One of my favorite recent bar experiences was at The Varnish in Los Angeles, a small, dimly lit speakeasy. The Varnish was co-founded by Sasha Petraske, who hails from my favorite bar in NYC, Milk and Honey (another speakeasy).
My first drink of the evening was a Remember the Maine:
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Cherry Heering
- ½ teaspoon absinthe or legal substitute
Stir with ice – ”briskly in clock-wise fashion–this makes it sea-going, presumably!” – then strain into chilled cocktail glass or saucer champagne glass. Twist a curl of lemon peel over the drink.
(recipe via The Cocktail Chronicles, from Charles H. Baker, Jr.’s The Gentleman’s Companion)
I enjoyed this fragrant drink as I sat in my own candlelit, wooden booth, flipping through the pages of Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis. A wonderful experience, indeed.
I think I’ll mix myself one of these right now, to commemorate the start of this weekend. Cheers, and Happy Friday!