Log Date

A whiskey adventure for you and me.

  1. Still frame

    Gang’s all here.
@The Coterie Room. 
via Bookofbourbon Instagram. 

    Gang’s all here.

    @The Coterie Room. 

    via Bookofbourbon Instagram

  2. Still frame

    Linda’s Tavern, Seattle 

    Linda’s Tavern, Seattle 

  3. Moving pictures

    Here’s Youtube’s poorly named “American Hipster” series in Seattle, featuring Rachel’s Ginger Beer and one of our beloved Seattle bars, Montana. Maybe we’re in it for a split second or so, partaking in whiskey gingers, who’s to say?

  4. Writing on the coaster

    Ode to Linda’s Brunch

    It’s noon already and everyone made vague plans to meet at noon for brunch and they were adamant about it you think and the daylight’s creeping on in and your phone beeps from the catacombs of your blankets somewhere — a simple emoticon of an egg in a frying pan, which you swear at one point was a much quainter egg cracking, though either no one believes or no one cares — and all that emoticon is asking you is to walk down the hill and order up comfort foods already but you know everyone is lost in the same depths of morning time as you are, squinting their eyes and pressing buttons that correspond with little images of eggs. 

    These are not the mornings for a proper brunch. You will not be meeting with ten of your colleagues at a reserved table that was hashed out over a string of emails. You will not be catching up with elders whom expect you to be appropriately groomed. You will not queue up anywhere on a sidewalk for over three minutes, maximum. No one you meet will have already completed a run this morning. No one will bring a kid. Nothing on the menu shall require some perfunctory google — no tobiko, brandade, basmati, romesco, raclette, treviso, poblano, julienne* bullshit. You will only bring whatever cash you have leftover from last night, crumpled in your pocket, and that will be enough. 

    You will go to what you know. 

    image

    You’ll layer up with whatever you find on or near your bed. You’ll waste six extra minutes scouring around for a hat. Then you will place sunglasses over your face, and be marginally surprised when someone recognizes you in them anyway, as though you honestly believed they rendered you indistinguishable. Maybe you’ll bring your dog, to compensate for that sad sleepwalk-stumble you did around the block at 8am. He needs the world now just as much as you do.

    It’s Linda’s because it always is. This isn’t the time to be making decisions, taking chances. It’s cheap, it’s central, and it’s some sort of homing beacon for wayward souls. You’ll bypass the dim bar room and head out to the patio, find a picnic table, order a pitcher of beef jerky Bloody Marys, pose the same weary question to your slowly amassing table: “When are they going to start serving pitchers of Gatorade?” Bodies will trickle in. A boy in shorts will say, “I wasn’t ready for whole pants.” At least three people will be greeted with, “Where did you go last night?” At most, this will elicit a slight chuckle as response enough. Someone will display their shattered phone, another their disorienting bruise. You’ll order too much food. Some rando will pick hash browns off of your plate when enough is enough. All movements will be in slow motion for awhile. But you’ll regain. 

    The coffee and the eggs and the sunshine will work their way into your bloodstream and voices will lift, days will be tentatively be planned. If it’s the summertime, it’s a direct route to the beach. In spring, everyone to the park. In winter, well, you are about to take a nap right now, sorry but it’s going to happen, so grab a few friends, put on some sitcom, fall asleep together and regroup in an hour. In fall, it’s a walk or a bike ride. Take the long route home with your dog, let him traipse through that volcano fountain or  lose his damn mind in a dog run. Your day has really only just begun. 

    You’ll wave goodbye, sort of, and no one will utter any sort of plan to do this again sometime — just wait a month or two, and eventually the same morning will come crashing in on all of you at once again, and there Linda’s will be.

    *These were just real items I lifted from the Foreign Cinema menu

  5. Writing on the coaster

    SIPS OF BOURBON: Knob Creek on the rocks, Puget Sound

    image

    In college, I took a summer job at this tourist trap of a restaurant on a pier along the Puget Sound. My job was to shuttle godawful overpriced vodka-guava-bullshit cocktails and various fried seafood to travelers, many of whom were about to embark on the floating all-you-can-eat buffet that is an Alaskan cruise. I didn’t mind, as volume was high, the money piled up, I got to be out in the long-awaited sunshine all day long, and my coworkers were alike — sardonic college students cashing in on the summertime. 

    Restaurants like this can and do gouge you because they can: because they have a great fucking view. This place did indeed. It overlooked the Sound and the glorious Olympic mountain range. A bulk of the job actually entailed being a tour guide, and answering a string of questions, usually with directional gestures: Where’s that ferry going? Bainbridge Island. Are those the Cascades? No, those are to the east. Is that really an active volcano right over there?? Yes, Mount Rainier is active and overdue, and you are viewing it from two hours north — it’s a monster. And also, where can we can get drunk tonight? Go left on 1st for the meat market, right on 1st for the moms and dads. 

    This only went awry once. I had thought I had built a good rapport with a troop of Midwesterners grabbing a few drinks before a Mariner’s game. That summer, a massive white orb had been tugged into the harbor. So after enough banter about swimming across the sound to Alki Point and thieving a sea plane from Lake Union, the table had fielded a familiar question: “What the hell is that?” It was, in fact, some sort of missile detection station being repaired by Boeing. What I answered, however, was, “Oh, that’s just our weather control station prototype. We’re working on our winters.” They all laughed uproariously and asked some wild questions about attacking other lands with storms. Then, more pointedly, How will a sudden lack of precipitation affect the ecosystem? Is it a broader control, or decided day-by-day? What other cities will have this technology available? I began backing away. There was no taking back anything now; I’d duped them. Did they believe me when I told them stealing Cessnas was so simple, since a kid from the islands did it all the time? Did they really think I caught their oysters myself that morning? 

    At the end of the day, I had put up with a lot of bullshit. I’d been undertipped, paid in dozens of coins. I’d been overtipped — once a guy had handed me a $20 for every vodka Red Bull I brought him, until I had to cut him off after five when he ripped up another $20 and drank it. I smelled vaguely like clam chowder and residual sweat and sunscreen. But, every night, we closed up the cabana, put down the umbrellas, and watched the sun die over the Olympics. 

    Cashing out, we were allowed a shift drink. It was meant to be a draft beer, probably. But when the upstairs bartender, an older gentleman, discovered my penchant for bourbon, he poured a different whiskey every night, some neat, some on the rocks, in a summers-long whiskey tasting. All the chaos of the day drifted away and, with a book and a sunset, I couldn’t imagine anything more calming than that first bourbon after a wild, warm day. 

  6. Old-fashioned Hyperlink

    "Slow Drinks, Faster
    Everyone enjoys a fancy and complicated cocktail from time to time, but nothing kills a buzz quite like waiting 20 minutes for your beverage to be concocted. At last, considerate bartenders have devised clever ways to speed up the process. A few of our favorite tricks: serving batch cocktails like punch (at Cienfuegos in New York City), putting mixed drinks on tap (at Sanctuaria in St. Louis), pouring barrel-aged cocktails over ice (at Tigress Pub in Austin), bottling popular menu items before bar service begins (at Canon in Seattle), and storing bottled cocktails for individual customers (at Saxon & Parole in NYC). Soon, getting up to order a drink from the bar won’t take much longer than fixing it yourself—and you won’t have to wash any dishes afterward.”

  7. Still frame

    Morning Booker’s at Skillet- delicious with a biscuit and coffee.

    Morning Booker’s at Skillet- delicious with a biscuit and coffee.