The real trouble with cocktail snobbery is that it becomes almost impossible to drink anything you haven’t made yourself. There are a few bars where this is the exception but I can begin to see why people would favor one place as their sole drinking establishment. In the last month I have been to birthdays, conventions, parties, bars, pubs and restaurants. At any given time my go to drink in terra incognita is the kamikazi. It’s simple, hard to screw up and doesn’t require me to muzzle myself from staring at pictures of things in martini glasses that aren’t martinis.
Of the 3-5 kamikazi’s that I have ordered I have to say that the best by far was one made in the upstairs bar at Big Al’s. If you have not been to one of these places before Big Al’s is a combination pizza place, bowling alley, arcade, bar and sports bar. It’s functionally a casino where the gambling is replaced by whack-a-mole ticket games.
All of the other times I’ve had this very, very simple drink made for me there is something wrong with it. Too much lime juice, bad triple sec, sometimes I just can’t put my finger on it but I’m betting the vodka is to blame.
All of this from the combination of vodka, triple sec and lime juice. It’s embarrassing that anything more complicated than a screwdriver and I feel like I have to give the bartender the third degree about what he’s putting in my glass. I’m just not sure if it’s more embarrassing for him or me.
Come back around to the convention I went to in April. Someone at the event was having a birthday party and they handed me $300 and a general list of booze-o-hol that they wanted. I was to make haste to the liquor store and acquire potables for the evening. The list was fairly simple, a nice collection of rum, vodka, tequila and the like. No crazy expensive whisky or bizarre requests. But still the list annoyed me because it seemed to lack any real direction. It wasn’t like I was trying to make anything specific, it was just a list of baseline alcohol that someone would later add some kind of fruit juice or soda to in an attempt to become as hammered as possible.
So when the party rolled around I pulled out my travel case and lay down the law of good drinking. I made my own drinks using top shelf vodka and liqueurs and let the craziness of the party fade into the background as I mixed solid and tasty cocktails.
Some nights you can wish that it is as simple as putting a gallon of hood river vodka through your liver but for the life of me I can’t seem to bring myself to so casually toss aside my palate just to watch the room wiggle.