He sweeps the bar. I wipe the tables. Then grab the padlocks, lock the doors and think, how did I end up here? We walk around the street market at 3 a.m., under the hum of lampposts, thinking about what to do next. We share a flask of whisky.
A long trail follows curious Steven, long sheets of bad luck. He's been in many a sticky situation. He picked up a brown paper bag from the shade in the alley behind the dive.
What's in here? he inquired. A used hypo-needle that pricked his finger, that's what.
Condoms on the bar floor everywhere. An Irish tourist is blowing them up like balloons, while his mate makes armpit farts and I think of James Joyce and how he liked to talk dirty about his wife's gas leaks.
"What bartenders geek out about takes years to trickle down to the consumer," says Brad Thomas Parsons, the author of Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All. Here, the best bartender-made secret ingredients to buy.
Work is hard, but there are certain jobs that may require a little more grit than others. Those that can successfully navigate through these professions will come out with an exceptional work ethic that can set them up for success anywhere.
The pizza joint next door does a good slice of violence. An argument mushrooms. The cops on speed dial and paramedics export an unsatisfied customer to the hospital. Something about pepperoni, some kind of insult, I hear a metal pipe over the skull settled it.
On Saturday July 18 the best cocktail bars in the world were judged at the Tales of the Cocktail Annual Spirited Awards in New Orleans. New York City was well represented. The Dead Rabbit took home awards for the World's Best Cocktail Bar and Menu.
Milton comes in. There is little poetry left in the man. He's shoeless. Toothless. His face traduced and trampled. The cracks on his face are dry. Saltiness settles in the hollows under his eyes. The dead see, too.
Someone says, Jake died. We all drop a few rungs. He owned a bar. Lung disease. He never smoked, unless you count the smoke of others. It's still dark outside. The f*cking cognac tastes off. So much for the sour grape.
Turn away now if you are disgusted by the description of a bar's grim lavatory. This is not for you. Come back next time to Notes when the talk will be of love and cocktails garnished with fresh fruit. Sadly, this grim description has to be done.
It's tough to select one drink to be stuck with on a proverbial desert island. To find out which drinks truly have the most staying power, we polled a group of esteemed cocktail experts to name the one drink they'd marry until death do them part.