The Four Barmen of the Apocalypse
Last year's Tales of the Cocktail was a momentous occasion for a variety of reasons, but especially so for many of your favorite booze bloggers. In a rented house on North Rampart Street, just a few doors down from Bar Tonique, we of the newly formed Cocktail and Spirits Online Writers Group had taken it upon ourselves to assemble the finest bar in New Orleans. We had more homemade ingredients and rare bottles of booze than has likely ever been assembled, and it all poured freely---if you were invited in. Welcome to the Mixo House.
On Thursday night, after several nights of heavy drinking for everyone involved, things were winding down. The hour was approaching 3:30 AM and most of the bloggers were safely tucked into their beds. Lindsey of Lush Life Productions, her friends Ceci and Laura and I were quietly finishing our drinks and getting ready to lock up before heading back to the hotels. This plan was interrupted by door pounding and people drunkenly yelling Trader Tiki's name. On our doorstep were Dave Shenaut of the Teardrop Lounge, Jeff Morgenthaler of Clyde Common, Jim Romdall of Vessel, and Keith Waldbauer now of Liberty (tending at Barrio at the time). This veritable bartending dream team of the Pacific Northwest was in finest form, and despite the fact Blair had invited them and then ditched them, they were not going to be refused entrance.
Within seconds, Morgenthaler was running up stairs and down hallways, beating on doors with a muddler and yelling, "BLOGGERS! BLOGGERS! WAKE UP BLOGGERS!" Rick was the first foolish enough to open his door. There was some hugging and more yelling and finally the pandemonium moved down to the bar, where we were eventually joined by Tony Harrion and Tiare. At one point Gabe came as far as the courtyard, wearing only his underwear, to see what crimes were being committed, but fled for fear of losing his innocence. Rightly so, as it was at about this time that Shenaut began sexually molesting the bar.
Perhaps in hopes of persuading them to leave, Rick offered the guests a round of Malort, a wormwood schnapps whose only flavor components are "ethanol" and "bitter", with a strong emphasis on the bitter part. Waldbauer actually tried to scrape it off of his tongue, but for Romdall it was a source of inspiration. He believed he could make a good cocktail from it, and so a competition was proposed: each bartender would look for the most repulsive swag booze in the Mixo bar and try to make a delicious drink from it. Jim, with the Malort and some cachaça Tony had brought with him from Brazil, made something quite tasty.
Morgenthaler selected Chambord and made something undrinkable. No one was sober enough to remember what Dave and Keith made or what ingredients they used, but suffice it to say Jim Romdall is the reigning king of the 4AM Mixo Mix-off.
The evening was concluded with a round of Jameson for everyone, which Shenaut promptly spilled on the floor.
What will this year's Tales of the Cocktail bring?
Many thanks go to Lush Life Productions for use of the photography, among other things.