Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Going To Leave My Wife For A Bar(tender)

Those of you who read my various blogs have probably got the sense that I'm a guy who likes booze. I'd go so far as to say that I'm an Insufferable Alcohol Snob; I take great pleasure in the esoteric minutia of the mixologists' craft and cry into my 25 year old sherry wood aged scotch when I contemplate the damage that Applebee's has inflicted to the American palate. Last night, however, I met a man next to whom I'm a mere poseur.

That man is Chris Langston, and he runs 1022 South (formerly the Monsoon Room). The man has a liquor collection like I've never seen. When I go out I'm usually happy to find a gin or bourbon on the menu that I've never had the opportunity to sample, but the offerings at 1022 go well beyond that. Chris has a tremendous number of liqueurs that I've never even heard of, much less tasted. Even his mixers are unusual... "falernum", what's that? When I saw that on the menu my first thought was that it was somehow related to falernian, an archaic type of wine once produced in Rome. But no, turns out that falernum is a type of sugar syrup. All good all around.

But having interesting ingredients is only half the battle... you've got to do something cool with them as well. 1022 has a cocktail menu far beyond the boundaries of what is found in your typical bar. There's a whole stable of champagne-and-something drinks under the heading "Salutary Companions"; I'm particularly fond of the absinthe and champagne ("Death in the Afternoon" IIRC). The menu also has a sense of humor; the "Desultory Companions" section features beer-and-shot combos such as "Hilltop Uber Alles" (Rainer w/ a shot of well whiskey).

So yeah, coolest bar I've been to in awhile.

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