Friday, December 13, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013: F YOU FRIDAY - F.U. 2: F Harder

The last great drinking sitcom - Cheers - famously asserted that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

Yeah, maybe.

But sometimes you want to go where not only will everybody not know your name, but you might actually have to assume a false identity, leave your ID in the car, and pay in cash.


First, let me give you a quick rundown of this fucking week:

Got in the minivan yesterday and hey! Where'd that big crack come from? Pellet from a salt truck? Errant snowball? Tiny meteorite? Fuck you, space debris. There's a ding in the middle of the windshield and then the crack stretches from EAR TO EAR. Not sealing that one up with glue, no sir, that's a new windshield.

Might also benefit from a visit to the vet.
What's wrong with the cat's eyes? The long-haired cat has always been a little gluey around the portholes, but ugh all of a sudden he looks like Sad Bill Compton. Bob's administering a home eye test right now, very sophisticated, involves a sock, and the cat seems to be seeing ok... but it's definitely a trip to the vet.

And the 12-year-old has recently grown out of kids' sizes in the footal area. Therefore, there are no shoes to be found at all anywhere. Don't... all boys pass through this size? Why would we not stock as many shoes in a men's size 7 as in a boys' size 6? And just where do you put those apostrophes? So that means another trip to the shoe store to pick up the shoes that had to be ordered, and let us hope they're good, otherwise he'll be wearing my Danskos to school until winter break. (They fit! They look kind of great on him! He would probably not appreciate me sharing this!)

I think I saw a rat in the recycling bin on the porch.

"Why is your coat leaking feathers?" "Huh. Maybe it got torn sledding." Don't make me make the Marge sound - THAT COAT IS NEW. It's now patched with bandage tape. And still it's leaking feathers.

"Hey, my inhaler is down to zero - do we have another one?"

Plus, do you think if I picked up this laptop and shook it real hard, the relevant pieces would click back into place and it would stop gagging every time it had to wake up? "COM Surrogate has stopped working." Fine, I will click Ok to that. I don't know what it means but I don't think I care. Why tell me three times, though? It's always three times. And then when it just BAM!! shuts down, it's "Internal Page Kernel Error." Thanks. I'll make a note.

I know I'm not alone. Chatting with [NAME REDACTED] the other day, I mentioned I was thinking of gaslighting my parents so that they'd sell their house and move to assisted living while they are still able to do most of the work themselves. I was joking, but her eyes narrowed. "That's a great idea," she murmured, nodding speculatively. We are all at our wits end.

So I think today is just FUCK YOU FRIDAY.
Incognito already.

On the other hand, I took the day off so that I could attend the 5th grader's Winter Sing (Oh the rising of the sun! And the running of the deer!), so that means I can knock out some of the rest of this stuff and even have time for lunch with [NOBODY YOU KNOW]. And my husband got a babysitter for tonight, and I made a reservation, and we're planning on stopping at the place with all the Amaro after dinner, so that makes me smile.

Then there's this: when we picked up the middle schooler after school today, he was wearing a false mustache, an opera mask, and Mardi Gras beads. He's got the right idea, I think. Do you think he'd let me borrow that mustache? Because we're going on a little tour of hidden bars.

If somehow we were whisked away to San Francisco this evening - via private jet of course, me wearing a red ballgown and borrowed rubies (ugh I hate that movie almost as much as Ann Magnuson does), we might wander down an alley to an unmarked door and enter Smugglers Cove, a tiki-themed bar that is nonetheless reported to be one of the best in America. I couldn't find a cocktail recipe from this joint online, but I am sorely tempted by this punch. Love the Krampus, and a new punchbowl is on my wish list.

Tea and Krampus
1 1/2 ounces Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
1/2 ounce Coruba Dark Rum
1/2 ounce Leopold Bros. Blackberry Liqueur
1/4 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce vanilla syrup (buy it, or recipe here)
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Fresh grated nutmeg
Multiply by # of servings and combine everything except nutmeg.
Chill for 3 hours.
20 minutes before service, pour into a punch bowl filled with ice, and grate nutmeg over the top to taste.

The bar at Weather Up, Brooklyn.
If Bob and I were in Brooklyn and going on a date on a Friday night, I would try to remember the place our friend [NO NAMES!] took us in October. No sign, no exterior decor. I had to figure out what that bar was called by process of elimination, and I think it is Weather Up.

Weather Up is an intimate barrel-vaulted space lined in subway tile, as if it had been a Paris wine cellar that was used as a bomb shelter during WWII, accidentally buried for fifty years, and then unearthed and resurrected as a tony little bar.

I had something tall and pinkish. The Internet is a genius, I found that drink: La Isla, tequila, Campari, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice and soda, and I took its picture, but mysteriously, those photos have disappeared.

What a speakeasy would look like at Disneyland.
If we were visiting Denver tonight, I would have to wheedle pretty hard to get Bob to agree to enter through the swinging bookcase at Williams & Graham. His colleague [MMBLEHMPH] offered to take him there last time he was in Denver, and he refused absolutely. A little too rare for his blood.

But I know what I'd order if by some means I managed to strong-arm him through that hidden door: the Nickel Bag O’Funk (Boulard VSOP calvados, Leopold's Tart Cherry, fresh lemon juice, demerara syrup, Isastegi cider). That's an irresistible name, right? And I've heard that Boulard calvados is nice. Plus, we bought a bottle of Cherry Heering this fall and have been enjoying the heck out of it, so I'd like to try the Leopold's.

Another place I don't think I'd ever get Bob to walk into is PDT (stands for Please Don't Tell - oh, bite me) in Manhattan. You get into that place through a phone booth in a hotdog joint. WAY too cutesy for Bob.

There's nothing besides a phone number on PDT's website, but I know kind of all I need to about their drinks program. I checked out their mixologist's cookbook this time last year, and came to the conclusion that that guy (Jim Meehan is his name) is way too That Guy - and his drinks are far too Those Drinks - for me.

No, we'd go to Temple Bar, which I will always remember as the first time I met [HEY HEY WATCH IT] in person. It is a beautiful, beautiful, civilized place, and everyone who walks in is magically transformed into their 1940's movie star equivalent. I felt like Joan Bennett, maybe, while my date was definitely Hedy Lamarr. It's like a Star Trek Next Generation holodeck experience, except nobody has to look at Riker wearing a tiny fur poncho. Wow was that a rabbit hole not worth dropping down.

My husband is a Manhattan man like his dad, and so I know for a fact he would order the Temple Bar Lower Manhattan, made with Old Overholt Rye, Punt e Mes, Cynar, and orange bitters.

If we were in DC, we'd stop in at 2 birds 1 stone, on my friend [HUSH YOUR MOUTH]'s recommendation. It's the basement of the restaurant Doi Moi on the corner of 14th and S. As persuasive as she is glamorous, she got them to cough up the recipe for this excellent Pimm's Cup:

Pimm’s Cup for Fall 
1oz. Cinnamon-infused Pimm’s (3 Toasted Sticks per Liter Pimm’s Overnight)
1oz. Ford’s Gin
4oz. ginger beer (housemade of course - fresh ginger and lemon juice, water, suger)
Pour over Ice in a Tall or Collins Glass.
Top with the ginger beer.
Garnish with a Mint Sprig and Lemon Wheel.
There's just a skeleton website for 2 birds 1 stone, like the tantalizing skeleton websites for Weather Up and PDT, and the completely nonexistent website for Harlan, a place NOT named after Raylan Givens's hometown, but JUST as cool and sexy in an old-fashioned - no not old-fashioned like "old-fashioned sexy Burt Reynolds in Playgirl" kind of way but real-life old-fashioned sexy, like when you realized that those handsome old movie actors with the beautiful manners were actually just hot men in suits.

Behind this truck is the most mysterious bar in town.
It's not all fancy places in big cities, either. The suburb/village/wretched hive of scum and villainy where I grew up has long harbored its own no-name, no-sign, You Didn't See Anything bar. Most people call it Morseberger's because that's the family that has owned it since Moses was a tadpole, but my friend [JUST LEAVE IT AT 'FRIEND'] called it "Bar named Bar" when she reminded me to include it here. Even on Google Street View, it is entirely blocked by a big truck. Adding to the mystique!

I have somehow never been in to Morseberger's - when I go home I am usually at my parents' house - but my FRIEND recommends the eggnog. Here's some advice, though: if you do go, and after a couple eggnogs find yourself in a beef with another customer, don't take it into the men's room. A man was killed in there a few years ago, and while this is tragic of course, it makes that Williams & Graham bullshit look like Candy-ass-land.

HA! We ended FUCK YOU FRIDAY with murrrder! How's that for F.U.! And how's this - this post is so obnoxious and rude that I am posting F.U. FRIDAY on SATURDAY.

The snow has started outside, so I am pretty sure we're going with hot drinks tomorrow. Teas, ciders, hot milk, hot water. Anything you like particularly, let me know!