Casey's Last Stand (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Blue Blazer)

The Blue Blazer. The Blue frickin' Blazer. Dave Wondrich did one on national television for Conan O' Brien. Yes, I get that it's Jerry Thomas and I have an abundance of respect for this trailblazing bartender. . .

BUT. . .

I want to hate this drink. I want to dismiss it and put it out there with the rest of the show-pony flaming drinks that were all the rage at the same time as cocaine and Fuzzy Navels were all the rage. Seems like everybody has been so busy fawning over JT that to slam any of his creations seems like it'd come across as blasphemé. But c'mon, this is flair bartending circa 1894, and we're talking whiskey and water. The only reason we talk about it is because it's on fire. . .

. . . you see, I struggle with the respect issue, particularly working at a restaurant. Decades of showboating a-holes flipping bottles, speed pouring ten shots at a time, stupid names like the Woo Hoo, Adios MFers, Oatmeal Cookie shots. . .oh, and let's not forget the ubiquitous 'tinis . . . let's just leave it at this; it takes more work than you'd think to become a respected bartender because there are years of gravity working against you. . .

. . . and yet I'm still talking about the Blue Blazer and maybe I am still talking about it because it's on fire and maybe I'm not. You see, Casey, an extraordinarily talented young bartender, texted me and said it was his last night at Café Presse and I should try his Blue Blazer. The video here, a cellphone capture, shows him in action. The flavors, actually, were just fine. In fact, it was tasty.

So I owe Jerry Thomas a bit of an apology. Yeah, I'm kind of tired of him right now, just a little too much exposure, but that's not his fault. And yeah, I have to begrudgingly give it up for the Blazer. Fine. I'm gonna have to find something new to rant and bitch about, I guess.


&^%@!!!! Double #$%^!!!! %%$#@@%^%!!!!! With peanut butter on top!!!!! Like, this kind of @#@$$#@!!!!

Can't believe I blew this Mixology Monday. I've missed a few, but this one. . . . ? This one especially, because lordy lordy have I fallen head over heels for RUM.

It's all I drink anymore. Zaya, Matusalem, El Dorado, Flor de Cana, Pampero Anniversario, Zacapa, Pyrat, Appleton. Oh, and the cocktails? Don't even get me started! Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktails, Corn-n-Oils, Missonary's Downfalls, Mai Tais, Philadelphia Fish House Punches, Planters Punches, Nui Nuis, Cantons. Mojitos, Papa Dobles, Test Pilots, Ancient Mariners. . . it seems like all I ever wanna make at work these days. I've even made my own Tiki Bitters!!! (The picture? My Tiki Bitters Batch #1 at rest.)

I blame, like so many others, Beachbum Berry. And I'll blame Trader Tiki, too. And Craig, and the Kaiser, and Wayne Curtis and the Rum Dood. Most of all, though, I blame a small, beloved little bar I'd kill to work at. . . Sun Liquor.

You kinda have to be in the know to know about Sun Liquor. Visiting Seattle, there's absolutely no way you could just happen to walk past it. Either a local has to take you there, or, as happened to me, enough credible sources have to rave long enough to get you there.

They specialize in sipping rums there, along with a few original rum-based cocktails. When Christine and I first rolled in, I was amazed at their rum menu. At the time, it never occurred to me to sip rum like you would bourbon, scotch, brandy or scotch. My history included the all too familiar scenario of topping off a jumbo slurpee with Bacardi and regretting it for 15 years. So who in their right mind would want to sip rum. Straight, no less!!! Thought I'd better get me an education and the bartender that night decided to introduce me to this dark and wonderful world by pouring me a glass of Zaya.

God bless him. I've been swooning ever since. Even got the kitchen crew at Union hooked on rum. Same with 2007 Food & Wine Best New Chef nominee Ethan Stowell.

So, while I'm howling at the moon at Sun Liquor this past Monday, gettin' my rum on with Christine, Ethan and some of the crew of both Union and Tavolata, Kevin at Sun Liquor leans across the bar and asks, "Did you put in a post for Mixology Monday?"