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Saturday April 19, 2014
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Mixology

 

continued

The next time we went, my husband decided to start with his usual martini, but asked Andy Sienkiewicz, that evening's barkeep, to pick the gin. At 57 percent alcohol--navy strength, or flammable--Hayman's Royal Dock has "more bottom end," as Andy put it, and we agreed it made a wonderful martini. I also enjoyed a well-crafted version of another cocktail originating from early in the last century, the Corpse Reviver #2, which shook together gin, Cointreau, Lillet, lemon juice, and a dash of absinthe. The artisanal brandied cherry resting at the bottom of the glass--made, we were told, by a "friend of the bar"--was a notable garnish.

It was a Tuesday night, so the bar was offering "a beer and a bump" for five bucks: any Michigan beer paired with a shot of a limited selection from the extensive whiskey list. (They'd lose a bundle if they offered any whiskey--the twenty-five-year-old Macallan is $130 for a 2-ounce "sip.") Partial to beer, my husband opted for the offer after he finished his martini. When I complained I'd never been able to develop a taste for whiskeys, Sienkiewicz gave me a sample of Bastille 1789, a French whiskey he claimed many wine drinkers enjoy. (One of the perks of sitting at this bar is the potential for education.) Indeed, I found it smoother, sweeter, and mellower than other whiskeys I've tried. But since I was hungry, I decided to continue with wine, the beverage I find best with food.

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