Gluttony In Seattle part V
After our bountiful feast of what had to have been more than 15 or so different things, it was time to head to Sambar, all our Seattle-friends' favorite cocktail bar in the States. We were told that this place was unlike any cocktail bar we would have been to.
We made our way to a tiny bar, tucked away in a neighborhood, adjoined to a fancy French place. Everyone was stoked to bring us here - apparently the bartender here goes beyond mixologist, he's sort of a doctor of cocktails. You tell him what liquor you like… or even what mood you're in…and he knows what kind of drink you need.Mixology is no easy feat - you can't just work in a bar, shake some random ingredients together and pull something great out of your ass - you really need to know your stuff.
Just as Staple was rather inexplicable due to the nature of the presentation of courses being an onslaught of delicious courses - this was similar. My first drink was I believe the bartenders take on a Corpse Reviver - only different. I mentioned my taste leaning towards classic cocktails, Pre-Prohibition-style… maybe something like an Aviation - and he delivered that tasty elixir.
Everyone passed around everyone's drinks to sample everything that was being sucked down - each cocktail had such a distinctly different flavor, even using such subtly different ingredients.
I used to not get cocktails - I was convinced a cocktail was something strictly limited to what I was used to drinking down in our freezing tiny Chevy conversion van back in the days of yore: warm or cold Jack (depending on the weather outside) with flat soda from a big liter jug; Jaeger and room-temperature orange juice (which shares a striking resemblance to diarrhea) poured into a red plastic cup. Now that I've taken the blue pill (or was it the red pill? It's been a while since the 90's) - I've seen the light that the right cocktail, at the right place - is like… an adult soda.
For my next drink, I told the bar tender to make me whatever he likes - and that I'd be stoked regardless of what it was. I've heard of deconstruction of foods, but not drinks - here we had: a glass of house made ginger beer (non-alcoholic, but totally made in-house), and a glass of some kind of rum that I can't recall the name of.
Separately, it was like a glass of succulent fire-water and then a glass of sparkling honey-soda… but sipped one after the other - a sort of magic happens. You could mix the two, but what was really fun about it was to taste the components totally separate, each living in it's own home - this "cocktail" awoke something in my taste-bud-brain-reflex.
The six of us were well lit-up by this point - happily (loudly) chatting about our lives back home and abroad, about other times we've eaten and drank around the world, and how fuckin-good each of our drinks were.
Once again, I asked the barkeep for anything - to make something up on the spot even. Unfortunately in the business of being in consuming copious amounts of food and alcohol, you sort of lose your way sometimes in writing down what something was in your notes - so… I'm going off guessing what this iPhone photo is showing me.
The next deconstuction-sort-of-modern-art drink thing that was presented to me was a glass of clear rum (from some South American country) and a plate with oil and ginger shavings (maybe some garlic too) and a skewer of tomatoes and blood orange. You take a bite (or a drink) and then drink (or bite). I love the fact that you can find quality drinks just like you can food - and when you're doled out something like this, something so vividly different than what you imagine a drink could be - it's what lights me up.
Another beautiful time with some fantastic people.
From here, we stopped by a local grocer - and - inspired by Sambar, I picked up ingredients to make Aviations (gin, maraschino liqueur, creme' de violette, lemon) at Sean's place… my mixology skills (or lack-thereof) were lackluster by that point-of-drunkenness, to say the least.
The next day was wedding day. The entire day from start to finish was remarkable - a wedding I'll certainly never forget.
I got to DJ the whole thing too… so I had a damn good time.
The next morning, it was a final meal at Citizen: Huevos Rancheros with Potatoes. The potatoes were rosemary-covered, the tortilla had black beans, avocados, cilantro and eggs and white cheese - pico on top. Rockin. I always want huevos rancheros.
Thanks for the grub, Seattle.