* I’m half-convinced that the notion of a “bar” is like a “nation” or a “corporation”: a conceptual fiction masking lots of variety underneath. The real atom of a bar is the bartender. This rather shocking discovery came to me after visiting Clio with a friend, and encountering a bartender who was not-Todd. Todd is amazing. All Clio bartenders who are not-Todd are now suspect.
* I get the feeling that Drink is, in the above regard, [foreign: sui generis]. Every bartender at Drink makes spectacular cocktails. I have ordered many a cocktail from Drink, from many a bartender; all have been amazing. I like having the confidence to order from any of their bartenders and know that I’ll enjoy what I get. Though try to get Scott. Scott is awesome.
* I should note, by the way, that if you’re reading this blog, if you’ve not met me, and if you’re in the Boston area, we should grab a cocktail at Drink.
* I ordered a rye flip from the not-Todd bartender at Clio. It was pretty poor; she confessed that it had been a long time since she’d made one. I had never had one before, but I could only assume that rye flips had to be better than that. It tasted like a thickened and diluted glass of whiskey. When I ordered the same drink from Drink last night, they made it with rye, a raw egg, and a blend of spices that they concocted on their own; it tasted like a very eggy — in a delicious way — glass of eggnog. This seems more in keeping with how J. Random Website describes a rye flip.
* My friend Scott tells me to try this experiment:
> Try making a familiar drink, such as standard margarita — 2:1:1 of tequila, cointreau, lime juice. Now make another one with an egg white in it (shake very vigorously). Taste them side by side to see the effect.
* Speaking of shaking drinks vigorously, that seems important to the egg-based drinks. Without a vigorous shaking, the alcohol and the egg separate. Some bar around here made me a pisco sour that was insufficiently shaken; I got a cocktail that was half egg, half pisco, never the twain meeting.
* Eastern Standard Kitchen also never harmed anyone. Though I’ve not plumbed their depths nearly as much as I should have.
* Rendezvous in Central Square was earth-shatteringly good one night when illustrious SteveReads contributor mrz and I went there together. The drinks were spectacular but the food only so-so, so the next time we went back we decided to sit at the bar and only consume their drinks. The bartender was supercilious and not all that great at his job. Plus they were missing the cigar bitters this time around. I was disappointed. If I’m going to spend $10 on a drink, it practically ought to contain precious metals, and they ought to deliver it with a striptease. Or at least a smile.
I think the moral from that second trip to Rendezvous is a restatement of the first bullet: get to know your bartender.