Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky SF: A Shark Drink From The Cove!


Le Mixeur Sharky San Francisco kicks off in a few hours. For all of you who are sitting by your computers waiting for updates, here's another drink for the evening. This one comes from Smuggler's Cove proprietor Martin Cate:

Le Dra-kay Shar-kay

Fresh mint, fresh lime, demerara sugar, and barrel aged Novo Fogo cachaca for a refreshing twist on a mojito, served on the stem.

This drink is usually known as the El Draque, and is one of Smuggler's staples. For tonight, hoist a few in honor of Sharky and for the benefit of Special Place Foundation. Then move on to some of these other bars...





Monday, June 18, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky SF: Thank Yous and Drinkie-Poos


Le Mixeur Sharky will descend gracefully upon the Bay Area Tuesday evening, as seven of the area's finest bars will be dedicating a portion of their drink offerings for the night to the Le Mixeur Sharky cause, with 100% of the proceeds for these drinks going to Special Place Foundation, a local non-profit providing a variety of services to individuals with disabilities in an urban community farm setting.

I'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsors, without whose support the event simply would not exist. No way it would. So thank you to:


Also, praise is due to Neyah White of Suntory, as well as Rich Trachtenberg and the  Pacific Edge Wines and Spirits team.

Here's a preview of how some of the products listed above will be used Tuesday evening.

HOG & ROCKS
from bar manager Michael Lazar
Solerno Corpse Reviver (Shark Reviver?)
Beefeater gin, Lillet, Solerno blood orange liqueur, lemon juice, St. George absinthe rinse.
Sharky Tonic, Special Edition
Beefeater 24 gin, house made tonic base, seltzer, love

5TH FLOOR
from bar manager Brian Means
Sharky's Old Chum
Espolon blanco tequila, Plymouth Sloe gin, Lillet Rose, orange juice

JASPER'S 
from bar manager Kevin Diedrich
El Salinger Sour
Espolon blanco tequila, Campari, lime, grapefruit, agave

More to come between now and the event's start about drink offering and our bar heroes for the evening. In the mean time, a recap of participating bars:






Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky San Francisco: Welcome 5th Floor!


The LMSSF family would like to welcome a new member to our ranks. The 5th Floor makes bar number seven to be offering original one-night cocktail offering this coming Tuesday, June 19th. All proceeds from the specialty drinks will go to Special Place Foundation, a sustainable urban farm in the Bay Area providing opportunities to people with autism and other disabilities. Our up-to-the-minute list of bars involved:

The 5th Floor - 12 4th St. (inside Hotel Palomar) lounge open 5pm to midnight
Heaven's Dog  - 1148 Mission St. (at 7th), open 5pm to 11pm.

Hog & Rocks - 3431 19th St (at  Mission), open 5pm to midnight.
Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen - 401 Taylor (at O'Farrell), open 11:30am to midnight
The New Easy - 3255 Lakeshore Drive, Oakland, open 4:30pm to 2am.
Smuggler's Cove - 650 Gough St. (at McCallister) open 5pm to "close."
Wo Hing General Store - 584 Valencia St. (near 17th) open 5:30pm to 10pm.

If you'd like your bar to be part of this, contact me at t (dot) mixeur (at) gmail (dot) com.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky: San Francisco June 19th


With Seattle, Boston, New York City, and Portland in the books, Le Mixeur Sharky  raised over $10,000 for children with Autism in its first five weeks of existence. After a brief respite, we tackle the 800 pound gorilla of Left Coast cocktail cities, San Francisco. This time, Le Mixeur Sharky will feature a different format. Namely, instead of one site, we're going to have simultaneous events happening at several.

On the night of June 19th, from open until close, the following bars will be offering special selections of original cocktails, with all proceeds being donated to the cause:

Heaven's Dog  - 1148 Mission St. (at 7th), open 5pm to 11pm.
Hog & Rocks - 3431 19th St (at  Mission), open 5pm to midnight.
Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen - 401 Taylor (at O'Farrell), open 11:30am to midnight
The New Easy - 3255 Lakeshore Drive, Oakland, open 4:30pm to 2am.
Smuggler's Cove - 650 Gough St. (at McCallister) open 5pm to "close."
Wo Hing General Store - 584 Valencia St. (near 17th) open 5:30pm to 10pm.

This list will be updated on the blog if other bars join in. If you are a bar and you wish to join us, write me an email at t(dot)mixeur(at)gmail(dot)com, and say, "Hi, I am a bar and I want to join you!" If you are a media member and would like to cover the event, email me. If you are a liquor company and would like to sponsor, drop crates of booze at my doorstep. Or email me. If you like blueberry pancakes, feel free to email me and let me know all about it. I'm here for you regardless of the issue.

All proceeds benefit Special Place Foundation (SPF), a Bay Area sustainable urban farm community. At SPF, individuals with disabilities cultivate the crops and eat the food they grow. In the process, they learn work skills and create a community based on organic and sustainable principles. The residents at SPF live in individually owned apartments, helping to address the problem in which 80% of people with disabilities cannot find housing.
 
Special thanks to Erik Adkins, Kevin Diedrich, Michael Lazar, Brooke Arthur, and Trevor Easter for their help in launching this event. Bay Area, your benchmark is $4300, the amount raised by Portland. You're not going to let a sleepy little burg in the Pacific NW beat you, are you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky: Boston Recap. NYC Sunday 4/15


On Tuesday evening in Boston, Misty Kalkofen hosted Le Mixeur Sharky:Nine Stories, along with Jackson Cannon at The Hawthorne. Based on the reports I have received, it was a huge success, an emotional night, filled with wonderful stories, and came off seamlessly.

Oh and they also raised $1,839, which will be matched by a challenge grant, meaning $3,678 donated to the Massachusetts Advocates For Children's (MAC) Autism Center. This means that in the span of a few weeks we raised $5,501, with two more events coming up in the next eight days, starting with...

NEW YORK CITY

Date: Sunday April 15, 2012
Where:
Dutch Kills, 27-24 Jackson Ave, Long Island City
PKNY, 49 Essex St, New York City
Time: 5pm-2am at Dutch Kills, 6pm - 2am at PKNY
Cost: per drink, about what you'd figure to spend on a cocktail in NYC

Richie Boccato, a closet Seattle lover, will be offering a selection of the drinks from the original Le Mixeur Sharky event held in Seattle this past March. At that event, nine of Seattle's best bartenders created cocktails for the menu, each based on an assigned tale from Nine Stories. Richie has selected three of these to offer on Sunday: Pretty Mouth & Green My Eyes by Sidonie Rodman (who just left Seattle, wahhhh!), Just Before The War With The Eskimos by Kevin Langmack, and For Esme- With Love & Squalor by Ben Perri.

You'll find Mr.Boccato himself at Dutch Kills, while the staff at PKNY will be dispensing Salinger and Sharky drinks to the Tiki hoards at the same time. This event is being supported by William Grant & Sons, which will help increase the proceeds considerably, which is very good because proceeds will go to the NYCA Charter School, a specialized school for children with autism providing individualized education.

"The school promotes the achievement of high educational standards and the full intellectual, social, physical, and emotional potential of each of its students. It extends its educational programming beyond the school’s walls through training, consultation, and support for students’ families. The school also offers ongoing professional development opportunities to its staff, as well as to other educators in New York City and the surrounding area."


then don't forget...

PORTLAND

Date: Sunday, April 22nd
Time: 6pm-10pm
Where: Teardrop Lounge, 1015 NW Everett St.
Cost: $60/person (RSVP required!)
RSVP: daniel@teardroplounge.com

Your $60 admission gets you open bar for the duration of the event, plus food generously provided by Jennifer & Ken Norris (Riffle NW), Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen), Alex Yoder (Olympic Provisions), & Bridgeport Brewing. Daniel has recruited nine star bartenders from Portland to create yet another round of boozy interpretations of Salinger's stories. These bartenders will be taking overlapping shifts behind the bar. Representatives of NWAF will be in attendance to talk about their work, so try to stay a little sober. I know there's nine cocktails being served, but...

Note: This event is rapidly approaching capacity, fullness, sold out status, impenetrablity, surrounded by force field, etc. RSVP soon.

"The original goal of NWAF was to provide education, resources and information to parents, family, friends, caregivers and professionals treating children on the autism spectrum on a donation only basis. Shortly after its inception, NWAF expanded its goals to include facilitating early diagnosis and effective treatment for individuals with ASD."




SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ALL THESE EVENTS

  • The people organizing these events have done this for no charge out of the goodness of their hearts. And the spaces in which these events will take place have been provided to us for free.
  • The bartenders making your drinks at these events, and the people serving drinks and cleaning tables and taking out garbage and washing dishes have volunteered their time, effort, and skills. Please show your appreciation for them.
  • The expenses of these events have been greatly reduced thanks to many generous donations of product from our sponsors. More information about the sponsors will be present at each of the events, Please make a note of who they are and think pleasant thoughts of them. Their donations will increase the amount of money we raise for children with autism by literally thousands of dollars.
  • These events are amazing and fun to plan and create. You should totally do one wherever you live. I will help you as much as I can. Email me at t (dot) mixeur (at) gmail (dot) com, or post a comment to this blog if you'd like to host your own version of Le Mixeur Sharky.





Monday, April 9, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky Nine Stories: World Tour Begins




April is officially Shark Month. Well, maybe not officially. I'm not sure how anything becomes official. But April is Shark Month nonetheless, with not one, not two, but three Le Mixeur Sharky Nine Stories happening around the country. And for once in this blog's god forsaken life, I'm going to get right to the important information folks need to know. Here is your breakdown of each event and how to go to there.

BOSTON

Date: Tuesday April 10, 2012
Time: 6pm-9pm
Where: The Hawthorne, 500A Commonwealth Ave, in The Stone Room
Cost: $20/person, purchase at the door

Nine of Boston's most gifted bartenders have created their own interpretations of JD Salinger's Nine Stories. Your $20 admission grants you tastings of any or all of these nine cocktails, made by their creators. The leadership of MAC will be in attendance to share the incredible work they do.

In addition to the tastings, Hawthorne manager Jackson Cannon has graciously placed a selection of Le Mixeur Sharky drinks on the bar menu for the evening. Purchase one of the drinks from the bar and the proceeds also will go to MAC.

"Since its inception in 2002, (MAC) has become a vital force within the autism community in Massachusetts, providing training, legal assistance, advocacy, and services to thousands of parents and professionals to ensure that children with autism overcome lowered expectations and receive equal educational opportunities."



NEW YORK CITY

Date: Sunday April 15, 2012
Time: 5pm-2am
Where: Dutch Kills, 27-24 Jackson Ave, Long Island City AND
PKNY, 49 Essex St, New York City (PKNY opens at 6pm).
Cost: per drink, about what you'd figure to spend on a cocktail in NYC

Richie Boccato, a closet Seattle lover, will be offering a selection of the drinks from the original Le Mixeur Sharky event held in Seattle this past March. These drinks were created by nine of Seattle's best bartenders, each based on an assigned tale from Nine Stories. You'll find Mr.Boccato himself at Dutch Kills, while the staff at PKNY will be dispensing Salinger and Sharky drinks to the Tiki hoards at the same time. Proceeds from these drinks will go to the NYCA Charter School, a specialized school for children with autism providing individualized education.

"The school promotes the achievement of high educational standards and the full intellectual, social, physical, and emotional potential of each of its students. It extends its educational programming beyond the school’s walls through training, consultation, and support for students’ families. The school also offers ongoing professional development opportunities to its staff, as well as to other educators in New York City and the surrounding area."



PORTLAND

Date: Sunday, April 22nd
Time: 6pm-10pm
Where: Teardrop Lounge, 1015 NW Everett St.
Cost: $60/person (RSVP required!)
RSVP: daniel@teardroplounge.com

Your $60 admission gets you open bar for the duration of the event, plus food generously provided by Jennifer & Ken Norris (Riffle NW), Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen), Alex Yoder (Olympic Provisions), & Bridgeport Brewing. Daniel has recruited nine star bartenders from Portland to create yet another round of boozy interpretations of Salinger's stories. These bartenders will be taking overlapping shifts behind the bar. Representatives of NWAF will be in attendance to talk about their work, so try to stay a little sober. I know there's nine cocktails being served, but...

Note: This event is rapidly approaching capacity, fullness, sold out status, impenetrablity, surrounded by force field, etc. RSVP soon.

"The original goal of NWAF was to provide education, resources and information to parents, family, friends, caregivers and professionals treating children on the autism spectrum on a donation only basis. Shortly after its inception, NWAF expanded its goals to include facilitating early diagnosis and effective treatment for individuals with ASD."




SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ALL THESE EVENTS

  • The people organizing these events have done this for no charge out of the goodness of their hearts. And the spaces in which these events will take place have been provided to us for free.
  • The bartenders making your drinks at these events, and the people serving drinks and cleaning tables and taking out garbage and washing dishes have volunteered their time, effort, and skills. Please show your appreciation for them.
  • The expenses of these events have been greatly reduced thanks to many generous donations of product from our sponsors. More information about the sponsors will be present at each of the events, Please make a note of who they are and think pleasant thoughts of them. Their donations will increase the amount of money we raise for children with autism by literally thousands of dollars.
  • These events are amazing and fun to plan and create. You should totally do one wherever you live. I will help you as much as I can. Email me at t (dot) mixeur (at) gmail (dot) com, or post a comment to this blog if you'd like to host your own version of Le Mixeur Sharky.

THE BOSTON MENU

Since Boston is coming up so soon, let's give a little sneak peek. Your bartender lineup for the evening will be (in order of appearance) :

Sabrina Kershaw of The Citizen
Tyler Wang of No. 9 Park
John Mayer of Local 149
Ted Kilpatrick of No. 9 Park
Rob Kraemer of Chez Henri
Scott Holiday of Rendezvous
Sean Frederick of The Citizen
Ted Gallagher of Craigie On Main
John Gertsen of Drink

The bartenders will be presenting drinks in the order the stories appear in the book. So you'll begin the night with the overwhelming angst of Seymour Glass in bananafish, but by the end achieve spiritual enlightenment thanks to Teddy (note: my name's Ted, there's two bartenders at this event named Ted, the final drink and story is Teddy, and there's a movie coming out called Ted that Sharky is already campaigning to be allowed to see despite its R rating. Month of the Shark. Year of the Ted.)

Here's the menu for tomorrow night. Click on the images if you would like to make them bigger and be able to read what they say.


This version of the menu is designed to be cut up into bookmarks. If you would like to make your own bookmarks as a souvenir of the event, send me your contact info via email or a comment on this blog (which I will not publish) and I'll send you a high resolution version to print and snip.

Well, I guess that's about it. Now go party like a rock star and make a difference in the life of a child. Isn't it nice when you can do both at the same time?






Saturday, March 10, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky Menu - Anu Apte: Teddy



Teddy looked at him directly for the first time. "Are you a poet?" he asked.

"A poet?" Nicholson said. "Lord, no. Alas, no. Why do you ask?"

"I don't know. Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions."

Nicholson, smiling, reached into his jacket pocket and took out cigarettes and matches. "I rather thought that was their stock in trade," he said. "Aren't emotions what poets are primarily concerned with?”

... “Nothing in the voice of the cicada intimates how soon it will die,' " Teddy said suddenly. "'Along this road goes no one, this autumn eve."'

"What was that?" Nicholson asked, smiling. "Say that again."

"Those are two Japanese poems. They're not full of a lot of emotional stuff."




ANU APTE

There's little point in profiling Anu Apte here. I wrote about her in Left Coast Libations, and clearly everyone in the entire world has bought and read that book by now. So you all know. Just to be safe, I will make sure you know that Anu owns Rob Roy, a superior cocktail lounge and swell place located at 2nd & Battery in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. She more recently has engaged heavily in the creation of her own drinking academy, Swig Well, which provides the drinking public with education and fun on how to do it right, or how to swig well.

Anu is the only contributor to this event who was in Left Coast Libations. I intentionally sought out great bartenders in Seattle who were not in the book, because it's a full time job keeping up with how many great ones there are (and there's still so many yet we've yet to get to, so stay tuned for future fundraising events and other projects). But Anu had to be involved because she was so integral to this event from the beginning, and it was in fact her who convinced me to do this event in the first place. I had hung up my Le Mixeur jock strip, literally. Anu literally took it down off the peg on the wall and (figuratively) strapped it back on me.

So thanks and praise be to Anu, and without further ado, let's get to the drink.

TEDDY

Bulleit bourbon
Logic Apple Cider*
Dolin blanc vermouth
orange bitters
served on the rocks with a lemon "life preserver" wheel garnish**

*This cider contains all logic of the world that Anu will eat and then vomit back up and bottle. It will have some Indian spices, be made with Granny Smith Apples and lots of love from Anu.

**These are lemon wheels placed over the top of the glass. The straws will be placed in the middle of the wheel into the drink. As if the garnish is a life preserver for the straws.

(editor's note: no proportions are available at this time because Anu is making a vat of her Indian spice Granny Smith bourbon cider life preserver punch in her secret alchemical laboratories for us to simply pour into your cups, or mouths.)

HEY TED, TELL US ABOUT TEDDY!

No, I don't want to. But for the sake of explaining Anu's drink, here's a segment from the story. This will get you through tomorrow night. Then you'll just need to read the story in its entirety.

"You're just being logical," Teddy said to him impassively.

"I'm just being what?" Nicholson asked, with a little excess of politeness.

"Logical. You're just giving me a regular, intelligent answer," Teddy said. "I was trying to help you. You asked me how I get out of the finite dimensions when I feel like it. I certainly don't use logic when I do it. Logic's the first thing you have to get rid of."

Nicholson removed a flake of tobacco from his tongue with his fingers.

"You know Adam?" Teddy asked him.

"Do I know who?"

"Adam. In the Bible."

Nicholson smiled. "Not personally," he said dryly.

Teddy hesitated. "Don't be angry with me," he said. "You asked me a question, and I'm--"

"I'm not angry with you, for heaven's sake."

"Okay," Teddy said. He was sitting back in his chair, but his head was turned toward Nicholson. "You know that apple Adam ate in the Garden of Eden, referred to in the Bible?" he asked. "You know what was in that apple? Logic. Logic and intellectual stuff. That was all that was in it. So--this is my point--what you have to do is vomit it up if you want to see things as they really are. I mean if you vomit it up, then you won't have any more trouble with blocks of wood and stuff. You won't see everything stopping off all the time. And you'll know what your arm really is, if you're interested. Do you know what I mean? Do you follow me?"

"I follow you," Nicholson said, rather shortly.

"The trouble is," Teddy said, "most people don't want to see things the way they are. They don't even want to stop getting born and dying all the time. They just want new bodies all the time, instead of stopping and staying with God, where it's really nice." He reflected. "I never saw such a bunch of apple-eaters," he said. He shook his head.


Thanks for reading everybody. Hope you can join us tonight. We're all going to vomit... figuratively speaking.

Le gra (with love),
ted








Le Mixeur Sharky Menu - Kevin Langmack: Just Before The War With The Eskimos



"Look at 'em," he said. "Goddam fools."

"Who?" said Ginnie.

"I don't know. Anybody."

"Your finger'll start bleeding more if you hold it down that way," Ginnie said.

He heard her. He put his left foot up on the window seat and rested his injured hand on the horizontal thigh. He continued to look down at the street. "They're all goin' over to the goddam draft board," he said. "We're gonna fight the Eskimos next. Know that?"

"The who?" said Ginnie.

"The Eskimos.... Open your ears, for Chrissake."

"Why the Eskimos?"

"I don't know why. How the hell should I know why? This time all the old guys're gonna go. Guys around sixty. Nobody can go unless they're around sixty," he said. "Just give 'em shorter hours is all. ... Big deal."




Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories is Sunday, March 11, 5-10pm, at Inner Chapters Bookstore & Cafe, 419 Fairview Ave N, Seattle. Tickets are $25 (includes 3 cocktails) and should be pre-purchased here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/229073

KEVIN LANGMACK

Goddammit Kevin's worked at a lot of places in Seattle, for Chrissakes. He's been goin' all over the goddamn place working. Goin' to go work for the Eskimos next. Know that?

Let's see, where has he worked? (Remember, research = fascism, fragmented memory = utopia). I remember Spur, and Sun Liquor, and Vessel, and Knee High Stocking Company, and I foresee future Vessel, in 2016 when Vessel reopens. There were others. I know there were. But who cares? Where you worked doesn't define you as a person or a professional. It's your actions, your personality, and most importantly your je ne sais quoi.

Kevin's got good actions and personality, but more than anything, homes gots je ne sais quoi out the ying yang. That's right, Kevin's a Taoist I Do Now Know What.

(editor's note: it is possible, just possible, that the author of this blog is punch drunk from the demands of event preparation and is babbling at this point, but this editor could be misguided).

It is a great privilege to have Kevin involved in this project and event. He has quietly been one of Seattle's best bartenders for many years, and one of the Seattle bar scene's most affable and unassuming presences. It's genuinely good to to at long last work with him. It makes me feel all je ne sais quoi and shit.

OK, get on with the drink already...

JUST BEFORE THE WAR WITH THE ESKIMOS
AKA, MILK & COOKIES FOR GINNIE & FRANKLIN

1 ½ ounce Sun Liquor Distillery's Hedge Trimmer gin
1 ounce heavy cream
½ ounce Vanilla Syrup*

shake and strain into a milk glass
serve with an assortment of cookies

*Vanilla Syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1oz vanilla extract, or steep vanilla beans in a 1:1 simple syrup to taste.

Note #1: Kevin was also working on a highly experimental and daring concoction that was unfortunately not perfected due to certain oversights in nuclear physics. But it shall be perfected some day. No more information is available regarding this invention due to patents pending and such.

Note #2: Ginnie & Franklin are the two main characters of the story. They both could really benefit from the childlike comfort of cookies and milk, and they both could really benefit from the adultlike comfort of gin.

HEY, HOW COME GINNIE & FRANKLIN BOTH COULD REALLY BENEFIT FROM THE CHILDLIKE COMFORT OF COOKIES AND MILK AND THE ADULTLIKE COMFORT OF GIN?

If you're asking me about the story, then I'll tell you. Ginnie is a young teen from New York City, who is tennis partners with Selena. She considers Selena "the biggest drip" at their school, yet plays tennis with her because Selena provides the balls, yet resents Selena's unwillingness to help with cab fare home after tennis. When she addresses this with Selena one day on the way home, it leads to snit fits and Ginnie going home with Selena to collect what she's owed.

Ginnie's left alone while Selena goes to trouble her poor ailing mother for money. During her time in the living room, she ends up having two separate meaningful interactions that affect her thoughts on the Selena situation and perhaps beyond.

The first, and central, interaction is with Selena's brother Franklin. He is odd, an outcast, agitated and sometimes distracted, yet kind and strangely endearing. He would seem to be the type of person Ginnie would dismiss, and at first she attempts to. But she can't for some reason. She learns of his rheumatic fever as a child, which lead to heart problems, which lead to him being unable to serve in WWII and instead working in an airplane factory in Ohio during the war, and of his unrequited love for Ginnie's older sister, now married to a Naval officer. And as they talk, once can sense Ginnie's unquestioning allegiance to the status quo of the adult world and its values melting away, and discovering her own inner qualities, such as compassion and individualism.

More happens. But I'm already telling too much. Nine Stories is for sale at Inner Chapters Bookstore and Cafe, and we'll also be giving away a couple of copies as raffle prizes. That way you can read it for yourself. Just try to forget everything you just heard from me. It's all a bunch of crap.

But also remember what Kevin told you: gin and vanilla cream, with cookies. All for Ginnie & Franklin.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky Menu - Philip Thompson: De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period



"The bare truth is as follows: If you do not learn a few more of the rudiments of the profession, you will only be a very, very interesting artist the rest of your life instead of a great one. This is terrible, in my opinion. Do you realize how grave the situation is?"





Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories is Sunday, March 11, 5-10pm, at Inner Chapters Bookstore & Cafe, 419 Fairview Ave N, Seattle. Tickets are $25 (includes 3 cocktails) and should be pre-purchased here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/229073

PHILIP THOMPSON

Here's a little lineage that explains Philip Thompson's place in the grand ole scheme of bartending things:

1) Philip's first name is the same as the middle name of fellow Le Mixeur Sharky contributor Ben Perri. They even spell it the same way, with one l. In case you have extremely short capacity for thought, the name we're talking about is, "Philip."

2) Philip's last name is the same last name as my Barbados brother David, who went with me to my first ever Tales Of The Cocktail , David was a friend of Chesterfield Brown of Mount Gay Rum, who once famously said, "MOUNT! GAY! RUM! WITH COCONUT! WATER!"

Actually he said it about 20 times, at a seminar at Tales that David Thompson and I were at.

3) Philip used to work with fellow Le Mixeur Sharky contributor Nathan Weber, AKA The Laughing Man, at Tavern Law. On more than one occasion while working together, these two mans were seen laughing.

4) Philip now is lead bartender at The Coterie Room, owned by chef duo Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, who also own Tavern Law, and Spur, which is less than a block away from Coterie Room. Fellow Le Mixeur Sharky contributor Marley Tomic-Beard, AKA Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut, used to work at Spur. But neither Philip nor Marley actually has an Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut.

5) Nathan Weber, Dana Tough, Brian McCracken, and Marley Tomic-Beard have never had a blue period. I asked Philip if he has had a blue period. He wouldn't say. That to me sounds like the response of a man who has.

All I'm trying to say is that Philip Thompson is one of the great bartenders in our fair city. He makes wonderful drinks and is an impeccably cordial host. He has excelled in some of Seattle's all too rare establishments where world-class food and world-class drink peacefully co-exist and actually enhance one another. And he has now invented a drink interpretation of De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period. What could possibly be next?

Well, how about the damn recipe?

DE DAUMIER-SMITH'S BLUE PERIOD
AKA "Le Chat de Schrödinger"

1 ½ ounce of (whiskey or gin or vodka it is not known until it is made)
½ ounce blue curacao
½ ounce lime juice
dash of angostura bitters
dash of orange bitters

shake over ice and strain into a...

HEY WHY DID PHIL MAKE HIS DRINK ABOUT THIS STORY SO WEIRD?

"I went upstairs to my room and lay down on my bed. Some minutes, or hours later, I made, in French, the following brief entry in my diary: 'I am giving Sister Irma her freedom to follow her own destiny. Everybody is a nun.' (Tout le monde est une nonne.)"

De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period is a story of a precocious 19 year old, recently returned to New York after nine years in Paris, who fibs his way into a job in Quebec providing correspondence art instruction to students of the art school of M. Yoshoto. Unimpressed and mostly depressed by the submitted works of most of his students, he finds himself smitten with the simplistic work of Sister Irma, commissioned to study art by Father Zimmerman at Les Amis Des Vieux Maitres. He especially adores her watercolor depiction of Christ being carried to the sepulchre in Joseph of Arimathea's garden.

So inspired is he by her work, he immediately writes her a letter even more long-winded than this blog about what she must do to refine her painting and achieve genius status. When she doesn't respond and instead Father Zimmerman writes to say he has reconsidered his decision to allow Sister Irma to pursue her art at Les Amis Des Vieux Maitres, De Daumier-Smith (not his real name) writes another long-winded letter even more desperate to corral Sister Irma's artistic spirit.

He then takes to the streets and observes a young woman in the display window of a shop, working hard to re-dress a wooden dummy with a truss. In the course of his observation and interaction with the female stranger, she reacts strongly to his appearance, and he experiences an epiphany. We are not sure what exactly this epiphany is, but when he returns home, in his own mind and diary he permits Sister Irma her freedom.

Mr. Philip Thompson interprets Smith's actions, and his statement "Tout le monde est une nonne" to mean everyone can make their own choices. And to quote Phil, "De Daumier-Smith came to this conclusion by witnessing an event in which the act of watching affected the outcome."

And so with the drink Le Chat de Schrödinger, inspired by De Daumier-Smith's blue period, everyone can make their own choices. You choose your base, mix with Blue Curacao for your blue, and add in lime and the bitters because, as is always important, it will make it taste good.

Freedom! It tastes good!

What does Le Chat de Schrödinger mean? I don't know. I think it sounds like it means a cat named by a guy named Schrödinger. What's the deeper meaning? I intentionally didn't ask. Now you all have to come to Le Mixeur Sharky and ask Phil himself. He'll make a choice as to how to answer. And each answer will be true.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky: The Back Story Part 3


I was supposed to write a blog post about Philip Thompson and his contribution to the Le Mixeur Sharky menu tonight. But I'm dead to rights, fatigued from a full day of work and hours of preparation for Sunday. So I'll write about Phil tomorrow. In the mean time, here's probably the last segment of re-posts from the Still Life With Shark blog. This one's from May 4, 2008, but based on a day in August 2005 when Sharky moved from Olympia to Seattle with his mothers. As I was living in Olympia and tied into a lease and a job, it caused a separation between us that I was not quite prepared for. So I figured I'd better write him a letter that one day we'd both enjoy.

Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories is Sunday, March 11, 5-10pm, at Inner Chapters Bookstore & Cafe, 419 Fairview Ave N, Seattle. Tickets are $25 (includes 3 cocktails) and should be pre-purchased here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/229073

August 1, 2005


Today was a very special and very painful day. Today was the day that you would leave for Seattle to live with your mom in your new home on Capitol Hill. I think that it’s a good idea for you to make this move, and I will make the move along with you once my lease in Olympia is up. In the mean time, I will see you almost every weekend, and we will spend the whole weekend together when we see each other. But still it’s very hard for me to see you go.


Do you wonder why that’s hard, when I will still see you all the time anyway, and will be back living near you in a few months? Well, I wonder why too, and I think after wondering why I have a few explanations.


One is that this town, Olympia, has been your home and mine for as long as you have been alive. When I walk around town, I see places that we have spent times together, and had fun, that we will probably never go to together again. Just today, I walked through the area of Capitol Boulevard and Union. This is near where you and your mom used to live. I would take you for walks in your stroller through that area when you were very little. We would go to Wagner’s Bakery and get a muffin and share it. We’d walk around and look at the nice houses in that neighborhood, and sometimes I would wish I had enough money to buy one of those houses for us to live in. It is a big change. I think change is good, and I think this change is good for you and for me, but it’s still hard to let go of happy things, like living in Olympia with you.


Another thing that makes me sad is that I worry about you. I worry that this big change will be very hard for you, and I will be so far away that I can’t help you with it as much as I want to. I know you are a very tough little boy, and you are always OK, and that your mom will take good care of you. But because I am your father, I feel very protective of you and I want to personally ensure that you are OK. I worry that you are in a big city now and there are more dangers there, and I am not there to protect you. I am listening to a song right now, with lyrics that go like this…


“yellow hair…you are such a funny bear…it’s so hard to be in the city, because you want to say ‘hey’ to everybody.”


I wonder if you will want to say “hey” to everybody in the city.



I also feel sad because we have been spending so much time together lately, and now you are gone. I feel like a part of me is missing (I even wonder sometimes if the sadness I feel is from you being gone, or if I am just feeling the world’s sadness because you are not there to protect me from it anymore…do you understand?). I feel like you can’t possibly understand why I am not with you anymore. I know you will go on, being brave, living life and enjoying yourself. But I worry that you are having fun despite your worries. I don’t want you to do that, I want you to not have any worries. I know that isn’t realistic, but that is what I want for you.


This morning, I woke up very early with a very heavy heart because I knew it was going to be very hard to say goodbye to you. I almost just got up and left you sleeping with Lela, so I wouldn’t have to say goodbye and maybe you would be less sad if you woke up and I was gone instead of having to watch me leave. I went into the kitchen to mix a cup of juice for you or for Lela to give you when you woke up, and I heard you crying. You came walking out of the bedroom as I was walking from the kitchen to see what was wrong. You had woken up and were sad because you didn’t see me in bed next to you. I comforted you and came back to bed. You settled down and then started to play. We got up and got dressed. I told you that I was going to take you to see Terry and you started to cry. You asked for mama, and for grandma. I told you that you would stay with Terry for a little while until your mama came to pick you up. You sobbed, “ok” and then you cheered up. I was happy you felt better, but I knew that what you understood was that you were going to see mama, not that you would have to be left with Terry first. I made you some toast and we got in the car. You were smiling and singing along to Ernie and Bert, and munching on your toast. You were so happy, and I felt very guilty because I knew I was about to do something that would make you sad.


We were early, so we stopped at Bagel Brothers and got a bagel and a coffee. I figured I’d eat half of the bagel and drink the coffee for my own breakfast, then save the rest of the bagel for you to eat while you were with Terry.


We drove to Terry’s house, which is right next door to the house you and your mama were moving out of. Terry wasn’t home. I called her and she said they were at the store and on their way home. You squirmed from my arms and ran away from Terry’s over to your house. Except it wasn’t your house anymore. We went inside and everything was gone. You went upstairs to the place where your TV was, and you said “Uh-Oh, where TV?” I tried to put on a brave face, and tell you how exciting it was that you were going to have new place to play, and that your mama had taken everything to this great new place so you could have fun playing there together, and she would be back soon to take you to the wonderful new place. But you are three years old, and those words don’t make much sense to you.


Terry came home, and I carried you over to her place. You knew where you were going, and you didn’t want to go. So I had to clutch onto you very hard to keep you from running away. I handed you to Terry and she carried you inside. I walked over to the doorway and waved goodbye to you, and told you everything was OK and mama would be there soon. You were red in the face, crying and screaming. You begged me not to leave and reached your little hand out to me. I had to wave goodbye and close the door. I knew the sooner I left the sooner you would start to get used to your new surroundings and have some fun.


I felt a strange feeling wash over me as I walked to my car, like I was going to fall over or collapse. I felt like all of the life was flooding out of me. I drove out of the parking lot quickly and found a spot off the road to pull over. I started to cry very hard. I felt alone, so I called Lela on the phone. When she answered, I couldn’t even speak, I just cried into the phone.


After a few minutes, I calmed down a bit and took some deep breaths. I got off the phone with Lela and then called your mama. I left her a message asking her to please hurry up and go get you, and to please call me when she had you so I knew you weren’t unhappy anymore. I also told her I would like to come see you this Saturday morning. I needed to have a set date and time when I knew for sure I would see you again.


Then I went to work.


I was scared to go to work because I felt so sad, but it kind of cheered me up. I went with a client of mine to his first day of work, and he was so happy to be at his job that it made me happy. Later, I was helping another client with his job. He noticed I was feeling down, and asked me if I was tired. I said, “Yes, I’m very tired today.” And he said, “I’m sorry you’re tired.” I thought that was very sweet.


I spoke with your mom later and we decided I would come get you on Friday evening, and we will spend the whole weekend together! And then I went home and wrote this letter to you, which I think you will probably read sometime when you are older. Now that I’m finishing writing it, I feel like maybe I am ready to put this whole sad day behind me and get back to being your happy father again.


But here’s the funny thing: I’m very pleased to know that I can feel this strongly still. When you’re three years old, your emotions are so strong it’s almost scary, and maybe sometimes you come to wish they would just calm down. But as you get older, it gets harder and harder to really feel strongly about anything, and you start to wish you could feel more. I feel so much love for you that it makes me feel very very sad sometimes, like when you are leaving, or when you’re sad. But most of the time, it just makes me feel very very happy to love you so much. So thank you for making me feel so much.


I can’t wait for Friday evening. I hope you are very happy in your new home.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky Menu - Marley Tomic-Beard: Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut


Mary Jane pushed her chin farther forward over the edge of her forearm.

"El. . ." she said.

"Why won't you tell me how he was killed? I swear I won't tell anybody. Honestly. Please."

"No."

"Please. Honestly. I won't tell anybody."

Eloise finished her drink and replaced the empty glass upright on her chest. "You'd tell Akim Tamiroff," she said.

"No, I wouldn't! I mean I wouldn't tell any--"

"Oh," said Eloise, "his regiment was resting someplace. It was between battles or something, this friend of his said that wrote me. Walt and some other boy were putting this little Japanese stove in a package. Some colonel wanted to send it home. Or they were taking it out of the package to rewrap it--I don't know exactly. Anyway, it was all full of gasoline and junk and it exploded in their faces. The other boy just lost an eye." Eloise began to cry. She put her hand around the empty glass on her chest to steady it.

Mary Jane slid off the couch and, on her knees, took three steps over to Eloise and began to stroke her forehead. "Don't cry, El. Don't cry."

"Who's crying?" Eloise said.



Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories is Sunday, March 11, 5-10pm, at Inner Chapters Bookstore & Cafe, 419 Fairview Ave N, Seattle. Tickets are $25 (includes 3 cocktails) and should be pre-purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/229073


MARLEY TOMIC-BEARD

As I mentioned in the previous post on Ben Perri, sometimes Seattle gets lucky and a some of the most superest bartenders around move here to Seattle and make really super drinks and act like really super people in public places called bars. And Marley is one of these super types. Since moving to Seattle, most of us first got to know her while she was bartending at Spur. Then she started sneaking down the alleyway to Bathtub Gin and making drinks there too. Then she disappeared from Belltown all together and helped open the bar at Golden Beetle in Ballard! Oh that mischievous Marley! (It was right at that time we all started calling her "Crazy Marley." We stopped calling her that a few moments later because, well, it was pretty silly.)

After proving her point at Golden Beetle, she moved on to create a brand damn spanking new bar program at the brand damn spanking new restaurant and bar The Sexton (at least is was brand damn spanking new at the time. After a few months the city comes out to the restaurant and removes the brand damn spanking seal. Then you're just "new"). There you will find the bar front and center and Marley making delicious drinks, and you will also find a menu of southern-influenced food items that are delicious. And the best part, all you have to is ask for them, and someone brings it right to where you're sitting and you can eat it! Woohoo!

Marley came to us from Boston, where she was inspired to pursue a craft cocktail lifestyle by Misty Kalkofen, these days of Brick & Mortar in Cambridge. Misty is organizing a Le Mixeur Sharky event in Boston in April. Marley is contributing to the Le Mixeur Sharky event in Seattle. See how everything is coming full circle? Perhaps it's more like two straight lines going back and forth between Boston and Seattle. But if you push the ends of those lines towards each other, they might bow into two arches, at which point the ends can be welded together to form a circle. Our operatives are working on this as we speak. Bow those lines, m'boys! Bow those lines m'ladies! Raise High The Roofbeam, Carpenters!

All I'm really trying to say is, I'm glad Marley's here now.

UNCLE WIGGILY IN CONNECTICUT

1 ½ ounce Dewar's blended scotch
¾ ounce Riesling Simple Syrup*
¾ ounce Campari
¼ ounce lemon juice
2 dashes Laphroaig

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass
Strain into Collins glass, top with soda and ice

*1 part water to 3 parts sweet, aromatic Riesling, heated to boil and then mixed with a 1:1 ratio of sugar. For example: 8 ounces water, 24 ounces Riesling, mixed with 32 ounces sugar (by volume).

Marley took seriously the task of making a drink that relates to its story. Also, her story has some elements that make for guides to the drink. For instance, the two principal characters in the story are described as drinking highballs throughout the afternoon they spend together. Towards the end of the story one picks up a near-empty bottle of scotch, revealing that they've been drinking scotch highballs.

They also chain smoke throughout the story (as do pretty much all adults in Salinger stories) so Marley adds the dashes of Laphroaig (which worked much better than the original idea to build the drink in a Collins glass over ice and a wet cigarette butt).

So essentially what Marley has done (and I will paraphrase her own description), is to create a scotch highball with nostalgia, love lost or gone up in smoke (the real reason for the smoky Laphroaig). The Riesling syrup represents the sugar-coated sophistication, or plastic/candy facade, of the life of comfort that Eloise, the main character leads. The Campari represents the bitterness of her life, caused by the loss of her true love.

SO IS THIS STORY ABOUT ANYTHING BESIDES DRINKING AND SMOKING?

Yes and no. It is about two women getting together one snowy afternoon in Connecticut. They were college roommates their freshmen year, and neither one of them would finish school. Both fell into romances instead. Mary Jane ended up a career woman. Eloise ended up marrying a successful man she doesn't love after her true love, Walt, died in the war. Eloise is spirited, sharp, and funny. But she's miserable. She doesn't even seem to like her husband, and her daughter is a source of annoyance and embarrassment for her, despite the fact that she is a sweet child. Eloise complains about the maid, the pillows, the furniture, and anything else that comes up.

As the afternoon turns to evening and Eloise keeps serving up scotch highballs, convincing Mary Jane to cancel her work appointments and stay with her, the women get more inebriated, the topics of conversation become deeper and more emotional, and eventually it is revealed to us with heartbreaking clarity how Eloise, once a sweet, naive, and fragile girl in love has become a lonely, isolated, and bitter woman buried in her Connecticut palace.

This is my favorite story in the collection, and I don't want to reveal anymore about it here or give any hint as to the meaning of the title. One day, please make yourself an Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut (or go to the Sexton and see if Marley's got some Riesling syrup she can use to make you one), get out a copy of Nine Stories, sip, read, and don't worry. Everything's going to be OK. It really is. You were a nice girl, weren't you?