Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Introduction to Two Boozehounds

  • booze [noun] - an intoxicating drink; hard liquor
  • hound [noun] - a person who avidly seeks out or collects something

It would be an understatement to say that we enjoy drinking at our apartment.

Actually, scratch that.  Let me rephrase:  It would be an understatement to say that we enjoy cocktails at our apartment.  That's an important distinction.  There's a big difference between being known as the "office drunk" and being known as "the resident cocktail expert" (which, I'm humbled to say, is how my co-workers mistakenly refer to me when the topic of spirits comes into play)...

I would not call myself an expert.  I wouldn't even put myself on the intermediate level of bar knowledge!  But I'm a very eager beginner with a strong appreciation for taste, balance and creativity.  That's true for everything, but particularly cocktails.  Jon is the same way.  What this means is that there is no cocktail we won't try once.  There is also no way of expressing just how much we love a good bartender, and how you can learn so much from them just by asking questions and telling them about your personal tastes.  It only takes drinking a few exceptional drinks from a truly exceptional bartender to result in you placing the bar (har har) so high that you become extremely picky about what you're drinking and how your drink is made.

A little trick when getting drinks from a great bartender: sit at the bar, compliment the hell out of him, pick out a liquor you can see on the shelf and say to him, "How is the [insert liquor here]?  I've always wanted to try that but haven't gotten around to it."  Chances are, if you're already getting good vibes from him, he'll give you a sample for free.  This has happened for us many times, from multiple bartenders and different bars.

Plus, if you love something you're drinking, ask for the recipe.  They're usually happy to share it!

Mint Julip, with 100 proof Knob Creek Kentucky whiskey, a favorite of bartender Craig deBolt, Suite 410 in Downtown Seattle

If Seattle has done anything to us, it's made us cocktail elitists.  I hate to admit it, but it's true.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: Seattle is the absolute best city for affordable cocktails.

That being said, the most important thing I've learned from trying every "top bar in Seattle" is just how different Jon's and my tastes are from each others.  It's pretty much guaranteed that if Jon LOVES something, I will most likely hate it—and I do mean hate it.  This is not a testament to the cocktail itself, but rather the incredible way taste buds can differ.

Jon loves a cocktail that is head-shakingly strong.  One that will take nearly an hour or more to drink.  He loves the complexity of putting together obscure liquors and how a simple sip can knock you on your ass—but in a delicate and subtle way.  He doesn't need mixers, and he doesn't need sweetness.

I love drinks that are balanced from top to bottom; the perfect blend of sweet and/or sour and/or strong and/or light.  I, too, love the complexity of various liquors and liqueurs, but prefer to enjoy them in a way that goes down smooth and with a kick.  Nothing too sweet, but nothing too bitter.  Strong, but not straight booze.  A hint of fruit is also highly desirable.

What this comes down to is that if you're hanging with us, most likely one of our tastes matches yours.  Plus, it's always more fun to drink with friends.

I'm hoping to be sharing some of our favorite recipes with you soon.  How about you guys?  Any favorite or go-to cocktails that you love to make at home or get when you go out?

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, whenever I come visit you guys, I leave a poorer, more dehydrated person because of the amazing cocktails offered in Seattle. Probably 80% of the reason I don't want you to move. I'll miss trying new bars with you, and meeting your favorite bartenders.