Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky Menu - Evan Martin, Down At The Dinghy


Before we get into a little blurb about Mr. Evan Martin and his drink contribution, "Down At The Dinghy," just a quick note to announce that Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories, is now an international, multi-pronged event. At this point, no fewer than five bars around the world will be hosting Le Mixeur Sharkies on the night of March 11th, with more to join in. Additionally, we are in talks with other bars to do a Le Mixeur Sharky on different dates, which is less fun but also more practical. The point of these sibling events will be to raise awareness of autism, and to raise money for autism advocacy groups in the local areas of the bars in which the events are held. If you'd like to participate in this with us, please contact me at ted(at)leftcoastlibations(dot)com.


Evan Martin, winner of the prize for first recipe submitted, is the bar manager of Ba Bar, a Vietnamese-influenced cafe and bar on 12th and Cherry in Seattle, the booming little neighborhood where the lines between Capitol Hill and the Central District bend and twist into a vortex flow of tipsy delights. Ba Bar opened last summer just a few blocks away from where Canon now sits, and a few blocks more from Tavern Law and Barrio.

Beware the Ba Bar to Barrio Booze Bustle...Beware the Ba Bar to Barrio Booze Bustle...

Evan came of age as a bartender at Naga in Bellevue, WA. I don't want to say Evan started bartending young, but when he was first starting, the customers at Naga would often point to Naga's then-bar manager Andrew Bohrer and say to Evan, "hey kid, can you tell your dad I'm ready for another Grey Goose chilled?"

Andrew eventually became disgruntled with the unrelenting ageism and left Naga, at which point Evan assumed control of the bar. And let me just add, it feels good to be making up stories about bartenders again.

Evan also works for Novo Fogo Cachaca. He does ambassadorial type of stuff. I don't know what his title is. What do you expect me to do, research this shit? If you want me to make up a title let me know.

One of Evan's most brilliant and legendary publicity campaigns for Novo Fogo was a little something people like to call, "Pour Novo Fogo From An Interior Balcony At A Crowded Tales Event Down To The Lobby Where The Munat Brothers Attempt To Catch It In Their Mouths." And this looked EXACTLY like this:

And this...

(Note to spirit companies: The Munat Brothers are available for further consultancy work in this vein. Fees are negotiable).


Good idea. Here is the recipe for Evan's contribution to Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories, inspired by and named for a story J.D. Salinger first published in Harper's magazine in 1949.

Down At The Dinghy

1.75 ounce Voyager gin
1 ounce fresh grapefruit
0.67 ounce Pear-Riesling Shrub*
0.5 ounce Chamomile-Gentian Liqueur**

Shake and strain into double old fashioned glass over cubed ice.
Top with 2 ounces Schweppes soda (high sodium soda).
Garnish with fat grapefruit peel and pickled pear slice.***

*Pears cooked with white vinegar and riesling, a little lemon zest and juice, sweetened with sugar, further flavored and fortified with Pur Spirts Pear Liqueur.

**Homemade Suze!!!

***Evan has a friend who make that shit!!!


Down At The Dinghy is the shortest short story in the collection of stories known as Nine Stories. It's also possibly the sweetest. Which is why I gave it to Evan. He's sweet. It's also been described as one of Salinger's least dramatic stories. Which is why I gave it to Evan. He's a low-drama sort of guy.

The plot is simple: A four-year-old boy named Lionel, with an almost life-long penchant for running away when things happen that upset his sensitive soul, is once again upset. And so, he once again has set about the process of running away from everything he knows, this time by sitting in the stern seat of his father's dinghy and working the tiller. Poignantly enough, his vessel of escape is tied to the pier and stripped of its sails.

His mother, Boo Boo Tannenbaum (born Boo Boo Glass, of the Glass family featured in many of Salinger's works, including others to come in Nine Stories), goes down to the dinghy to try to learn what upset him, and to help him untie the emotional knots created by the actions and words of the adults surrounding him, and to bring him back home to her. Eventually, she does.

Evan explained to me that given the nautical theme, it seemed appropriate to create a drink with Voyager gin, what with its name and glorious label picturing some great big ol ship of some sort (editor's note: we don't know anything about boats). Also, Lionel is a big fan of pickles. Before heading down to the dinghy, Boo Boo, perhaps naively, believes a pickle might cheer Lionel up and searches for one in the fridge, only to learn that he has already eaten them all. Once Lionel has accepted his mother back into his life, she suggests that when they go to pick his father up from the train station, they stop and get pickles. And THAT, my friends, is why Mr. Evan Martin created a drink that would be complemented perfectly by a pickled pear. Let the Peter Piper jokes...commence!

And so, with that drink and story and bartender deftly described, there is nothing left to do here but include a quote from the story and put up a picture of Sharky. And so let's do that now...

Lionel slowly sat back in his seat, watching his mother, and reached behind him for the tiller. His eyes reflected pure perception, as his mother had known they would.

"Here." Boo Boo tossed the package down to him. It landed squarely on his lap.

He looked at it in his lap, picked it off, looked at it in his hand, and flicked it--sidearm--into the lake. He then immediately looked up at Boo Boo, his eyes filled not with defiance but tears. In another instant, his mouth was distorted into a horizontal figure-8, and he was crying mightily.

Boo Boo got to her feet, gingerly, like someone whose foot has gone to sleep in theatre, and lowered herself into the dinghy. In a moment, she was in the stern seat, with the pilot on her lap, and she was rocking him and kissing the back of his neck and giving out certain information: "Sailors don't cry, baby. Sailors never cry. Only when their ships go down. Or when they're shipwrecked, on rafts and all, with nothing to drink except..."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky: The Back Story Part 1

If you thought Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories was going to go down without loads of sappy stories about us, well, you're really amazingly off on your thinking. But we all love you anyway. What follows is a blog post from the Still Life With Shark blog. Dated May 8, 2008, Enjoy.

Before we delve into complaints and whining about our culture's failure to provide for its children, let's spend some time establishing why we care about the failure. Let's illustrate the intense love a parent has for a child, that I have for Sharky. Let's start doing this from the beginning...

Sharky was born by planned c-section for reasons pertaining to his mother's safety and health. This meant that she was in post-op during those moments when the baby is being cleaned, checked over, and then passed into the arms of the anxious parent.

So it was I alone who followed the nurses into a dimly lit room, where I was vaguely aware of the presence of other sleeping babies. I stood a few feet back as they placed him on a small table with a bright light shining down upon it. They poked him under arms, in various crevasses, prodded him here and there, as he yelped in protest, squinted, and squirmed.

After some time, they backed me into a rocking chair and placed the child into my arms. I think the nurses disappeared at that point, but perhaps they were standing there and it was just the entire earth that melted away.

He opened his eyes, looking across the room. His eyes darted from place to place, and he seemed somewhat alarmed to find himself here.

Then his eyes glanced up into mine and stayed there. He looked up at me, full of wisdom and a knowing I had never witnessed before and never imagined existed. His stare was not one of exuberance, or of comfort or pacification. It was one of solemn recognition, and it was shared by both of us. There was an overwhelming feeling of reunion, as if I was looking directly into a soul I had shared many travels with over countless millenniums, in unimaginable forms and worlds. My own existence has been, and will continue to be, joyfully intertwined with the one resting in my arms right now, and the care and love I take in nurturing it, I do the same for my own.

I, having been too long away from such ways of understanding, was stunned by this sensation. He, being so newly arrived to our world, was not phased in the least. He stared at me with tremendous care but without excitement, as if to say,”oh, hello...you're here too.” He then glanced back around the room for a moment with puzzlement, then back to me as if to say, “where do we find ourselves?”

I realized then that, having arrived shortly before him to this “dream of the red chamber,” as Cao Zhan calls it, it would be my duty to shepherd him through it.

Some might be inclined to say that these are all my interpretations of the events of July 1, 2002. But in actuality nothing could be less accurate. This was universal truth, the one moment of my adult life where I existed beyond interpretation, beyond words, beyond thought. There I was, face to face with my own reality and the reality of all...a sensation that many, upon experiencing it, have interpreted as god.

And it simply was.

Nearly six years later, I am still imbued with grace when I recall those precious moments. At any place, any time, I can reflect upon it and feel the strength swell inside me.

Nearly six years later, I still struggle to put what I saw that day into words, and still worry that the attempt to do so will somehow skew what really was.

And also nearly six years later, as I write this, Sharky sits a few feet away watching a Youtube video of the Incredible Hulk doing battle with a squadron of robots and helicopters, set to the soundtrack of some very bad Latino pop music.
It is not all mysticism and epiphanies.

"The sage is shy and humble – to the world
he seems confusing.
Others look to him and listen.
He behaves like a little child."
- Lao Tzu

Monday, January 23, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories. Numéro Un D'image

Well, what do you know. A Le Mixeur Post with almost no words. Just an image. One of many to come. They say a picture's worth a thousand words. The actual number of words a picture is worth actually varies depending on the country and the current exchange rates, and given the troubled US economy these days, you'd have to think that...

Shhhhh. No more words. Images only please. Everything is getting very hush.

(editor's note: more words to come soon.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Le Mixeur Sharky - Your Date, Your Location, Your Drinksmiths

(This is one in a series of posts regarding Le Mixeur Sharky: Nine Stories, an upcoming fundraising event to benefit my son Sharky, who is diagnosed with autism and is no longer receiving any state benefits or medical insurance coverage for speech, physical, or occupational therapies. The event will feature a menu of nine drinks, each created by a Seattle bartender especially for this event, and each based on one of J.D. Salinger's 'Nine Stories.')

Dear ones, we have a date. You and we. A date. That date is, March 11th, 2012. This is the date we will hold Le Mixeur Sharky. What time? Ohhh, probably about 5 or 6. We'll let you know for sure soon.

Dear ones, we have a place. You and we. A place. That place is, Inner Chapters Bookstore & Cafe. Where's that? It's on 419 Fairview Ave. N, in the lovely South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. ICB&C offers just the appropriate blend of literary atmosphere, running water, and service areas to hold such an event as this. We are grateful to them for the use of the space and excited to collaborate.

Many details are yet to be determined. But what has been determined is this: nine of Seattle's finest bartenders are currently working diligently (right kids? diligently? yeah? did you get my last email?) on original drink recipes for the menu, each based on one of Salinger's stories. In the coming weeks, I'll be profiling each of these bartenders and their current place of work, a la Left Coast Libations. For the moment, here is a list, including their assigned story and place(s) of work.

A Perfect Day For Bananafish – Bryn Lumsden: Rob Roy
Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut – Marley Tomic Beard: The Sexton
Just Before The War With The Eskimos – Kevin Langmack: Knee High Stocking Co, Vessel
The Laughing Man – Nathan Weber: Canon, Rob Roy
Down At The Dinghy – Evan Martin: Ba Bar
For Esmé – With Love And Squalor – Ben Perri: Zig Zag Café
Pretty Mouth And Green My Eyes – Sidonie Rodman: Rabbit Hole
De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period – Philip Thompson: The Coterie Room
Teddy – Anu Apte: Rob Roy

Those savvy among you might note that, with the exception of Anu Apte (my collaborator and instigator of this event, and the only person I could trust with the creation of my namesake cocktail), none of these bartenders were in Left Coast Libations. This was deliberate. It's part of an effort to continue to promote the work of more and more talented bartenders. And had J.D. Salinger compiled a book of eighteen stories, it still would have been too few to include all the worthy bartenders in our fair and currently snow-covered city of Seattle. Which is my way of apologizing to all the other amazing bartenders here who aren't on the list above.

In the time between now and March 11th, I will in all likelihood make several clumsy attempts to explain why this event has to be, and why it has to be the way it will be, and what's been in my heart as I slapped together its concept and design. For today, I will do this by including the words of Eudora Welty, who reviewed 'Nine Stories' for the New York Times. In some slightly abstract and perhaps obtuse way, I feel that what she wrote expresses why Sharky and J.D. Salinger had to meet, how much this event means to me, and what gratitude I hold for the bartenders above, and to all those who eventually join us along the way.

Without further adieu...

April 5, 1953
by Eudora Welty

J.D. Salinger's writing is original, first rate, serious and beautiful. Here are nine of his stories, and one further reason that they are so interesting, and so powerful seen all together, is that they are paradoxes.From the outside, they are often very funny: inside, they are about heartbreak, and convey it; they can do this because they are pure...

The stories concern children a good deal of the time, but they are God's children. Mr. Salinger's work deals with innocence, and starts with innocence: from there it can penetrate a full range of relationships, follow the spirit's private adventure, inquire into grave problems gravely--into life and death and human vulnerability and into the occasional mystical experience where age does not, after a point, any longer apply...

Death, war, the flaws in human relationships, the crazy inability to make plain to others what is most transparent and plain to ourselves and nearest our hearts; the lack or loss of a way to offer our passionate feeling belief, in their full generosity; the ruthless cruelty of conventional social judgements and behavior; the persistent longing--reaching sometimes to fantasy-- to return to some state of purity and grace; these subjects lie somewhere near the core of J. D. Salinger's work.

They all pertain to the lack of something in the world, and it might he said that what Mr. Salinger has written about so far is the absence of love. Owing to that absence comes the spoilation of innocence, or else the triumph in death of innocence over the outrage and corruption that lie in wait for it.

What this reader loves about Mr. Salinger's stories is that they honor what is unique and precious in each person on earth. Their author has the courage--it is more like the earned right and privilege--to experiment at the risk of not being understood. Best of all, he has a loving heart.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Le Mixeur Swig Well

There will be more to come soon on the upcoming event, Le Mixeur Sharky: 9 Stories, but right now let's delve into the event coming before that, which ended up inspiring LMS9S, a little thing I like to call...


Or, as is it's official title on the Swig Well web site - Le Mixeur: Plan Your Cocktail Party.

In case you've been living under a god damned rock, Swig Well is the drinking academy recently started up by Rob Roy owner Anu Apte, with the assistance of Ms. Hallie McGee. For the past few months they've been hosting afternoon classes at Rob Roy on such subjects as American Apple Brandy, Building Your Own Home Bar, DIY Syrups, and Bartending 101.

Now that they've got all that boring stupid shit out of the way, they're ready to have a real good time, hence Le Mixeur Swig Well!

The class will be held from 1:30pm to 2:30pm on Sunday, February 5th at Rob Roy. Yes folks, you read that right. We're competing with the Super Bowl. Why? Well, because we didn't know it was the Super Bowl that day, and we announced it for that day, and immediately tickets started selling like wild fire. Why? Because Le Mixeur Swig Well is just that awesome.

And the Super Bowl won't even start until after the class is over. Before they can start the game they first need to complete the pregame show featuring Hank Williams, Lee Greenwood and Sarah Palin singing God Bless America while strapped, crotches-forward, onto a missile as it's launched from the 50 yard line and followed by satellite video as it soars high across the sky and eventually destroys a small village in Guatemala, all to the deafening roars of the crowd, amped up beyond belief on a steady diet of watered-down beer and 5 Hour Energy.

Just kidding about that last part folks. But we will have something roughly equivalent in excitement to that at Le Mixeur Swig Well.

Despite the bum rush of ticket sales, there are still a few left (to Le Mixeur Swig Well, not to the Super Bowl). They cost $60, which includes the class plus three beautiful cocktails from past Le Mixeurs. How do you buy them? You go here and sign up. Then we hunt you down and extract the money from you. That can go easy or that can go hard. It's really all up to you, homes.

The class will cover all possible elements to planning a wide variety of amazing cocktail parties or events, from having some friends over to your place to ROCKING THE TACOMA DOME!!! Emphasized will be doing this all on a small budget, which is what I always did out of necessity. Of course, I cut costs a lot by currying favors from friends in the biz, and not everyone taking the class is likely to be as connected as I am. For this reason, I will be passing out a full list of bartenders, bar owners, brand ambassadors, and brand reps who have helped me, complete with contact information, and telling the students to be sure to harass these fine people.

(editor's note: no such list will be provided).

For a full description of the class, go here. Actually, screw that. Don't go anywhere. I'll just put it below.

Hope to see you there. In the immortal words of Mr. T, "Buy it. Or I'll kill you."


Le Mixeur | Plan Your Cocktail Party

Ted Munat | February 5th, 2012 | 1:30-2:30 | 2332 2nd Ave
Our favorite stud muffin, party-planner, Ted Munat is back and we are so excited to learn from his expertise!

This class will provide you with insight into how to create a memorable and successful cocktail party or event, from conception to clean up. It is based on the do it yourself ethic, providing you with a guide to utilizing your own personal talents and available resources to throw a party that's both unique and inexpensive.

This class will cover:

Inspiration— Determining the purpose and goals of your event. Planning thematic elements. Determining your target audience. Free events for friends vs. paid events (and planning on how to collect payment). Ways to make your event stand out from the rest, going the extra mile

Marketing—Creating, printing, and distributing your own invitations. Electronic invitations. Facebook and other social media techniques. Getting mentions in blogs and creating your own blog. How to create word of mouth buzz and a mystique to your events.

Planning—Finding a space for your event. Determining how much booze you will need and ways to procure booze. How to gather the needed tools, glassware, and equipment for your event. Acquiring the right permits. Planning music, décor, and ambiance. Planning entertainment. Seeking sponsorship. Recruiting helpers, bartenders, and building a team. The many ways to provide food. Creating a drink menu. Punch vs. cocktail/service vs. socialization.

Preparation—Organizing your shopping. Preparing housemade ingredients and juices. When and how to pre-batch cocktails. Set up techniques and timing tips. How to set up bars in unconventional spaces. The importance of being ready to go before the start time.

The Party—Bartending (if you wanna bartend). Collecting money (if you wanna collect money). Using your helpers for collecting glasses, replenishing food, making runs to the store, etc. The importance of being happy.

Clean Up—What to do that night, what to save for tomorrow. What to do when you can't wait until tomorrow. Minimizing your mess. The importance of treating yourself and your helpers to a nice breakfast the next day. Coping with post-event depression disorder.

We are so excited for this one!

$60 includes tax | 3 cocktails | tastings | surprises!