Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This evening T.Mixeur is proud to introduce a new era in Le Mixeurtonia, an era of democracy, free speech, equality, and a level of blinding stupidity sure to alienate the remaining 6 readers of this blog. That's right, dearlings, welcome to the era of Le Mixeur Audience Participation!


Today's blog topic comes from audience member Ben Y, or as we like to call him around town, “Sir Yawtz-A-Lot.” Sir Yawtz-A-Lot has embraced Le Mixeur's heroic vicissitude with a prompt injection of something completely surreal. Sir Yawtz-A-Lot has requested that T.Mixeur write on the topic “how bars that are good don't let you get away from people.” Before we commence with this, let us all take a moment to compliment Sir Yawtz-A-Lot on his creation of a near-complete sentence...

Now on with the blog!

As is the case with all posts on this blog, extensive research went into presenting the reader with a thorough and comprehensive report on the topic at hand. The topic, of course, being “how bars that are good don't let you get away from people.”

(editor's note: if anyone out there has any idea what Sir Yawtz-A-Lot is talking about, please contact us immediately)

The first step in this research was to meet with owners and bar managers of the bars that are good, and ask them the question directly. First on the list, Anu Apte, owner of Rob Roy in Seattle.

T.Mixeur: So Anu, you are owner of Rob Roy, one of the bars that are good. At Rob Roy, how do you don't let you get away from people?

Anu Apte: Well C.McClure, at Rob Roy, when we have a customer displaying a tendency to you get away from people, we don't let him or her. How do we don't let him or her? Well, sometimes we'll carve an ice ball, and he or she will lose the will to you get away from people. If that doesn't work, we might offer him or her a Sazerac, and say to him or her “hey him or her, don't you get away from people! We make you Sazerac and carve ice ball! If you still try to you get away from people, we don't let you!”

T.Mixeur: And I understand the statement you just made - hey him or her, don't you get away from people, we make you Sazerac and carve ice ball, if you still try to you get away from people, we don't let you – has become the official slogan of Rob Roy?

Anu Apte: That is correct. It is printed on the marquee of our establishment and is also viewable on our Citysearch and Yelp pages.

Next, T.Mixeur spoke with Andrew Bohrer of Mistral Kitchen about how he, Mr. Dipsographer o' Cask Strength himself, helps his bar that are good don't let you get away from people.

T.Mixeur: So Anu, you are owner of Rob Roy, one of the bars that are good. At Rob Roy, how do you don't let you get away from people?

Andrew Bohrer: I'm not Anu and I'm not owner of Rob Roy.

T.Mixeur: Can I quote you on that?

Andrew Bohrer: Listen fucker, don't try to make me feel bad about not being Anu or owner of Rob Roy. I'm past that. I'm bar manager at Mistral Kitchen, one of the bars that are good. No one can take that away from me.

T.Mixeur: Ha! I just took it!

Andrew Bohrer: Give it back!

T.Mixeur: No!

Andrew Bohrer: Yes!

T.Mixeur: no no no no no no no...

Andrew Bohrer: yes yes yes yes yes yes yes...

T.Mixeur: no no no no no no oh OK!!! Take it back!

Andrew Bohrer: Ha! In Your FACE G.Miclo!

T.Mixeur: So Anu, you are owner of Rob Roy, one of the bars that are good. At Rob Roy, how do you don't let you get away from people?

Andrew Bohrer: That's it mother fucker!!!

(skirmish ensues)

Next, we met with the man, the myth, the legend, the guy who makes lots of wicked freaking good drinks at the Zig Zag Cafe...Murray Stenson.

T.Mixeur: Murray, Andrew Bohrer is a vicious little fucker and he broke my nose.

Murray Stenson: Word up!

T.Mixeur: So Murray, you are man myth legend GWM lots of wicked FGD at Zig Zag, one of the bars that are good. At Zig Zag, how do you don't let you get away from people?

Murray Stenson: Hey Phil! How are you? Can I get you another root beer?

T.Mixeur: My name is not Phil and I do not want a root beer. I want to know how your bar that are good don't let you get away from people.

Murray Stenson: If you make it to Range while you're in San Francisco, tell them Murray sent you!

T.Mixeur: I'm not going to fucking San Francisco mother fucker! And they already know me at Range!! Stop fucking with me!

Murray Stenson: Jiggering is for sissies!

T.Mixeur: I jigger! That's it old man! Let's go!!!

(skirmish ensues)

(Editor's Note: It was later revealed to us that Murray's internal automato-barkeep program had a malfunctioning hard drive, causing everyone's favorite Bartendodroid to generate responses randomly rather than appropriately. We deeply regret any damage done to any products of the Automato-Barkeep Multinational Corporation, assure their legal staff that no such future instances shall occur, and will readily relieve T.Mixeur of his reporter's duties should any written demands of such nature come forthwith.)


From our panel of experts has come precious jewels of wisdom. Clearly, the ways bars that are good don't let you get away from people are to carve ice balls, make sazeracs, speak in broken English, break reporter's noses, and have androids for bartenders who are backed by multinational corporations who have teams of lawyers who are vicious little fuckers.

Sir Yawtz-A-Lot, thank you again for your brilliant idea for a topic. We sincerely hope you have been entertained and informed by this response, and we would like to graciously invite you to have no further relationship with this blog whatsoever.

If you work in a bar that are good and have your own ways of don't let you get away from people, or if you are a him or her who like to get away from people and you have been to a bar that don't let you, we at Le Mixeur would love to hear from you! Please come to us at Le Mixeur, because we are a blog that are good and we don't want you to get away from people! If you don't believe us, just read the subtitle of our blog that are good! Seriously, look up at the top of the page. It's right there in black and white.

Le gra,

Saturday, April 3, 2010

BarSmarts, Resurrections, Vikings, and the New Imperialist Distillery of Washoregornia


Bla bla bla obligatory mutters explaining prolonged span of time between blog posts bla bla bla token vague statement attempting to instill confidence in the reader that such absences are over with and regular posts will be forthcoming (statement is possibly false and rather presumptuous in its belief that the reader's well being is somehow tied to the writer's level of productivity) bla.

With that little order of business gracefully put to rest, let us move on to today's topic...


Bla bla bla BarSmarts bla bla bl-

(editor's note: we are experiencing a temporary malfunction with this blog's "bla bla" apparatus. Our technicians are working frantically with sweat on brow and gun in back to correct this problem. Please stand by...thank you)

BarSmarts is the offspring of the celebrated Beverage Alcohol Resource, or BAR. BAR is the hallowed, New York City-based bartender training program that all the kids are so wild about these days. BAR is headed up by the Dream Team of David Wondrich, F. Paul Pacult, Dale Degroff, Andy Seymour, Steve Olson, Doug Frost, Charles Barkley, David "The Admiral" Robinson, and Larry Bird. In an ongoing effort to preach the gospel of Spirits and Cocktails, a similar training is now available via Internet (BarSmarts WIRED) or home study combined with one day intensives in select cities (BarSmarts Advanced). Here is the tale of how this came to be...

The BarSmarts Saga
by T. Mixeur

The creators of the BAR were all crucified by the Romans after a particularly wild night of Fernet shots at the Stravinskj Bar, then miraculously resurrected the following July in order to honor their contractual obligations to Tales of the Cocktail, and hosted many seminars. Some believed their haggard presence was due to hangovers, but some of us knew better.

After Tales ended, they ascended to Heaven to assume their rightful place besides Jerry Thomas, Harry Craddock, Charles Baker, and Ed McMahon. At that point it was left to their apostles to spread the good word. The BAR boys' Saint Paul is none other than Pernod Ricard, the Spirit giant known for such products as Pernod...and Ricard.

And on the first day Pernod Ricard created BarSmarts WIRED, and lo, this was good. The subscribers to WIRED, for a small fee, would receive gifts in the mail such as a kit of bar tools and a quite functional shoulder bag, not to mention access to online print materials and streaming videos from the messiahs themselves. WIRED is open for enrollment to anyone twice per year, for a two month period each time (the next time being July 1st - September 1st). Upon enrolling, you have one month to complete the work. If you do not complete the work in that time, BAR shall smite thee.

BarSmarts: An Insider's Guide, or "What The Folks at Pernod Ricard Won't Tell You."

BarSmarts Advanced is different from WIRED in many ways. For starters, WIRED is spelled in all caps whereas Advanced is not. Impressed, are we not, with the cool demeanor of Advanced? Words that spell themselves in all caps, such as WIRED, are usually compensating for deficiencies in other areas.

But the differences don't stop there...

  • WIRED - shoulder bag.
  • Advanced - backpack.
  • WIRED - read from the BarSmarts web site.
  • Advanced - your very own spiral bound book!
  • WIRED - streaming videos
  • Advanced - DVDs
  • WIRED - any bum can join
  • Advanced - invite only
  • WIRED - done in your underwear
  • Advanced - must appear publicly before the BAR team, who being from the East Coast expect formalities such as the wearing of clothes.
By the way, with a little polishing, I think the above exchange could be the basis for an excellent play. Sort of Harold Pinter meets Miranda July. I see Alan Rickman in the role of Advanced, and Mary Kate Olson as WIRED.

Back to Advanced, the materials covered are pretty much the same as WIRED, though there are some extra notes on important things specific to running a bar business. But after completing the BarSmarts WIRED program and wondering how I would find more room in my brain for all the stuff from Advanced, I was quite pleased to realize I had already learned everything there was to know.

The primary element to the Advanced that sets it apart from WIRED is obviously the one day in-person class. My day will be April 27, when the BAR boys come to Seattle. There's something unquantifiable yet unmistakable about the value of face-to-face learning, particularly when the teachers have ascended upon us from the afterlife. The mystic spirits will then wander on for ensuing classes in Washington, DC on April 29, Orlando on May 10, and New Orleans on May 12. They do not, I am told, plan to take me with them. But I will say it here: I am ready, my lords. Take me!

At the day class, the topics from our studies are reviewed and expanded upon, tastings are done, and then each student has a turn mixing a drink or two for the experts to demonstrate he or she is not a complete fraud. I am told this latter part can be nerve wracking, particularly since the BAR boys insist on wearing Viking hats and angrily claiming the student is to blame for the fall of Northumbria. I know, from personal experience, that these are difficult circumstances under which to work. But the concept is valid: they are simply attempting to simulate the typical scene at your average bar.

the BarSmarts "Dream Team" wrapping up another successful training

So What Does One Learn?

Plenty! How to distill, how to taste, the what/where/when (but rarely why) of every major type of spirit, cocktail history, cocktail tools, mixers/ice/garnishes, and finally how to make drinks.

But For Me, There Was One Thing That Really Resonated...

We learned that the Dutch and English started making gin thanks to the massive warehouses of botanicals they had stolen and horded via their respective East India "trading" companies. So in essence gin is the byproduct of looting and pillaging the world.

This is a far cry from today, when distillers in Washington State must get more than half their ingredients from Washington state growers. I mean, why don't the bureaucrats just come to our houses and disembowel us now? All good spirits are the product of imperialist aggression...that's why they taste so good! What about us? We want to pillage, loot, and perhaps plunder like our Dutch and English forefathers! We must be allowed this honor, nay this duty, before we become a nation of weak men making weak spirits. Our consumers must be given the joy of tasting a fine gin or whiskey with the satisfaction of knowing that blood was spilled for its creation.

It is time for action, I say. I am going to charter a boat, and Gwydion Stone, Marc Bernhard, and I are going to raise an army and sail down to the coast of Oregon, then California. We shall storm the beaches and move inland, killing all in our path, taking all that we think smells nice. We will assume the same quasi-governmental powers the Dutch East India company held at the height of its powers: waging war, negotiating treaties, coining money, and establishing colonies. And then we shall return to Washington and distill a spirit from our treasure that will restore all of us to our former glory. Our distillery will be called "New Imperialist Distillery of Washoregornia."

Folks, if all this doesn't make you want to sign up for the BarSmarts program, I just don't know what else to tell you.