Friday, January 23, 2009

Repeal Day II: The 'Recon Crew -- Part 2


In a twist most nefarious,the folks at
Cantina teamed up with John Walker for a Repeal Day extravaganza. They put together a special menu for the evening of $1 cocktails. As you might imagine, by the time Ed and I got there, the joint was jumping, but we were undaunted. Duggan McDonnell was manning the hosting position, while behind the bar upstairs co-owner Aaron Prentice, and Jordan Mackay were churning out the drinks. We both started with an Oriental (Sazerac Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Creole Shrub, and lime juice) -- This is a great cocktail that I'm surprised doesn't get more air time. As we were enjoying our drinks, and trying to stay out of the way, Jordan popped over to say hi, and introduce us to a friend of his, Marcia "Tablehopper" Gagliardi with whom we had a fine time chatting with for a while (she's fabulous!). For our second drink, we went for the Yellow Daisy -- A pleasant mix of Gin, Dry Vermouth, and Grand Marnier. We decided to drift downstairs to the satellite bar, where Dominic Venegas was working his magic which, it turned out, consisted of making Ed and I break our "no shots" rule. As we were chatting with some of the other folks who were about, I noticed Dominic pull out a couple of silver mugs from under the bar. It was early in the evening, but it seemed that it was time for a Blue Blazer. The lights were dimmed, and with deft hands Dominic tossed flaming whiskey from mug to mug. It was a glorious display that was cut short by Ed being called into an emergency run to Elixir, and with that we were off once again.


The run to Elixir was quick. A crowd was gathering, and we had other places we needed to be. As long as we were there, and had broken our shot rule, we decided to indulge in a quick shot of the sweet, sweet Jameson. As we left, we began to talk of our next stop. We decided to head out to Beretta or NOPA. As I was eager to try a little something they were serving up for the occasion at NOPA, I used my massive charm to lure Ed NOPA ways.


The reason I wanted to go to NOPA was because they were celebrating Repeal Day by unleashing their Red Headed Rye. I had tried some a while ago thanks to persons which shall remain nameless, and was eager to have some more. When we arrived, the bar was crowded, as we had feared. Ed decided we should push through and see if we got lucky. His intuition proved genius, as two stools opened up right in front of us only moments after we situated ourselves behind the bar. As we seated ourselves, we were greeted by the delightful Kent Howard. I had met him randomly several weeks before, and was glad to see him again on our Repeal journey. Ed and I were both on the same page when it came to what we wanted to put that Rye to, and ordered Manhattans. It was a beautiful construction, with all the lively kick a Rye lover could want. We thought about sticking around for another, but it was getting late, and we wanted to make another stop.


As we walked in, we saw the benevolent face of the great Daniel Hyatt behind the bar. We were also still on the same page, looking to end our evening with another of our favorite classics -- The Sazerac. Some time ago this became one of my favorite cocktails, and it seemed to be the best way to end our evening. It was one last cheers, and several sips before Ed and I parted ways to our respective homes.

It was a grand (long) night, and a grand way to spend Repeal Day. As I sat at home drinking an enormous glass of water, I began to wonder how we might top it next year.

I'm guessing a booze pool.