Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bent Wings and Hot Cockles

When you say “Corsair” to me, I say back to you “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” Go ahead and try me and watch it happen. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” was a 70s TV show about a rag tag band of Naval misfits, headed by Robert Conrad and also featuring TV legend Dirk Blocker (a name which seems to leave Dirk Diggler of “Boogie Nights” bereft of any sass whatsoever), scorching the bloody skies of World War II planet earth with their unbelievably awesome Corsairs. The fearsome Corsairs reputedly had an 11:1 kill ratio. That's awesome. Even more awesome: their wings were bent. Why? Because that's awesome.

A corsair is also a pirate, or a pirate ship, or a series of craft distilled spirits made in small batches in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Golly the English language sure is funny ain't it?

Corsair distilleries is currently cranking out a wide variety of drinkable commodities and attempting to get them into the hands of good people who will appreciate them, and no where are you more likely to find them than right here in little ol' Washington state. The current line includes a gin made in a hand hammered pot still using sustainably harvested botanicals, a “red absinthe,” (a riff on traditional absinthes that incorporates citrus, tarragon, and hibiscus to the usual anise/wormwood lexicon of botanicals), and a “Pumpkin Spice Moonshine.” The Pumpkin Spice is an un-aged malt whiskey (AKA White Dog) that is then distilled a second time with ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and pumpkin in the pot still's vapor basket.

As was previously reported on Jessica Voelkner's “Sauced” blog, old foggie Munat brother Charles helped arrange for several of Seattle's top bartenders to 23 skiddoo some drinks one afternoon at Rob Roy using many of the Corsair products. Jamie Boudreau, Andrew Bohrer, Paul Clarke, Zane Harris and Phillip Trickey of Rob Roy, and Jay Kuehner of Sambar all did what they could with a box of Corsair bottles and a truly bizarre collection of complementary ingredients the clearly senile Charles brought with him. The results were predictably brilliant and delicious (so I'm told, I wasn't actually there for the tastings, some of us actually work for a living).

Bearing the old adage “anything a bartender can do I can do better" in mind, I finally got my own turn to play around with the Corsair products. We'd proven that geniuses can make drinks with it. Now it was time to see how it fared in the hands of an imbecile. I of course had a notable advantage on the geniuses in not having to use peanut butter or mung beans (Charles, if you're reading, there are easier ways to clean out our fridge before a move to Argentina).

With the Pumpkin Spice moonshine, inspiration struck quickly, and on the very first try, I came up with something I liked. I was inspired not only by the booze itself, but by a scintillating exchange the night before with the legendary Autumn Waddell of The Zig Zag Cafe, in which we envisioned a drink that would warm the cockles of the heart to such an extent as to make it almost uncomfortable, and perhaps requiring oven mitts, while at the same time begging the question, “what the fuck is a cockle?”

The Hot Cockles

1 ½ ounce Corsair Pumpkin Spice Moonshine
¾ ounce Lillet Blanc
½ ounce Canton Ginger Liqueur
2 dashes peach bitters
5 drops Thai Chili Tincture

stir all ingredients over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
twist a broad peel of orange over the drink to express the oils, and garnish with the peel

The orange peel is important here. The Thai Chili Tincture was introduced to me by both Jon Santer and Erik Adkins of Heaven's Dog in San Francisco. Both of them contributed drinks to Left Coast Libations using this tincture, Jon in the Dragon Variation and Erik in Carter Beats the Devil. To make it, simply break the stems off of Thai chilies and fill a jar with them, then pour Wray and Nephew overproof rum until the jar's filled for reals. Let it sit for two weeks and then strain it out. And for the love of god wear gloves when making it and clearly label any bottle housing this tincture. It is very sad when someone tastes a drop of Chili Tincture thinking it's some sort of bitters.

The Hot Cockles, by the way, has an 11:1 kill ratio. That's awesome.

Next I began ominously circling the bottle of Red Absinthe. It began to shiver with fear, knowing it's time was up. Now, I want to clarify that I am not on the payroll for Canton Ginger Liqueur, but I ended up using it again. As the brokest mo-fo in the whole damn cocktail industry, my liquor cabinet typically hosts 3-4 bottles at any given time, and so the ingredients of drinks can become very familiar. This of course fuels my creativity, not to mention my disaffected and resentful attitude about modern civilization and my distrust and loathing for capitalism, or as I prefer to call it, “The Global Cancer System.”

Anywho, here's a yummy drink!!!

Global Cancer System, AKA The Dirk Blocker

2 ounces Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1 ounce Cinzano Rosso
½ ounce Canton Ginger Liqueur
¼ ounce Corsair Red Absinthe
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

stir all ingredients over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
methinks an orange peel garnish, though I reserve the right to reverse field on this
then ya drink it down!
That's mean!

This is a sweet drink. So shoot me. I'm not afraid of sweet drinks, for the same reason why I'm not afraid to let my car shift itself.

Finally, there was the matter of the wee little gin. For this, I went with something decidedly simple and lending promotion of one of my favorite Seattle-based cocktail products, Scrappy's Bitters.

Something Decidedly Simple with Scrappy's Bitters, AKA The Robert Conrad

2 ounces Corsair Gin
1 ounce Dolin Blanc
2 dashes Scrappy's Lavender Bitters.

stir all ingredients over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
twist a lemon peel over the drink to express the oils, and garnish the drink with the peel

And there you have a whirlwind of mixological wizardry from me on the bent wings of the Corsair. For a peep at the full list of Corsair products (they also have an un-aged rye, a spiced rum, and a vanilla bean vodka) and for a full list of places you might be able to find Corsair, go to their web site. Then go to that place that has that Corsair, have a delicious Dirk Blocker, and feast on a platter of Hot Cockles.

Yes, Seattle is a perverse and glorious town. Revel in it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adieu, mon frère


If you are in the Seattle area this evening, join us at the Zig Zag Cafe from 8pm until whenever for a going away gathering for the eldest Munat Brother, Charles. In a few days, Charles will leave Seattle for a whirlwind tour of Portland, the Bay Area, Sonoma, and Los Angeles, before leaving on a jet plane for Mexico and eventually Argentina.

Rumors that Charles' relocation to Argentina is a strategic maneuver in the Munat Bros plot for world domination are greatly exaggerated...or exaggerated...or slightly exaggerated...or spot on...or an understatement. Somewhere on that spectrum lies the truth.

So join us please, unless you suck and we hate you, in which case stay away. We will bid adieu to Charles while at the same time honoring the great Murray Stenson by RUINING HIS NIGHT with our boorish behavior, vague drink demands, and with the sheer volume of our posse.

Charles also plans to assume his Chuck D. alter-ego and perform You Gonna Get Yours.

Munat Bros posse on the town in Seattle one last time yo. Suckas to the side I know you hate, my 98...You gonna get yours.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Carousel of Events, Willy Shine, and Appleton Rums

Once upon a time, there was a little blog called Le Mixeur. It was a dusty-headed memoir emanating from a rustic wood table in the dimly lit dining room of a simple house in Greenwood, as the author kept his flame alive through the dismal and tempestuous autumn and winter by exciting the senses with a plethora of new flavors and textures, in the form of spirits, liqueurs, fortified wines, and bitters only recently introduced to the lexicon of his experience.

Beneath all the scrawling and run-on sentences, one true and pure message bleated from every passage of these early bloggings, over and achingly over again: "will you please come to my party?" "will you please come to my party?" "will you please come to my party?"

And beneath these pleas was one even simpler, purer message, one that all of us cry out with every word we speak and action we undertake: "love me."

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

- hafiz

These days, seems most of what gets reported on this blog - what little gets reported at all - is about other people's events, other people wanting you to come to their parties, other people wanting your love. I've reported on Chartreuse events at Rob Roy and Vessel, on Cointreau events at Rob Roy, on Le Mixeur 737 (a little love for me), on Murray Stenson's birthday party at Elemental, and of course Tales of the Cocktail. I've also attended the Great American Distillers Festival in Portland recently, and M.C.'d a Canton Ginger Liqueur event at Vessel (which saw Jay Kuehner of Left Coast Libations and Sambar take the prize in the form of a trip to St. Martin for the worldwide competition).

The past two nights have brought many of the WSBG membership and other cocktail glitterati to Barrio, first on Monday for the WSBG holiday event featuring Mr. Paul Clarke and his flaming clove-studded naranjas (we don't normally do Spanish on Le Mixeur but flaming clove-studded naranjas just sounded way dirtier than flaming clove-studded oranges).

how you like dem naranjas?

Keith Waldbauer loves cupping Paul's red hot naranjas!
Andrew Friedman says "house on fire! house on fire! put it out! put it out!"

All the above nonsense was part of the creation of the Christmas Rum Punch, in which oranges are treated like prisoners at Abu Grahib: first punctured multiple times with cloves, then baked, then submerged in flaming rum, then drowned in cider, then thrown out in a heap in the alley. Paul wrote about this punch on his own blog years ago, back when he was still an intern for Le Mixeur. In the directions for the drink provided at the Holiday Event, Paul tells us to "drizzle flaming booze into the punch bowl." Let me just tell you folks, if you have not seen Paul's flaming booze drizzle technique yet, you are missing out on, dare I say, the finest flaming booze drizzle since prohibition. Paul's even in a punk band called Flaming Booze Drizzle (editor's note: he most certainly is not).

The Christmas Rum Punch was one of five drinks Paul served. 5? Yes 5. Leave it to Paul and the WSBG to serve people 5 stiff drinks 10 feet away from the bar at Barrio on 1/2 price tequila night. Guys, next time, provide a shuttle and a medic.

Yeah. That was fun.

The very next night we found ourselves right back at Barrio (though I have a suspicion some of us never left) for a dinner with the creators and distributors of El Zacatecano Mezcal, a distillery founded in 1910 in Huitzila, Mexico by the Lamas family, who still own and operate it to this day. Apparently the best-selling Mezcal in Mexico, it is now being introduced to the U.S. by La Plaza International, a distribution operation founded by our hosts Mike Sotelo and Rose Marie Ocuaman, and by fellow host and salon guru (and former potato farm worker) Gene Juarez, and by the conspicuously absent baseball legend Edgar Martinez. It's really too bad Edgar couldn't make it, because it turns out Jim Romdall of Vessel does a really good rendition of the "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeddddggaaaaaaaaaaarrrr" chant. At any rate, we ate shrimp tacos and ahi tuna and pork bellies and creme brulee and drank the blanco, reposado, and anejo, and reposado (did I mention reposado?) and made merry and a good time was had by all and I am rooting for the Lamas famiglia (there we go with the Spanish again! I sense a trend!).

And this, at long last in typical Le Mixeur fashion, brings us to the current event at hand:

Appleton Rums and Contemporary Cocktails Inc. Present Willy Shine at The Rob Roy !!!

"Prove That You Love Us"

Monday, November 23rd, 5-7pm.
2332 Second Ave
PH - 206 - 956 - VICE
RSVP to: info (at) contemporarycocktailsinc (dot) com

This event is intended for professional bartenders and RSVP is REQUIRED.

From Contemporary Cocktails Inc.:


Come take a stroll through the (legal!) essence of Jamaican flavors at Rob Roy with Contemporary Cocktails' Willy Shine. While bestowing upon you the mighty bounty of Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Willy and the Rob Roy staff will spark up the evening with some hand-crafted classic creations as well as the "Reserve Luxury Daiquiri," “Appleton Ting" and the "Dub Treo."

Willy Shine is one of the most respected bartenders in this fine land, and co-founder (along with Aisha Sharpe) of Contemporary Cocktails Inc. Their mission:

"...to raise the cocktail bar to new heights through spirit education, spirit and cocktail history, and identification of innovative ingredients respective of balance and flavor. Contemporary Cocktails takes the approach of bringing the kitchen to the bar, believing a bartender should put the same effort into his or her cocktails that a chef puts into his or her cuisine. Contemporary Cocktails Inc. is BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) certified and is the supervisor of the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) Program, which is the spirits and mixology equivalent of a Master of Wine or Master Sommelier program."

That's all I got folks. Again the address to RSVP is info (at) contemporarycocktailsinc (dot) com, and they are looking for about 30-40 bartenders to come enjoy and learn from one of the masters.

And so we do hereby declare Le Mixeur your premier spot for updates on events and happenings around the Seattle cocktail scene...sort of...if I remember to write about things...as long as people don't ostracize me...again. Sigh. Will you please come to my party?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reminder of the Coming Chartreusecalypse

As was chronicled previously in this space, Jackie Patterson will be at Rob Roy guest bartending this evening. She has prepared a menu of original cocktails featuring the various wonderful forms of Chartreuse. Chartreuse Brand Ambassador Todd Richman and Chartreuse President Jean Marc will also be present and showering us all with love.

(Editor's note: report of love showers are unconfirmed and mere hearsay at this point in time.)

Rob Roy is at 2332 2nd Ave (corner of 2nd and Battery). Festivities begin at 6pm. Come early and stay long.

Also, on Tuesday the 13th from 1-3pm, Vessel will host a Chartreuse luncheon. This event is open and FREE to members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild (WSBG). You may become a member of the WSBG by going to their web site. The event will feature tastings, cocktails, food, and a badger with a gun.

(Editor's note: reports of badgers with guns at the Vessel luncheon are unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, and pretty stupid.)

Vessel is located at 1312 5th Ave (between Union and University on 5th). Those who are late do not get fruit cup.

Come join us for these events, or else some of us will cry and others of us will kill you.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chartreuse Universe

In the words of the immortal Trouble Funk, "whatcha gonna do?"

And in the words of the immortal crowd at the Trouble Funk show, "Let's get small!"

Allow me to repeat...

"Whatcha gonna do?"
"Let's get small!"

Folks, let's gather at Rob Roy in Seattle this coming Monday evening the 12th of October, drink some Chartreuse, and get small.

Last time I drank Chartreuse I got tiny. No one could see me. It made me giggle.

Stream of consciousness interjection: In one of the most unexpected and possibly unwanted explosions of spontaneous publicity in the annals of cinematic gore-fest history, copious amounts of Chartreuse were consumed by the mind-blowingly creepy Quentin Tarantino and several nubile young women in Mr. Q's film, "Deathproof." As some of the nubile women choked and demanded to know what foul potion "Warren" had coerced them to consume, "Warren" simply cackled and proclaimed Chartreuse to be the only liquor so good they named a color after it. A few scenes later, the women's car was torpedoed by Kurt Russel's deathmobile, and the filmmaker treated us to several re-creations of the crash from a variety of angles in order to fully illustrate how their limbs were ripped from their bodies and organs dredged from their torsos.

Somewhere, off in the hills of France, a monk harvested herbs...

In honor of the late, great, stand-up career of Mr. Steve Martin, I always like to start off any blog post by writing one thing that is, in fact, impossible. And for tonight's impossible feat, I will bring the previous words on Deathproof and Trouble Funk and monks in hills full circle and explain how this is all relevant to discerning drinkers and fun seekers in the greater Seattle area. And I will do this with a mere 5 words. 5 precious words...

Jackie Patterson at Rob Roy

Jackie Patterson at Rob Roy. And Chartreuse president Jean Marc and Chartreuse brand ambassador Todd Richman as well. This will happen this coming Monday, October 12th, from 6-11pm. Trust me. You need to be here for this.

jackie p. sips the yellow stuff

I love Jackie. Sure, I could sit here and spill about her resume, her successes, her bona fides, and you'd no doubt sit back in your arm chair or bar stool (careful please when sitting back in bar stools) and say something pithy along the lines of "damn." But that's boring stupid shit I like to let other boring stupid people talk about. Instead let me illustrate in a way most me...

When I was 5, I was all set to head to my friend John's house. It had all been arranged by our parents. These days they'd call it a play date but in dem's days we called it chillin. As we prepared to depart, my feet turned cold and I told my mother I didn't want to go, as I feared John was too loud a person to make the day a success. Certainly I couldn't spend an afternoon with such a loud boy without negative ramifications. My mother said she was certain John couldn't be as loud as all that.

Feeling the urgency of the need to fully express to this woman exactly what laid in store for me should she sentence me to an afternoon with loud John, I explained to her as such: "If the sun and the moon could sing, John could sing louder."

Folks, the point is, should the sun and the moon bathe themselves in Chartreuse, then radiate and reflect all its herbal glory, they would be obscured by the shadows of what Ms. Jackie Patterson can and will do with the same resources at her disposal. And so, shunning sun and moon, Zane Harris and Anu Apte have asked Jackie to create a Chartreuse solar system, and it's axis will be ever so slightly behind that black, space-like bar at Rob Roy.

This solar system will involve drinks that found their origin in the light of Jackie for each form of Chartreuse - green, yellow, green V.E.P., yellow V.E.P., and elixir vegetal.

Stream of consciousness interjection: I wanna do shots of the elixir vegetal with Quentin and meet Kurt Russel in a field in Vauvert, settle this like men while the monks harvest herbs in the distance.

I love Chartreuse. Oh sure I could sit here and spill about the history of Chartreuse and it's bona fides and awards it probably won. But that's boring stupid shit I'll let other boring stupid people talk about. Let the greatness of Chartreuse be pronounced via two means:

1) the great Anu Apte created a drink based on my love of Chartreuse. It was called the TLC - Ted Loves Chartreuse - until I proclaimed my love for the TLC. At that point it was re-named the TLTLC - Ted Loves Ted Loves Chartreuse. I love the TLTLC. Which I would imagine makes it the TLTLTLC...and so Chartreuse and Anu and I go into infinity. Dig?


2 ounce rye
1/2 ounce green chartreuse
1/4 ounce apricot liqueur

stir and strain, hand to Ted

2) Left Coast Libations, that ground breaking book written by the amazingly non-terrestrial Ted Munat, aka me, features no less than eight (8) drinks with Chartreuse in them. Drinks range from tall, effervescent, tequila based drinks from Duggan McDonnell to stiff, rye-based drinks from Erik Hakkinen. Such is the versatility of the favored shot of Warren and the deathproof gals.

Here's one of my favorites, created by one my favorites, Mr. Kelley Swenson of ten01 in Portland, OR.


3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce Cynar
3/4 ounce reposado tequila (Kelley often uses El Jimador, but Cazadores also works like a mutha fucka!)

stir and serve up, no garnish
a shared creation of Kelley and Timothy Davey of Beaker and Flask. The same drink with gin instead of tequila is also delicious and Kelley calls it a Broken Flower. I made it once at home and my mixing glass cracked and fell to pieces as I stirred. That's bad ass. And Kelley still owes me a mixing glass.

So please, come to Rob Roy this coming Monday, October 12th, round about 6pm. We don't care who you are or what you do, we don't care if you're poor or rich, guild or non-guild, left handed or right handed, Warren or nubile young woman. Whoever you are, we just want to create something beautiful for you. Can you just give us the pleasure of this one simple act? I'll be there cleaning up after Jackie, a task I seize with unmitigated passion. I am, for one night, custodian of this blessed Chartreuse stained universe.

Yeah. Come. See you there. Bye.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rob Roy, Cointreau, And The Continuing Saga Of The WSBG

This coming Tuesday, September 22nd, Cointreau Brand Ambassador Erin Williams will be at Rob Roy at 2nd and Battery in Belltown from 3-5pm. Erin will talk about Cointreau, new cocktail trends, and her favorite fall drinks. Free appetizers and free Cointreau cocktails will be served.

This event is exclusively for members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild. Why, you may ask, am I publicizing an event that is members only? Simple, stupid! We the members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild want you the non-members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild to become we the members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild! Let's get a little unity here. There's too much "we" and "they" in this world people. Let's eradicate these divisions that separate us and inevitably lead to conflict and despair. And let's do it in the most holistic manner possible: by THEY joining WE...by YOU joining US.

When Gandhi said "we must become the change we hope to see in the world," what he meant was "join the Washington State Bartenders Guild." When Martin Luther King said, "The time is always right to do the right thing," he was saying the same. When John Lennon said "I am the walrus" ...well...anyone know what the hell he was talking about there? Sure the hell wasn't anything about a bartenders guild.

Anyway, you don't have to be a professional bartender to join the guild. It is a guild of both professionals and enthusiasts. You can sign up easily online. If you'd joined the guild when it formed in 2008, by now you could have attended the WSBG kickoff party, at which delicious cocktails were served for free by some of the area's best bartenders and all sorts of folks got the chance to meet one another.

There was also the Absinthe event, at which Gwydion Stone (
Absinthe Marteau , The Wormwood Society) and Paul Clarke (Imbibe Magazine, SF Chronicle, etc.) spoke to a standing room only crowd prior to serving free Absinthe cocktails and tastings of Absinthe from Marteau, Pacifique, Leopold Brothers, Lucid, Pernod, St. George, Taboo, and Trillium).

Then came the vermouth event, which I missed out on sadly, but let's just say I found myself in the general vicinity of Zane and Anu's refrigerator a few times in the weeks after the event (ever wonder how many bottles of vermouth can fit into one fridge? I don't anymore).

There also was the Maker's Mark luncheon at Zig Zag, when we were joined by Mr. Maker's Mark himself, Bill Samuels. Bill treated us all to lunch while Murray Stenson and Erik Hakkinen made us drinks. Bill gave a talk about the history of Maker's Mark, handed out signed bottles of his bourbon, and asked me what part of Ireland I am from. "County Connecticut" I replied.

And there have been other events that I either was too drunk to remember or were kept secret from me and other Munats for obvious reasons centered on the community's general loathing of us. Oh, and there was also Ben's Magnum PI/Coors Light birthday party and Jim's Soul Train birthday party. Those weren't really guild events but you never know, if you were in the guild maybe you would have been invited.

Now is an excellent time to join the guild. In addition to this event, there will be an evening at Rob Roy October 12th with Chartreuse president Jean Marc and guest bartender Jackie Patterson (Jackie Patterson!!!) of Heaven's Dog in San Francisco. The following afternoon there is a Chartreuse luncheon at Vessel (more info on both these events will be provided in this space in coming weeks). And there are many talks and plans afoot for other events, both grande and piccolo.

And aside from the events, becoming part of the guild is a great way to support the art of the cocktail and the highest form of craft bartending. You do this by becoming a part of this community and lending your brains, heart, and occasionally a few smackers. I forget how much dues are but I know it's more than 50 dollars and less than 10 million. The money you spend goes to a good cause and your investment will be repaid to you ten fold in the form of free events and new pals. Just don't make me one of your new pals because you will - and I want to make this very, very clear - you will end up buying me drinks...and loaning me money I don't ever pay back. And I will sleep with your wife (or husband) and just basically screw you over. So to recap: join the guild, go to free events, make new friends...avoid Ted Munat at all costs.

You can sign up for the guild by going to their web site, and I'll bet if you show up at Rob Roy Tuesday between 3 and 5pm and say you want to join they can hook you up.

How was my sales pitch? See you there?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Le Mixeur 737 est Le Mixeur Mémoires


Le Mixeur 737 est Le Mixeur Bye Bye

Saturday, August 29, 2009, 7:37pm

Le Mixeur Deux, Le Mixeur Trois, Le Mixeur Quatre, and Le Mixeur Chaton Ralph were all held in a special house, a house where the Mixeur Magique blossomed and pollenated and scattered its seeds.

Our host for these blessed times, LeLa Mixeur, is moving away from this home, and so we're going to christen it goodbye with one last, fading stab at glory, also known as Le Mixeur 737.

We'll do this like we used to. We will provide the cocktails, the dance floor, and the warmth. You Mixers bring your creativity and your most spirited persona and, in concert with your fellow Mixers, shape the evening as you will.

Yours truly will be behind the bar, along with trusty pal Jon Santer, and we will make drinks as if our lives depended on it, because quite frankly, they just might. Drinks will be available for the can't-be-beat price of $4 each. They will likely include:

Danubian Plain - cognac, muscat, st. germain, lemon, orange bitters, berries.

A creation of T.Mixeur's highly thought of at Le Mixeur Quatre.

Give Me Your Hand - pisco, madeira, cointreau, pomegranate liqueur.

Another popular T.Mixeur creation from Le Mixeur Quatre

Dragon Variation - martin millers gin, dolin blanc vermouth, house made thai chili tincture.

Mr. Santer's contribution to both Left Coast Libations and Le Mixeur Six.

Badminton Club
- martin millers gin, lime, mint, cucumber, simple syrup.

A classic cocktail introduced to me recently by Evan Zimmerman of Laurelhurst Market in Portland.

(Drink options subject to change, but you get the idea).

Out of respect to the privacy of the residents of our Mixeur home, I cannot publish the street address in this space. Please email t(dot)mixeur(at)gmail(dot)com for this information.

Bring your instruments, your vocal chords, your spinning and swirling limbs, your frantic hearts, and your thirst!

We long for one last chance to adore you.


Monday, August 17, 2009

C'est Officiel ! Anu Apte + Zane Harris = Rob Roy

Or A+Z=RR if you ARE into the whole brevity thing...

(Editor's full disclosure: the author has long been engaged in a torrid yet platonic love affair with Anu Apte and Zane Harris, and therefore proclaims no semblance of objectivity with regards to the following report...We would also endeavor to mention that the following report will be devoid of journalistic integrity, but for those of you who have so much as stolen a glimpse of this blog in the past, this disclaimer would seem to be redundant at best, moronic at worst.)

That all said...

Anu Apte and Zane Harris are the two greatest bartenders on planet earth, the world's two greatest visionaries with regards to how to create the perfect bar, and nothing short of gods in the realm of pleasing their customers. It is therefore a foregone conclusion that a trip to a bar owned by these two warriors for all that is good and sacred will certainly, without variation, provide one with an orgiastic experience so transcendent in its sublimity and so lubricious in its boundlessness, that it will undoubtedly leave one quivering and quaking with unmitigated joy, alternating moments of doubt at one's ability to withstand such delight with rapturous yieldings to the wise, benevolent force that is so much greater than all of us: Anu and Zane.

So, isn't it a stroke of good luck then that they got their own damn bar?

After many fits and starts and highs and lows and maniacal cackling and hysterical sobbing and visions and nightmares and pink fluffy bunnies with fangs and clowns on acid and beat poets playing rugby and unleavened bread dipped in chutney and crazy old ladies with baguettes and packets of mayonaise eating on city buses and victimless crimes involving domesticated bison and many other things too numerous to list in this space...Anu and Zane finally own Motherfuckin Rob Roy!

(Editor's note: "motherfuckin" was added by the author for dramatic effect. The name of the bar is simply "Rob Roy.")

So where's that leave us?

Tonight Anu and Zane will be debuting a new cocktail menu made up entirely of classics such as the Gin Sling and Old Fashioned, with utmost attention to details and the proper making of each drink. This menu will only be a stopgap, however, until they unleash a full cocktail BOOK. This BOOK will be thrust upon the populace after a period of renovation is completed, most likely at the end of this month/beginning of the next. The "rich uncle's basement bar," or "70s playboy lounge" or "freaky Belltown condo-owning perv" feel of the space will be kept, with a few upgrades and repairs. The bulk of the renovations will be behind the bar, including a rebuild of the wells, removal of the beer taps, removal of the soda guns, new glassware, and a brand stinkin' new Kold Draft Ice machine.

(editor's note: "stinkin" is a slang term. The Kold Draft machine will, in fact, be odorless)

There will be many more updates and revelations to come. Stay tuned...

In the mean time, get thee to Rob Roy at 2nd and Battery in Seattle. Things will only get better and better with each passing day and each improvement made, so upon arrival consider yourself on a launch pad. Lasso that rocket and ride it like you were Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove with the film going in reverse!

Oh and order mucho cocktails while you're lassoing there, Tex.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Joyeux Anniversaire Monsieur Stenson!

This coming Sunday, July 26th, in Seattle, WA, USA, many of the most wonderful cocktail souls of the Northwest will gather together to honor that immortal mentor to so many of us, Murray Stenson. Apparently the occasion is the anniversary of his birth, which our sources tell us occurred "a number of years ago."

Folks will come together at sensational Seattle dining spot Elemental for a multi-course meal, featuring apertif and digestif cocktails created by Portland's Evan Zimmerman of Laurelhurst Market and Dave Shenaut of Teardrop Lounge, along with wine pairings chosen by Elemental co-owner Phred Westfall, who happens to be a genius when it comes to this. In addition to the usual cast of characters from Seattle, we're looking forward to being joined by Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Daniel Shoemaker from Portland, and, god and border patrol willing, David Wolowidnyk of Vancouver, B.C.

Seating for the dinner is extremely limited. So limited, in fact, that there is none. However, all are free to join in after dinner, around 9pm, for post-meal cocktails and shameless fraternizing. This is, indeed, the portion of the evening yours truly will be present for, once the evil wheat-infested food has been safely cleared away. Give me a PB&J on spelt bread and a Red Stripe and I'm ready for Murray Birthday Cocktail Hour!

There is no guarantee, however, that Murray will stick around much after dinner. There's really only so much adulation the man can take in one evening, and considering the mind-boggling cast of butt-kissers that have been assembled for this dinner, he'll probably be pretty maxed out by 9pm. Sadly, Murray still clings to the illusion that free will exists, so he tends to come and go as he pleases. We once attempted to get him to stay longer than he wanted by super-gluing his trousers to his chair. We failed to recognize, however, that Murray is the sort who shan't hesitate to drop his pants in public, particularly when escape from the Munat Brothers is at stake.

My brother Charles is the orchestrator of this event, and deserves praise for putting it together, not to mention shock and awe for having gotten Murray to agree to this. Apparently, Murray's approval was only secured when it was agreed to make this event a fund raiser for the Washington State Bartenders Guild. So 34 people will fork over a cool chunk of change for dinner in the laps of the guild, plus whatever comes in for drinks later. Well done Murray! We can throw a Mixeur with all that money!

Speaking of which, why not mention and honor this event's fine and honorable sponsors? Yes, why not? They are William Grant and Sons, Makers Mark, and something called...Marteau?

For those of you unable to attend the dinner who would like to join in for cocktails, meet me at Oliver's Twist around 7pm. We'll have some cocktails there and engage in my favorite hobby, harassing Robert Detchon Rowland! I'll bring the spelt bread PB&J's.

Happy Birthday Murray!

photo from NY TImes used entirely without permission. Ha ha!

UPDATE: an anonymous tip just came in. Our analysts are still working it over, but it appears to be a...cocktail menu? Yes, a cocktail menu! We are now authorized to state with at least 85% certainty that this is the actual cocktail menu for the event!

N.S. Pimm's
Pimms, Cucumber Soda, Ginger Juice

The Pilar
Rum, Grapefruit, Lime, Creme de Violette

Blue Moon
Clear Creek Slivovitz, Zwack, Lime, Honey Syrup, Lavender Mescal

Jerez Collins

Hendrick's, Amontillado Sherry, Lemon, Sugar, Orange Bitters

AKA Burro Punsch
Milagro Reposado, Batavia Arrak, Carpano Antica Formula,
Amaro Nardini, Ginger Liqueur

The Double Windsor
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Orgeat, Orange Juice, Campari,
Marteau Absinthe

Loretto Noir
Maker's Mark, Amaro Montenegro, Pimento Dram


Monday, July 6, 2009

Obligatory Blog Post Proudly Proclaiming The Author's Imminent Voyage To Tales

True debauchery is liberating because it creates no obligations. In it you possess only yourself; hence it remains the favorite pastime of the great lovers of their own person.

- Albert Camus

Hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a knock on debauchery. But never fear, dear ones, the great Albert also spoke thus:

Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.

And so, we all shall go to New Orleans, and we shall generously consent to share our debaucheries, and in so doing our happiness shall be forgiven, even by the notoriously grumpy Monsieur Camus.

Brace yourself, children. Tales Of The Cocktail is upon us.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I, Mixeur, Hath Infused

Before heading off to Tales and turning over the subject of this blog to all things related to that always epic event, I wanted to sneak in a report on my participation in a competition we the bloggers were invited to join. The challenge involved creating an infusion of Oval Vodka, parlaying the resultant infusion into a cocktail, and submitting recipes for both the infusion and cocktail, along with an actual 8 ounce sample of the infusion conjured. In exchange for participation, Oval provided us with a bottle of the vodka, a shipping label, and a jar salvaged form the Polaner All Fruit factory. The promised reward for the winner? Two nights stay at the Monteleone during Tales, plus the right to wear a glorious gold lamé sash saying "Oval Infusion Champ-ee-awn Suckas!"

I initially had grandiose ideas for this contest, involving the recruitment of herbal experts to act as consultants, and foraging expeditions into the local forest for wild berries. Wisely, I quickly abandoned these ideas, instead going to the food co-op and randomly picking a couple of things that smelled nice. In the end, I infused my vodka with Calendula (aka Marigold) and Rose Hips. Calendula has a very mild, mellow flavor, and probably impacts an infusion more texturally than in taste, as its oils release into the vodka and give it a velvety feel. If one were pressed to compare Calendula to something, Saffron might be fair. In fact, Calendula is frequently used as a culinary substitute for Saffron. The Rose Hips add a little tang and sharpness.

Should anyone care to know, Calendula is used medicinally, primarily in a topical fashion, and its greatest benefit is to the skin. It also is used to treat menstrual pain and yeast infections (Il fait une bonne douche! Excusez-moi, je suis désolé! Tee-hee-hee). Don't no one never tell me Le Mixeur does not care about the women of the world.

Rose Hips are high in vitamin C, as well as vitamins D and E. They have therefore been used as an immune system booster for centuries, particularly among indigenous peoples. There is actually a precedent for the use of Rose Hips in alcohol. Pálinka, a distillate produced from wild or farmed fruit growing in Hungary, is sometimes made in small batch variety from Rose Hips (to excellent effect, so I've read). Additionally, Zwack produces a Kosher Plum Palinka that is "aged on a bed of rose hips." Whatever you say there Zzzzwackk.

Realizing my esteemed colleagues Gabriel Szaszko of Cocktail Nerd and Rick Stutz of Kaiser Penguin would be judging these infusions, I decided to give them an early Christmas present, and so into the infusion I also placed approximately 400 micrograms of some of the purest L.S.D. you're likely to find these days. Enjoy boys! Drink mine first! Hopefully this explains why I also included a copy of The Joyous Cosmology in the box.

(editor's note: there is probably not any L.S.D. in the infusion)

T.Mixeur's Cosmological Oval Elixeur

1 bottle Oval Vodka
1 cup dried Calendula
4 tblsp dried rose hips
  • optional: copious quantities of a synthetic chemical derived from ergot alkaloids produced by the ergot fungus, which grows on rye.
combine in a jar and let sit for 24 hours
strain out calendula and rose hips

The cocktail I then made featured a fabulous combination of ingredients I had left over from the previous month's Mixeur Six.


1 ½ oz Calendula/Rose Hip infused vodka
½ oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz Saffron Syrup (recipe below)
dash angostura bitters

shake and strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with sprig of fresh thyme

Saffron Syrup a la Anu Apte

1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup rose water
generous 1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
1 tablespoon water

Make a saffron extract by heating the tablespoon of water to near boil.
Crush the saffron strands between thumb and finger. Add the crushed saffron to hot water. Let it rest about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add water and sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Heat till all the sugar is dissolved. Let it come to a boil. Ideally, reach 220 ºF.
Add the Rose Water to the saffron extract, then add all to the sugar syrup.
Cook about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let it rest.
After it cools it may be stored in a jar or bottle. You may leave the saffron threads in the syrup or remove. (leave 'em in they pretty)

Something about this combo of ingredients caused this drink to be nice and frothy, almost as if one had added egg white. Possibly it was the toxic and deadly chemicals in calendula that should not ever be consumed internally by anyone, ever, under any circumstances. Possibly it was the LSD. Possibly the jar Oval sent me was previously used for dish soap and had not been properly washed. I'm sure you'll agree that all possibilities are quite appetizing! Make one now, and share with all your friends.

And there you have it. We now all await the results of the contest, which should come as soon as Gabriel regains the ability to form coherent words and Rick stops lying on the floor digging the trails his hand makes when he twirls it around.

Next up: Tales Galore...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Le Mixeur Leftoveur est Le Mixeur Home

Le Mixeur Leftoveur will be held at the home of T.Mixeur, which lies somewhere among the peaceful residences of an area some would call Greenwood, and others North Ballard. For specific location, send electronic mail of inquiry to t.mixeur at gmail dot com.

Fitting might it be that the most impromptu, informal Mixeur yet should be held in the home of its creator. And full circle might have Le Mixeur come, seeing as this will be the first Mixeur to be served on home turf since the first one. Will this then be the last? One neveur knows.

Six drinks will be offeured, three in punch form and three cocktails. Four of these may look familiar to those of you who attended Le Mixeur Six. It is a Leftoveur, after all. Variety comes by way of serving Eric Alperin's "Kingsbury" punch style, and doing the same for Anu Apte's
"Saffron Sour" by removing the egg white and instead pouring on some bubblies.

And if that weren't enough dalliances into the new and unexplored, we also provide you, the Mixer, with an additional Left Coast Libations concoction, David Nelson's "Kentucky Tuxedo." And just for good measure, we serve a semi-original creation of T.Mixeur's, the "William Holden." The William Holden uses a bastardized version of Jamie Boudreau's beer liqueur, and is included here because, well, I made some beer liqueur and what the hell else am I going to do with it?



whiskey barrel

marcos tello, the edison, los angeles

bulleit bourbon, monin pomegranate syrup

lemon, angostura bitters, cava


eric alperin, varnish, los angeles

campari, noilly pratt dry vermouth

licor 43, lime, cava


anu apte, vessel and rob roy, seattle

pacific distilleries voyager gin

housemade saffron syrup

lemon, lime, angostura bitters, cava


dragon variation

jon santer, heaven's dog, san francisco

martin millers gin, dolin blanc vermouth

housemade thai chili tincture

kentucky tuxedo

david nelson, spur and tavern law, seattle

bulleit bourbon, lustau amontillado sherry

housemade lavender syrup

regan's orange bitters

william holden

ted munat, this house

bulleit bourbon, campari

boudreau's beer liqueur, lemon

We will be serving up drinks from a lovely bar I built on the back deck, made from half an old futon frame with some plywood laid over the slats, lying across two columns of milk crates and a card table. We'll ignite the world's most Wabi charcoal grill and get it greased up with some food, but also advise people to bring their own food to grill should they wish to be guaranteed food consumption. Also, in lieu of DJ or live band, we have lovingly crafted a play list of the finest Nu Yorican roots music, along with some Brazilian soul, and a little New Orleans funk as we look ahead to Tales.

Rumors abound that drinks at this event are $5. Ha! Of course not! That would be illegal! Howeveur, the point of this event is to recoup some or all of the losses we incurred at Le Mixeur Six. Yes, we reveal this sordid detail here publicly for the very first time. Le Mixeur Six, which was designed as a fund raiseur to help coveur expenses for the creation of Left Coast Libations, in particular compensating our brilliant photographeur Jenn Farrington, actually came off as a loseur of several hundred dollars. The new hope is to climb back to zero, or maybe even achieve part of the original goal of Six. And to do that, we'd guess a contribution in the neighborhood of $5 per drink oughta suffice...We're just sayin'.

So to recap: Le Mixeur Leftoveur, July 2, 6pm. À la maison de T.Mixeur. Email for directions.

Punch. Cocktails. BBQ. Music. Frivolity. Gaiety. Chicaneury. Etc.

That all settled, let's peruse the Le Mixeur Leftoveur gallery, shall we?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Le Mixeur Leftoveur

T.Mixeur est une personne qui se prépare! Préparation excessive!! Très très excessif!!!

And therefore there is enough liquor leftover to have a whole new Mixeur, and so shall we do so, on Thursday, July 2, somewhere in Seattle. There are currently three potential spots for this little soiree, and the winner is to be determined in the coming days. Suffice to say, Le Mixeur Leftoveur:

Le Mixeur Leftoveur, like Le Mixeur Six, will be an effort to raise funds for and awareness of Left Coast Libations, the volume of cocktail recipes and heralder of bartenders currently in the works and soon to be released. It will also act as a final gathering and send-off for the many of us heading to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail the following week. There will also, hopefully, be other things to celebrate. And it also will be an opporunity for me to raise a glass and share a toast with friends and fellow Mixeurs in memory of Munat family patriarch Charles Elliot Munat, who passed away June 6th.

Details and locations will be provided soon in this space and on your block and bar stool. Stay tuned...

Friday, May 29, 2009


Le Mixeur Six is just about here. What more can I say? Nothing. I'm out of words, out of thoughts, and have nothing more to offer than actions, motions, and gestures.

So for parting words, I defer to an ancient friend and kindred spirit...twice, in fact, because I couldn't decide which words I liked more...


was invited
to a fancy event and when
I got their one of the guests said,

"Tukaram, your shirt is on backwards and so are
your pants,

and it looks like you never heard the word comb
and your shoes don't

I replied,

"Thanks, I noticed all that before leaving,
but why try to fool


What part of Heaven did she come from?
That angel talked like a sailor
and she was dressed

I can't even repeat the things she said
or picture once more the shape of her breasts.

Though I know one thing:
my fear of dying has

- Tukaram


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

N'oublier pas! Molly Rose Band Exécution Musicale Clandestine!

The day is nearly upon us when Le Mixeur meets Molly Rose Band, and special things ensue.

To rsvp and learn more about the details of this event, go to Molly Rose Band's site. While you're there, indulge yourself in a treat and listen to the new songs available for download. Or if you want to skip the fun stuff just email your rsvp right now to clandestine@mollyrosemusic.com .

To read T.Mixeur spouting off about the event, see this post. Then rush right back because we're about to have pictures and more words!

Molly Rose draws intricate landscapes of narrative poetry. Her music is as driven by the intrinsic rhythms of her words as by whatever nameless muse guides her. There's nothing conventional about her songs, but she's hardly a weirdo folksinger. She's just a lovely songwriter, and if you're ready to listen closely, you won't be disappointed.

-Kim Ruehl, Seattle Sound Magazine

In the words of our own Karla Starr, Molly Rose "lulls you into a pleasure coma" with single-string plucks and a cracked-bell voice.

-Brian J Barr, Seattle Weekly

(Molly) has got her acoustic singer/songwriter sound dialed in, strummed rhythm, string squeak, and an incredibly dynamic voice, with overtones that make a single line sound both about ready to cry and cry out. Her lyrics are a poetry of secret observations -- you have to listen closely, and she rarely sacrifices depth for a hook. More often, when it comes to the expected chorus, she modulates and the song heads off for new pastures. ... Man, we could listen to this stuff all day. We just might.


And of course, please recall that in addition to cocktails and Molly Rose, Seattle band Pablo Trucker will perform, and we will be joined by artists Rosemary Wagner and Esther Gorsuch, whose works will be on display and available for purchase. The space itself, which I was able to view recently, is a work of art, created with what must have been pain-staking care by artist David K. Chatt. It's a special space with a special feel, and it's going to be a special night.

Joining me behind the bar will be the Great Anu Apte, and though he might not realize it yet, Zane Harris. We'll be making four drinks from Left Coast Libations, including Anu's Saffron Sandalwood Sour, which suddenly seems to be sweeping the nation.

Vous verrons-nous là ? Will we see you there?


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Le Mixeur Six Invité Spécial: Jim Romdall


Once upon a time, T.Mixeur was in Derry (or some insist Londonderry) North Ireland. All the beauty, all the grace, all the torn-in-two of this blessed city did internalize in T.Mixeur, as he wandered the streets amongst the brawling boozers and tank wielding, bullet proof child-cops locked and loaded and ready to kill. Wonder did he what it must be like to walk to fetch a bus to one's place of employ in the morning, under the surveillance of armed youth, passing by three story high murals of the dead and buried of Bloody Sunday. And whether it was geographically or historically pertinent or not, he thought of the words of Patrick Kavanagh...

"On Pembroke Road look out for my ghost, disheveled with shoes untied. Playing through railings with little children, whose children have long since died."

Walking down a stone cobble street, T.Mixeur spotted the head of a rose, splayed out in the urban wilderness, decapitated by the closed steel garage door of one careless Derry florist. Compelled yet wordless, the rose head was quickly fetched, caressed, and contemplated.

At that very moment, a friend, dressed in all black, appeared down the hill, on that same cobbled street, and emanating similar bleatings of remorse to T.Mixeur and the rose head. Those two people did spot each other simultaneously, rushed towards one another, and embraced. The rose head passed hands, and the meaning of it all was self-evident.


So who was Jim Romdall in the preceding tale? Was he the friend dressed in black, or was he the rose head? Or was he the silent observer, not mentioned in the writing of the tale yet integral to its telling?

Perhaps he was all at the same time. Perhaps he was none at all. It is not the place of this meager blog to claim one or the other or the other. It is merely our place to report to you, the reader, that this man we know as Jim Romdall will most certainly be mixing drinks at Le Mixeur Six.

Jim is bar manager at Vessel in Seattle, he is universally respected by his peers as one of the finest bartenders you'll find, never mind where you might search. He was awarded the Rising Star Mixoligist nod from Star Chefs, which in some skewed way verifies what those of us who know him already knew: he's very, very good at what he does. Excellent, in fact.

Thank you Jim for joining us at Le Mixeur Six, and for somehow, surreally enough , conjuring a memory of that day in Derry (or some insist Londonderry). This memory illustrates one fundamental principal, which will be stated here and now:

At Le Mixeur we don't forget those who's poor, we don't forget those who's got no place to live or those who's lives have been destroyed by violence or hunger or disease, or those who's dying in the streets. We celebrate life in the most fitting manner we can conceive of because we can, and someone has to, and someone must. So let's.

Le Mixeur Six will be Saturday, May 30th, at 8pm at Mix Lounge in Seattle.

6006 12th Ave. South, Georgetown USA!

You may purchase tickets for this glorious event here.

You may learn more about this glorious event here.

You may listen to music performed by the bands of this glorious event here and here.

You may reflect upon this...here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Le Mixeur Six Preview 2: Anu Apte and Saffron Sandalwood Sour

People often approach T.Mixeur and tell him that ever since they read the first Le Mixeur Preview yesterday, they have been toiling listlessly through their day to day lives, doubting there is meaning to existence, and engaging in peripatetic journeys of self-discovery, all brought on by a deep-seeded fear that no more Le Mixeur Six previews will materialize.

Come in off of your ledges, and lay that pistol down, pistol packin' mamas, for today we have another one of them there things for you.

What Makes A Man Make Mixeur?
Partie un: ingrédients
Section B: Anu apte et Santal de Safran Aigre

The second Le Mixeur drink requiring housemade ingredients is a reckless little diddy known as the Saffron Sandalwood Sour, a drink the Great Anu Apte invented just for Left Coast Libations (not for the San Francisco Chronicle, you poachers...I knew they'd send Paul Clarke to destroy me...frikkin Hearst Corporation...one day we shall overcome them)


As I was saying, I have dedicated my weakness my thinking my suffering my singing sculptures in order to experience the redefined every day every second. And you, with your back to the wall, are a cry of pain, a lyric of seduction, speaking of some wistful yearning in the ebony sky.

Oh wait. That was totally not at all what I was saying. Damn Hearst Corporation, messing with my brain locomotive!

As I was saying, Anu is a genius and her drink is delicious, and I went to her home to make 150 ounces of Saffron Syrup...I walked out with 200. In case you've been living under a rock, Anu is a bartender at Vessel and Rob Roy in Seattle, a founding member of the Washington State Bartenders Guild, and coordinates events at her own space (along with Zane Harris), Grain.

suga! water! purple!

I went back to AcheteeOH!tee at 100th and Beautiful Aurora to get what's needed. They had the rosewater for cheap and big bags of sugar, but no Saffron. The staff asked me what country Saffron is most commonly associated with. I told them I was pretty sure it's use was dominated by French liqueurs. They explained they had no French aisle, so I told them 95% of the world's Saffron comes from Iran. They said they had no Iran aisle, so I said, OK fine, India. They showed me the India aisle. There was no saffron.

So I went to the French/Iranian/Pakistani/Indian grocery at 78th and Beautiful Aurora. I asked the dude at the counter if they had Saffron. And at that he nodded and pulled out a little carved box, perfect for stashing your weed, and opened it to reveal a trove of nickel bags.

"How many you need?" he asked."How much?" I asked. "5 dolla" he said. "I'll take 3," said me. And off to the abode of Anu Apte and Zane Harris did I go. The bags, Anu and Zane later noticed, looked like this:

Anu smelled the Saffron and commented that it smelled like Tamarind. Bad memories of my youth overcame me, trolling for cannibus in the projects, paying out hard-earned money we got from returning bottles and cans from the nursing home our one working friend had a job at, only to return home to discover we'd bought mud. Literally. Mud. It only happened once. But we bought a little ziploc bag of mud. The bag didn't even have naked girls on it.

Zane emerged wearing some sort of outfit that suggested he was preparing for a photo shoot for the inside sleeve of the J. Geils Band's Freeze Frame, and insisted it really was Saffron, not tamarind. We proceeded with the syruping.

Saffron Syrup

1 1/4 Cups Water
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 cup Rose Water

Generous 1/4 teaspoon Saffron strands
1 Tablespoon Water

Make a saffron extract by heating the tablespoon of water to near boil. Crush the saffron strands between thumb and finger. Add the crushed saffron to hot water. Let it rest about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add water and sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Heat till all the sugar is dissolved. Let it come to a boil. Ideally, reach 220 ºF. Add the Rose Water to the saffron extract, then add to the sugar syrup. Cook about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let it rest.

After it cools it may be stored in a jar or bottle. You may leave the saffron threads in the syrup or remove. (leave 'em in they pretty)

Here's what that looked like, multiplying the recipe by 20!

Anu claims a pinch in her fingers to be precisely a 1/4 teaspoon...no measuring spoons were needed.

Saffron extract = 3rd eye...bloodshot eye.

No Tommies were harmed in the filming of this blog.

See? We even got Tommy a date! She's an artist. Tommy is so into that.

As Tommy the beagle's love boiled, so did our sugar syrup.

Rose water added to Saffron Extract as dusk falls upon SoDo.


As T.Mixeur demonstrates, it is important that when adding the Saffron Extract/Rose Water mix to the hot sugar syrup, one wears protective eye and head gear...and that one looks super cool as a result. From start...

...to finish.

Anu was braiding Ben's hair while this was going on, by the way. Zane disapproved. He hate braids.

Zane was bothered by the weakness of the saffron scent in our batch, and let his feelings be known in no uncertain terms. Ben was more contemplative and philosophical on the matter. We put it back in the pot, added more saffron, and cooked it down some more.

that's what that looked like

Ben approved. Zane napped.

T.Mixeur returned the golden jars to the safety of home, where they will rest until used to make lovely Saffron Sandalwood sours for the merry Mixers of Le Mixeur Six.

Saffron Sandalwood Sour
(director's cut, non SF Chronicle version)

1 ½ ounce gin (Anu prefers Plymouth)
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
½ ounce Saffron Syrup
1 barspoon Angostura bitters
1 egg white
White Sandalwood

Dry shake ingredients except for Sandalwood, or like Anu, use a Bonjour hand blender to whip
Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with Sandalwood – you can sprinkle powdered Sandalwood over the top of the drink, or if you have a stick of fresh Sandalwood, grate it over the top as you would with nutmeg.

Exclusive note from Left Coast Libations auteur Michael Lazar, not available in San Francisco Chronicle version: "Sandalwood is much harder than nutmeg. I used sandalwood chips and ground them as best I could in a coffee grinder and then put the result through a fine strainer to lay as 'dusting' over the cocktail."

Yes indeed.

The Saffron Sandalwood Sour will be available for consumption at the Molly Rose Clandestine CD Release Party this Thursday, the 28th, and again at Le Mixeur Six on Saturday, the 30th. We will also pour a bit with some soda water for an uncommon soda pop if you are not imbibing, and if you wink at us just right.

You can also get one of these from Anu at work, if she remembered to pack the syrup and the wood that night.

Le Mixeur Six, May 30th, 2009, 8pm, 6006 12th Ave S., Seattle
tickets may be purchased here