Boulder's James Lee of Bitter Bar: The Art of the Cocktail

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The other night I went to Happy Noodle House in Boulder, Colorado, for the first time in awhile.

When Happy first opened up some eight months ago, it fast became a favorite ... I hosted a few parties there, and hung out in their "Bitter Bar" many a night.

Then, for some reason (summertime, and my being a workaholic, perhaps) I fell off the Happy wagon. But a few nights back, I went back, met my longtime bud Michael Ramsey and was treated to an incredible cocktail via James Lee, one of the better bartenders in Boulder -- and the whole of the U.S. of A.

The experience reminded me that mindfulness -- doing the right thing -- living a good, meaningful life and helping others -- what elephant is all about -- and alcohol can intersect.

Leave behind the red Solo cups, the cheap crap alcohol and the swilling and bingeing ... make a proper drink, mindfully, and it can be an incredible way to relax, to breathe out the stress of the day, to enjoy your evening and the company of a friend and your community.

It might seem obvious to my friends, reading this, that alcohol ain't necessarily a vice -- but too often in the yoga and Buddhist worlds that I grew up around, and in, peeps tend to regard alcohol, understandably, as a dangerous thing.

It is. But done mindfully, moderately, with proper attention and enjoyment, it's the kind of vice we all can get behind.