Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mixology Monday: Plaisirs coupables!

Mixology Monday
, hosted by Stevi Deter at Two at the Most, this month focuses on the subject of "Guilty Pleasures."

First let me say that I have always had a different attitude about guilty pleasures than most. I have always figured that something that brings me pleasure, and in no way harms anyone or anything else, is a guilt-free pursuit. Therefore, you may snicker all you please at my simple joys in conscience is clean!

That said, there are a few guilty pleasures I would like to share (Mom, if you're reading, stop now):

1) When I was 19, I slept with my best friend's girlfriend on the halfway line of a soccer field. That was a goodly dash of pleasure, followed by a whopping jigger of guilt.

2) Once, during an extremely difficult time in my life, I...bombed an orphanage...please, ne moi jugez pas!

And so, there you have it. My guilty pleasures. Thank you for reading!


(editor's note: haven't actually mentioned cocktails yet.)

Ah yes, of course. Let me tell you about my time at the Evergreen State College...

Bear in mind that none of these tales are sources of guilt for me. In fact, I radiate with pride over these accomplishments. They brought a lot of joy to a lot of people...most of them underage.

In the year 2000, I found myself re-enrolled in college, studying 1st Amendment Law under the guidance of the inimitable Jose Gomez, former legal advisor to Cesar Chavez and currently employing the Socratic teaching method at Evergreen State. I also found myself living in an on-campus apartment with five randomly assigned males ranging in age from 19 to 22. Both aspects of the experience were to have significant cultural impact upon my life.

Things really got started when, on one drizzly winter's eve, a knock came at our door, and we found ourselves being paid a visit by Paula Fallen Star Nicole Jenkins. She introduced herself, explained that she was one of the five women living in the apartment next door to us, and also informed us that they were in possession of copious quantities of booze, and would like us to come over some time and consume it.

We calmly thanked her for the offering, assured her we would take her up on the generous offer sometime in the future, and bid her adieu.

Upon shutting the door, what ensued was one of the all-time most frenzied flying chest bump sessions in human history. What lucky star was it shining down upon us that fated, feted eve? An apartment full of women, located 3 feet away, stocked to the gills with booze, had opened its doors to us. God is good.

Having figured we'd played it cool long enough, we headed over to their apartment about 4 1/2 minutes later. As it turns out, some of the women living there were friends with a group of soldiers stationed at Fort Lewis. The "army boys" as we would all come to call them, would stock their car up with discounted liquor from the Base Exchange, bring it as offering to the women, and leave the leftovers behind. Even better! Spirits taste sweetest when furnished by the United States Military. It's what's known as equitable re-appropriation of the federal budget.

Mostly what was in stock was rum - Bacardi, Castillo, Potters, Malibu...all the best stuff.

While taking shots of rot gut rum can be loads of fun, eventually one comes to crave a mixed drink to change things up. A quick scan of the kitchen cabinets revealed a Costco-sized container of Tang mix. Moments later saw the birth of the now legendary cocktail, "The Rummatang!"


Fill plastic tumbler with ice
fill halfway with rum
top with Tang
umm...I guess you could stir it.
(Amyl Nitrate garnish optional)

As nicely balanced a drink as the Rummatang! is, it lacks somewhat in complexity, and thus becomes somewhat redundant after consuming 7-8 per night every night for a month. So one can imagine T.Mixeur's delight when discovering a new jar of powder in the women's cabinet, generic lemonade!


Fill plastic tumbler with ice
fill halfway with rum
top with Lemonade
Yeah, you probably should stir it, or just dump the whole thing into another tumbler, preferably a clean one, but, you know, work with what you got.

This drink addresses an entirely different area of the palette, an area commonly known in cocktail and foodie circles as the "Yellow Number 5 Area." It is strong in its effervescence, much more so than the Rummatang!, but it's a bit too much in one direction, at least in its ability to stand up to repeated consumption, and repeated consumption..,.and repeated consumption.

And then, the solution occurred to me. There would need to be a combination of the previous two drinks...


Fill plastic tumbler with ice
fill halfway with rum
fill to 3/4 full with Lemonade
top with Tang
hold drink up, wave it around wildly, proclaiming your genius to everyone in the room - the drink will become properly mixed in the process.

The Rummalemmotang! is sheer cocktail perfection. The lemonade's Glycerol Ester Of Wood Rosin gets into a delightful interplay with the Xanthan and Cellulose gums in the Tang, and oh baby...they do the dance. Yes they do.

Before I leave you, I must add one more creation from this period of my life. This one is perfect for a road trip, particularly one that culminates with everyone's favorite pastime: drinking in public with underage women! Yes!

Suntan Lotion

1 20 oz bottle lemon lime soda (I used Sierra Mist)
Malibu Rum
A car with poor suspension and shock absorbers made using springs from an old Murphy bed (I used a 1977 Plymouth Trail Duster).
60 miles of winding, hilly roads (I used State Route 108)

Drink or pour out half the contents of the lemon lime soda
fill with Malibu
place bottle in "way-back" of car on its side, to ensure it will roll around.
drive to your destination.
find remote spot, such as the tall reeds growing near the pacific coast shoreline.

And there you have it, my not-so-guilty pleasures.

(Editor's note: Le Mixeur in no way condones the recreational use of Amyl Nitrate or other pharmaceuticals, particularly those taken illegally from a United States Military hospital. Nor do we condone the consumption of alcohol in public, particularly with underage women...however, we wish to stress that we in no way feel guilty for the times this practice, accidentally and without premeditation on our part, occurred in the past. What's done is done. You can't change the past...hey! stop looking at me like that! Oh like you're so perfect and never did anything slightly immoral or illegal! Judge not lest ye be judged! Let he who is without sin cast...something something something...

Again, we acknowledge no guilt or shame regarding any of these matters. We maintain clean conscience, not to mention moral high ground. Thank you.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Octroi d'une certaine mère fuckers leur propers

No one likes the award recipient speech that drags on and on, thanking everyone under the sun, until the crappy music starts playing to send us out to commercial (unless it's Cuba Gooding Jr, in which case everyone loves you, even Goldie Hawn). But there are many people who deserve mention for their efforts that have not been adequately mentioned yet. Plus, Le Mixeur has not been granted any award (yet) and we have no commercial breaks (yet).

So that said, let's start with Ma and Pa Harris of Gordon's On The Green, who required a Costco extra jumbo sized cart to transfer in the amazing assortment of cheeses, crackers, and other goodies they provided. They did this without charge, without being begged. They even set it up and made it look pretty for us on their own serving dishes. Bless their hearts. And bless their business with your patronage if ever in the greater Tukwila area. Having spent a fair amount of time in South King County, I can pretty much guarantee you will not find better fare than a place run by the Harris clan and a certain Anu Apte.

Also thanks to Jean, better known as Le Belly Dancer. I was only peripherally aware of her presence due to my pre-occupation with the bar, but judging from post-Mixeur comments and photos, I think it's safe to say that it was a big hit. Hopefully Jean has not since been besieged with clumsy advances from lovesick fools. See you next time, Jean?

And merci to my roommate and our DJ, Andrew Means. Andrew not only provided us with the prefect collage of sound throughout the night, not only some nifty dance floor lights, but also with his own unique form of interpretive dance - and what he was interpreting was the raw power of soul. Rare is it indeed, that the DJ not only inspires butts to be shaken, but also provides a demonstration of the manner in which they should be shook.

I'd like to thank my brother Ben for one of the most amazingly spastic bar performances of all time, one that if the drug were right should be added to the film Reefer Madness, and also for fetching me glasses of water just when I needed them.

I'd like to thank Dashiell and Nick for bringing me a lovely assortment of cheese and nuts from the Gordon's On The Green Spread.

And while we're at it, let's again thank Martin Miller's Gin for sponsoring us. Everyone please recall this one indisputable fact: each time a person buys a bottle of Martin Miller's gin, an angel gets its wings.

I feel mortified I told Jon Santer we would need 18 bottles of gin, and we only went through 17 and 3/4 bottles. Sorry for the confusion Jon.

And while I'm on the subject of Jon, thanks for buying the 6 pack of tiger beer so we were permitted to leave Uwajimaya's parking lot, and for the delicious 'bourbon" candy. And if you ever work in a bar again and I come there for a drink, I plan to stir it myself with a technique so astonishing it leaves everyone gasping for air.

And last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank all of you who did NOT come. Without you, there would have been even more people, and I would have been forced to swallow the cyanide capsule I keep on a necklace at all times (incidentally, 1. 5 oz gin, .75 oz sweet vermouth, .50 oz cointreau, dash orange bitters, 1 cyanide capsule = heaven), and the party would have been at least somewhat altered by the presence of a dead person behind the bar. So thank you! (but come to the next one, because more skilled, less emotional people will be behind the bar).

Go Raibh Maith Agat!

That's irish for thank you.

Le Gra,

That's Irish for with love

T.Mixeur (who does not know exactly why he is speaking Irish) let's move on already. There's a mixmo coming up and I have a bottle of Aurum to brag about.

Monday, October 6, 2008

After The Fall

Thank you to all who came, who helped, who tried to come, and who wished they could be there.

I still have not been imbued with any ability to create an official report or summary of what happened Saturday night. However, the next morning, as the others slumbered, I perched myself on a bar stool, looked out across the ruins of the bar and loft, grabbed a menu, and wrote these recollections with my penny pencil...

Everything you remember exists just as you recall, except perhaps you forgot how the love radiated amber. And it's possible you overlooked the village in the shady valley, where orange blossoms rained from the planets...or the one precious place without corners, where secrets were shared and eyelashes blew kisses in the air. If you concentrate, you can recollect all these jewels, like an architect putting rail cars to rest. You can burst eternity into a corrected, altered, accurate, true, and real story of your past. And everyone and everything you ever dreamed or envisioned will come see you tonight for a taste of this sweet, sweet wine.

I had a dream about Le Mixeur last night...

A divine light shone down to reveal a glorious path...there was a congregation of old women on the was all love...they opened their shawls before us and we entered through the thinnest of veils into a blessed womb...a place where no one was bad, no one was ugly, no one was damaged, maimed, fractured, or lost...We all looked inward, and there we found each other, and we witnessed one another for the first time. And we appeared to one another as if babies...we searched for one another as if mothers...we caressed and consoled one another as if planets, moons, atoms, and dust. We wept puddles of joy onto the earth beneath us, and splashed each other with the water we made. And the mist from our play touched the fibers of each leaf on each tree above us, and they all erupted in the most beautiful song...and the knots in our throats pulsated electric, becoming motors, propelling us outward into the atmosphere, forming iconic streaks of clouds that stretched across the night blue sky...and as the symphony wound down, we all wished, with every hope we had, that none of this transcendent essence would ever leave us...and so, it doesn't.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Drink of Cinq: Zane Harris and Anu Apte

The last in our series of posts on the drinks of Le Mixeur Cinq...It's tonight!!!!


What can I say about Zane and Anu, other than thank you! Thank you both for the use of your beautiful home, the contribution of this beautiful drink, all of your beautiful work, and for your beautiful friendship...and everyone should go to Vessel and see Zane work and then figure out where they can find Anu doing the same.

Without further ado, let's look at the drink and get on with the ceremonies...


2 oz El Jimador Reposado tequila
1/2 oz lavender honey syrup
barspoon Laphroig
healthy dash (goodly dash even!) Regan's Orange Bitters

stir and strain into cocktail glass
garnish with lemon twist


And there you have it for the menu for the Latest Le Mixeur. 8pm tonight is our starting time, here in sleepy little Seattle. Thanks again to all the drink contributors, to Jim Romdall, Amy, Lela, Bridget, Josho, and Paula for their help. And to Jon Santer, Emma Davis, and Martin Miller's gin for their support.

T.Mixeur's power cord on Le Laptop has failed, and the battery is about to die...we must sign off and go begin our sacred preparations.

Le Gra,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Drink of Cinq: Keith Waldbauer

Le Mixeur Cinq will be held on Saturday, October 4, at 8pm. The drink menu for the event is comprised of original creations of esteemed bartenders from Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Over the next week, we will be featuring a post on each of the contributors and their drink.


Ladies and gentlemen, Keith Waldbauer IS moving at the speed of life...

See? Told you so.

Keith reigns supreme at the bar at Union, and pretty much does the same wherever else he moves his life. He is probably the only bartender I know who used to drive a cab (and there have been moments, upon departing Union late at night, when I wished he still did). He is definitely the only bartender I know to have shared a, uhhh...nice hot cup of tea and a scone with Allen Ginsburg. Ginsburg most certainly imparted much mixological wisdom to Keith. For example...

Ginsburg on sage advice for customers:

"Don't drink yourself to death."

On precision in making a cocktail:

"The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal world (after Einstein)."

On conversation techniques with customers:

"Maximum information, minimum number of syllables."

On the nature and essence of bartenders:

"We are observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person."

(All quotes taken from Ginsburg's poem, "Cosmopolitan Greetings," named after his favorite cocktail).

The Aristocrat Swizzle

1 ¾ oz gin
¾ oz lime
10 mint leaves
dash simple syrup
barspoon Chartreuse

muddle mint and syrup
add gin, lime
shake, strain into collins glass
top with crushed ice, stir
float Chartreuse


Please, do not even ask us why this drink is called The Aristocrat Swizzle...and don't click on that hyperlink either! I'm serious!

Keith, Vous êtes le lauréat de poète de la génération de cocktail! Merci pour la belle boisson!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Drink of Cinq: Andrew Bohrer

Le Mixeur Cinq will be held on Saturday, October 4, at 8pm. The drink menu for the event is comprised of original creations of esteemed bartenders from Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Over the next week, we will be featuring a post on each of the contributors and their drink.


Andrew est une énigme...Heard of him did I from another man named Andrew. Met him did I in some forsaken corner of the Carousel Bar in New Orleans. Would you perhaps think the Carousel Bar during Tales of the Cocktail might not be the place to maintain a low profile? If that be the case, perhaps know you not how Andrew comports himself.

Upon our return from New Orleans to Seattle, Andrew and I crossed paths again at his then place of work, 22 Doors. I bestowed upon him a gift of MP Roux. As I departed that evening, I glanced back towards the bar and witnessed him struggling to locate a shelf to house this unusually tall vessel, without success.

The following day, I received word he, like I, had departed 22 Doors, never to return. Puzzled, I queried him as to whether or not this was related to the absence of a suitable home for the Roux. He denied this to be the case, but...

Since that fateful eve, Andrew has been a drifter. The crew at Vessel is quick to claim him as one of their own, yet cannot pinpoint when he might actually tend their blessed bar. Odd missives emerged at one point from the man himself, proclaiming his occupancy of Tost Lounge, replete with intimations of flair bartending. Anonymous sources insist he is soon to be setting roots at a new classic cocktail bar on the wrong side of the lake, Bellevue.

Wherever he be, the indisputable truth is that Andrew conjures miraculous things, such as...

The Randy Baker

1 1/2 oz Martin Miller's Gin
1 1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 a kiwi fruit
1 egg white

muddle kiwi
add ingredients and ice
shake and strain over ice into highball glass
top with champagne


Some notes: This drink, as presented, is both overly faithful and unfaithful to Andrew's vision. We list above 1 1/2 oz St. Germain, yet we have decided to serve it at Le Mixeur Cinq with a mere 1 oz. And Andrew garnishes this drink with an orange peel cut into a rose. With an expected output of 50 or more, we shan't be providing such a aesthetically pleasing accompaniment. It looks and tastes beautiful even without.

Dieu être avec vous empereur noir, Andrew!