as well as by creating unique and original drinks. 1022 South cocktails include ingredients such as house made bitters, sodas, tonic and botanical infusions, and incorporate herbs such as kava kava, valerian, chamomile, damiana, jiaogulan, tulsi, and ginger.

Two examples of the new spring/summer drinks include:

· La Gitana, a mixture of sotol, sherry, lavender/chamomile infused honey, allspice dram, and housemade Hellfire tincture and

· the herbal Revolver featuring Haitian rum, masala chai, lemon, and maca/ginseng infused honey.

In addition to craft cocktails and apothecary infusions, the menu features a variety of delicious small plate items and includes vegetarian and vegan options such as the Panisse Salad:grilled asparagus, soft boiled egg, red onion, tomato, Blue Rose chevre, basil, and dressed greens, and the Flora Sandwich: marinated summer squash, apple, shaved fennel, Blue Rose chevre, fresh basil, red onion, roasted tomato jam, and aioli.

Expert bartenders look forward to sharing the new cocktails and enjoy an opportunity to experiment: let him or her know what you are in the mood for and they will do their best to accommodate. Questions are welcomed and a sense of humor and adventure are encouraged.

1022 South has been embraced and celebrated by the Tacoma community and received nation-wide accolades for their work. The staff at 1022 South is humbled and excited by the positive reception of their efforts. Jordan Michelman of the NY Times Magazine says “A none-too-precious diamond in the rough, 1022 is worth a stumble off the beaten path” and our Yelp reviews from satisfied customers are a constant source of inspiration:

• “Hands down the BEST cocktails I've ever had.”

• “A great place to go if you are in search of a well-made, creative, and adventurous


• “It's one of the best bars I've been to not only in Tacoma, but anywhere!”

• “This place is a cocktail bar - they call it an "apothecary" - and they live up to their name

with a menu of creative, artfully crafted drinks.”

1022 South hours are Sun - Mon 4 -11pm, Tues - Wed 4pm - 12am, Thurs - Sat 4pm - 2am.

Happy hour: 4 - 8 everyday featuring $3 wells, $3 draft beers, and $4 glasses of wine.

Industry night Monday: service industry professionals get happy hour all night.

Wine night Tuesday: 1/2 off all bottles.

Ladies night Thursday: happy hour for ladies all night.

1022 South is located on South J Street, between S. 10th and 11th Avenue.

Phone: 253.627.8588.



Yelp reviews: %20


Twitter: @1022South (!/1022South)


Friday, March 11, 2011

State of the Hilltop

Well, the last few months have been quite a ride. As many people know (and was noted here a couple of months ago), we were written up in the NY Times. It was a favorable write-up, many people saw it, and inspired a few local publications to do write-ups of their own. The result was that business essentially doubled over night. We did our best to accommodate the increased volume of business and for the most part our guests seemed to understand.

Naturally, there were a few changes. First, we've had to create waitlists on the weekends. We'd love to be able to serve everyone who comes in the door, but when we're out of seats we are at capacity and because of our size, we can't accommodate standing room. Most people seem to understand. Those that don't, well, sorry...

Now, here's the real point of this post: I've had a lot of regulars talk about how busy we are and most ask if business has slowed down yet or when is a good time to come to get a seat. Business has slowed done a lot, so much so that Sunday through Wednesday are more or less what they were before the new year. If people are out and looking for a well crafted drink on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, I'd recommend dropping by after 10pm. Most nights the bar is either empty or emptying out by 11pm. You can always call ahead and we'll let you know if we have seats available.

There you go. We're particularly excited to see so many new and enthusiastic faces and we're looking forward to seeing some of our old regulars again. Here are our specials during the week:

Monday: Industry Night – Service industry folks get happy hour all night.
Tuesday: Wine Night – All bottles of wine are ½ priced all night.
Thursday: Ladies Night! Ladies get happy hour all night.

Happy hour every day from 4 – 8

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MxMo: Flipping Out

I've missed the last couple of Mixology Mondays because I couldn't get a post up in time. Well, here we go (with pictures forthcoming...)

The theme this week is flipping out, which means drinks with whole eggs. Josh over at Cocktail Assembly is hosting and explains it as so, "The flip is one of those cocktails that so successfully defies the seasons. When it’s cold and the icy chill is tearing it’s way through to our bones, the heated flip opens it’s arms and embraces us like a warm blanket. When it’s hot, the cool flip lowers the heat and can bring back that spring day memory of a creamy shake enjoyed on a front porch. There’s never a bad time or temperature to enjoy the frothy glory that is the flip."

Our first drink is a variation on our Samizdat:
1.5 oz bourbon (we use Bulleit)
.5 oz Becherovka
2 oz dandelion burdock rootbeer
1 whole egg
splash of heavy cream
Dry shake the egg, then add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake like hell, then double strain into a large snifter or some such glassware with a large bowl. Flame the top with a combination of equal parts rum and Angostura from a Misto.

Our second drink utilizes the same architecture of the Ramos Gin Fizz. It doesn't have a name, but it's something that get served a lot at the bar.
1 oz cognac
1 oz creme de Violette
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 whole egg
splash of heavy cream
finish with chamomile tincture, rose cordial, and Peychaud's
Dry shake the egg, then add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake like those arms turn to noodles, then double strain into a short collins. Wash inside of the glass with seltzer water (from gun or siphon). Using a bar spoon, scoop out foam and place on top of the drink. Finish with tincture, cordial, and bitters.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shout Out to Our Peeps

I've been meaning for quite some time to do a post about the local businesses that we work with, procure product from, or who generally support us. I would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone and a sincere apology if I forget anyone. It would be very difficult to do what we do w/o these people. Without further ado...

Mad Hat Tea Company. Tobin and Maureen have been an indispensable source of product, knowledge, and inspiration. If and when you drop by, you'll likely see similar tea blends to the infusions that we feature in our apothecary section. This is no accident. They put together tasty combinations that are tonics for what ails you, will turn you on or tune you out. They work magic. Get in there. You can find there teas/botanicals showcased in the following cocktails: Winter Sidecar, Bleu, Endgame, and the Kokovoko.

Corina Bakery. All of those tasty cupcakes at our last 10/22 party? The ones made with Zacapa rum and Green Chartreuse? The amazing gluten free chocolate torte? The vegan(!) pumpkin pie? All made by the wonderful and talented people at Corina Bakery. Not only have they been very supportive by providing us with delicious desserts and the occasional baguettes, they also are very patient with my very last minute orders. A very special thanks to all of them, but especially to Stephanie for custom- making all of our desserts.

And speaking of the chocolate torte, the espresso in the crème is from none other than our favorite Valhalla Coffee Co. In addition to keeping me powered with a daily macchiato, they also supply the Ethiopian Harrar which we use in our cold-press coffee and is featured in the Journey to the End of the Night and the South of No North. These guys are sweethearts. Go see them, buy coffee and be happy.

Speaking of coffee, Caffe Dei. These guys also keep me powered with coffee, but more importantly, you know those vegan snacks you like? They help us get the ingredients. They make great vegan and vegetarian food in a town that needs more options. Plus, Amy's one of the sweetest people out there.

As far as the food goes, we use bread from The Essential Baking Co. and Macrina (holy smokes, do they ever make good bread!), and Field Roast, all of which are from Seattle.

Many of our regulars will notice two things: we actually do have beer and that we've been pouring Schooner Exact (which we were able to track down thanks to Barry, owner of Rosewood) for sometime. That's because they make really good beer. It helps that they are also good peeps. We are currently pouring their 3 Grid IPA and their Profanity Hill Porter. We also periodically feature a handle from the always reliable Maritime Pacific Brewing Co. (creators of the infamous Jolly Roger...). As of tonight we are pouring their Islander Pale Ale, but as soon as that's gone we will feature the Portage Bay Pilsner.

All of our design and artwork is done by the immensely talented Audra Laymon. She drew our menus and painted our chalkboard (which is displayed prominently in the photo here), and painted our outdoor sign. If you need any design work done, I cannot recommend her highly enough. Even if you don't need work done, commission her to make some art for you. It's worth it. And if you want to see her art, she's is one of the artists in the upcoming show Peanut Butter Space Jam, which will be amazing.

King's Books
and Tacoma's resident kung-fu/graphic novel deciphering rock star sweet pea have been indispensable. A large portion of the 1022 lending library was donated by King's Books; sweet pea coordinates/facilitates our monthly Graphic Novel Book Club. sweet pea, thank you.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the ladies at Brilliant Cleaning that keep the bar sparkling. Jessica and Faith, thanks for cleaning up after us after the wild nights. They are still taking accounts, so if you need your house or business cleaned, give these ladies a shout.

Thanks again everyone.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Little Bar that Could

A couple of months ago I tried to get in on the Pappy Van Winkle action and bring a few bottles to Tacoma. The liquor stores in Seattle that had been promising to hold one for me for months seemingly forgot and the stores that I found bottles in refused to sell to me as those bottles were being sent to Seattle. I was angry and jealous. We work in a small (very small...) market and we have enough struggles without the state refusing to sell us product. I fumed for a couple days, but eventually let it go. A couple of weeks ago I was reading Imbibe magazine's profile of Boston bars and I commented to a colleague of mine that nobody talks about Tacoma. At best we are Seattle's ugly sister; at worst, we are forgotten or ignored entirely.

Big thanks to Jordan for this piece and mucho, mucho thanks to everyone who has been coming out for the last year and a half. I can't really express how much I appreciate our regulars who sat in the bar when it was 20 degrees and sipped G&T's while playing cribbage or the patience everyone demonstrated as we dialed in recipes or ran out of different items. Much love to everyone who has supported us and helped spread the word. Finally, thanks to everyone who's worked at the bar and had to deal with a moody boss who's constantly adding new product and techniques.

Happy New Year everyone!