Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sometimes, you have to trust the bartender

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Sazerac Cocktail by ~dgies"]Sazerac Cocktail by ~dgies[/caption]See if you know this one. Guy walks into an absinthe bar and orders a Manhattan. The bartender says "you want a Sazerac instead. It's like Manhattan, but made with rye and a dash of absinthe". Guy says, "What the hell."

That guy would be me. And that's the story of when Phil and I and our lovely wives went out tearing it up Saturday night in Boulder. Well, "tearing it up" may be taking things too far. But I did have a Sazerac, and I'm writing this blog post about it for no other reason than my attempt to not forget the name. Because it was damned good. And I have a shitty memory for things like names.

Let me say that I categorically do not like absinthe. It tastes like Nyquil™. I don't care for wintergreen because it tastes like Pepto-Bismol™. Whoever the hell first decided medicine-flavored candy and booze was a good idea is a moron. But back to the drink.

I'm not sure if I like rye whiskey. I probably do, but I don't have the necessary palate to discern what makes rye whiskey better -- or at least different -- from bourbon. Yeah, that's going to piss a lot of you off. Sorry. Not my intention. And I'm sure with a little coaching and guidance, I'd develop a taste for whiskey like I have for scotch, beer and tequila. Not that I need to develop the taste for yet another expensive sin.

But back to the drink. I let myself be lead down the path -- more like rolled down the path -- for a simple reason: I was in the Absinthe House in Boulder, and the bartender exuded confidence. It wasn't that he didn't have the stuff to make a Manhattan. He did. I saw all the necessary liquids on the shelf right near everything else. No, this guy knew that people who like Manhattans would probably like a Sazerac. But just to be safe, he floated the "rye whiskey" part out there in case I fancied myself a bourbon man. I do not.

And so... he made it. And I drank it. And more importantly, I liked it. No, I can't share the recipe with you. There are plenty online and I can't say for certain if any of them would match up to the caliber of the one I had. Hell, I can't even say for sure if the one I had was a good one or not. I can say that I liked it, and now I have another cocktail to order when the tap selection of a place leaves me wanting. Which is all too often.

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