Classic Cocktails: The Sazerac

I like my wines. I know wine, have enjoyed wine in France and local wine from every area of the country that we have inhabited. Red or white, call me a… what’s the word for a wine-lover? An oenophile. Yep, that’s me.

I thought I didn’t like beer, until I realized that it is the hops that I don’t care for… lucky me, hop-happy San Diego will help me avoid swilling too many beer calories, or so I thought until I discovered Ballast Point Oatmeal Stout on nitrogen. Mamacita, is that a fabulous quaff!

Croce's Park West on 5th Ave San Diego
Croce’s Park West on 5th Ave San Diego

IMG_6292Now I want to try classic mixed drinks. Last Friday I tried a Gimlet, and loved it. This Friday I tried a drink that I had never even heard of- the Sazerac. And wouldn’t you know it, the couple sitting in the booth next to us knew all about this drink and its origins. The Sazerac company has a pretty good summary, too, click to read if you are so inclined. It’s birthday celebration time for me, so, off we went to what we have decided is our favorite restaurant and bar- Croce’s Park West.

Croce's bar menu...
Croce’s bar menu…

A classic modern Sazerac has rye whiskey, bitters and absinthe. The drink was SMOOOOOOTH! “The Guthrie,” Croce’s version of a Sazerac, was so nice that I went from complete ignorance to complete fan after one serving.

photo from SeriousEats.com
photo from SeriousEats.com (click to link)

Here’s a great post on SeriousEats.com- “25 Cocktails Everyone Should Know”

This is going to be the list from which I will be choosing new drinks to try!

I don’t know what is worse: I haven’t even heard of half of them, or I have only tried about 7 of the 25.

Time to get drinking.

Jazz Bar Again… Only Took about 30 Years

About 30 years ago my family went on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate my brother’s recuperation from being utterly creamed by a drunk driver. I’m not too sure of the details, but essentially, my brother’s insurance settlement paid for a lot of that trip. I never asked about the details, I was just glad that at 17 I didn’t lose my brother and one year later he was off crutches and healing. PSA- Don’t drink and drive, people.

There was a jazz bar on that cruise ship. Did you know that 18 is the legal drinking age at sea? And what did I do when I saw the opportunity to sit in with the Big People, enjoy their adult beverages, and appreciate good music?  I ordered myself a gin and tonic- (something I thought my martini-loving gramma would have suggested) and went to that bar almost every evening, that’s what I did! Note- one gin and tonic each night… I obviously had issues with excessive drinking, driving or not.

We had a great trip, but what I remember most was how anxious I was to get back home… ten days earlier I had met the most fabulous guy. He was so handsome, funny, smart, attentive and most surprising of all, interested in ME! Jackpot!

Twenty-nine years, five months and a couple dozen days later, he’s taking me to dinner where we can listen to jazz. The music of Gilbert and Lorraine Castellanos is featured at Croce’s Park West in San Diego tonight. I can’t recommend this venue enough- Croce’s Park West on Banker’s Hill is one of the nicest, most comfortable places we’ve spent time at in a long time. The food- excellent, the atmosphere- tops. And the music? Perfect. I think Jim would be proud, Ingrid.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cocktails at Croce's
Cocktails at Croce’s
IMG_5513_2
Gilbert and Lorraine Castellanos click to link to Lorraine’s site- besosdecoco.com
Live jazz... doesn't get any better!
Live jazz… doesn’t get any better! Click photo to link to Gilbert Castellanos’s site- gilbertcastellanosjazz.com
Croce's Park West, Banker's Hill in San Diego
Photo links to croces.com Loved it!

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