An Anchorage bar-hopper's essential guide to the latest nightlife action and coolest hot-spots.
What the Guinness? - 9/2/2011 8:43 am
Weekend Update and Whiskey Tips - 8/25/2011 8:53 am
Cocktails for a Cause - 7/13/2011 10:26 am
It's Summer Time! - 6/1/2011 7:51 am
Happy Earth Day! - 4/21/2011 9:49 am
Best Cocktails of 2010 - 4/1/2011 12:22 pm
St. Patrick's Day = Hooray! - 3/17/2011 9:46 am
Kenai Brewing Co. Releases Canned Beer! - 3/9/2011 12:05 pm
Posted: February 14, 2008 - 1:41 pm
Check out my column this week for a rundown of familiar bar terms, in case you aren't sure what to order when your boss asks for a scotch, neat. Below I've made an expanded list of bartending terms for those of you who've always wondered what a "Crusta" is. These terms were compiled from various bartending and mixed drink sites, listed below.
Bang!: A term used to identify the double or triple flavor cocktails (i.e. Peach Bang!)
Box: Pour into and out of a shaker usually only once, mixing the drink without shaking.
Posted: February 13, 2008 - 11:57 am
Wine writer Natalie Maclean of Nat Decants offers a great planning tool for those of you hoping to woo your winsome loves with two common romantic elements (and both aphrodisiacs) -- wine and chocolate. Here's the rundown for pre-dinner drinks, stay-at-home sensuality or a neat nightcap.
Top 10 Wine and Chocolate Matches
1. Dark Chocolate and Banyuls, France
2. Chocolate-Covered Biscotti and Recioto Della Valpolicella, Italy
3. Chocolate-Orange Cake and Liqueur Muscat, Australia
4. Chocolate with Nuts and Tawny Port, Portugal
Posted: February 8, 2008 - 1:16 pm
"Aphrodisiac" describes certain agents thought to increase desire — the word comes from Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love. There are several types of aphrodisiacs, many of them food items, from coffee to arugula to garlic to avocado. (In fact, the Aztecs called the avocado tree “ahuacuatl,” which means “testicle tree.” Mull that one over.)
Posted: February 7, 2008 - 6:01 pm
I just heard a funny fact and thought I'd share with my party public. If you're heading out for a drink this weekend, count your blessings that we live in a state where ordering an Irish Car Bomb won't get the bartender in trouble. Yes, there is a place in the U.S where it's illegal (literally) to serve drinks in which beer or wine is combined with spirits. That place is Virginia. Recently a tapas bar in Old Town Alexandria was cited for violating the 75-year-old state law because it served sangria.
The penalty is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or a year in jail. Just for sangria. (And boilermakers, and mulled wine, and the drinking games where everyone contributes a little of what they're having into a communal cup for the loser.)
Posted: February 1, 2008 - 10:50 am
Check out these drink recipes for at-home Super Bowl satisfaction -- or for after the game if your team loses. Enjoy!
NEW YORK GIANTS FANS
1 1/4 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 maraschino cherry
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.
Long Island Iced Tea
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce sour mix
1 lemon wedge
Posted: January 31, 2008 - 4:56 pm
Anything that comes with a "practice" session and involves alcohol is a good idea in my book. Practice makes perfect, right? So prepare yourselves for some training on the 16th annual "St. Practice Day," Feb. 15, otherwise known as "The Great Guinness Toast."
On this day, Guinness drinkers across the country try to break the world record for the largest simultaneous toast. Since 1993 when it began, The Great Guinness Toast has broken its own record every year. It's a lofty goal, it's an occasion for camaraderie-and, it's an excuse to drink Guinness. (I wonder if you can toast with an Irish Car Bomb instead of just a sip....)
Posted: January 25, 2008 - 4:51 pm
Anyone looking for weekend plans? Here are some hot items that might inspire you to whip out the Nordstrom's gift card your parents gave you for Christmas and go glam. Happy partying, nightlifers.
Anchorage Folk Festival: 7-11 p.m. today, 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Wendy Williamson Auditorium. In addition to the slew of Alaska singers, dancers and storytellers performing, special guests The Savoy Family Band go on at about 9:30 p.m. today and Sunday. But be warned -- they say 9:30 p.m., but I heard last week it took a lot longer than that, so don't worry about being late if you want a martini first.Free. (3211 Providence Drive, 770-3682, www.anchoragefolkfestival.org)
Posted: January 25, 2008 - 10:59 am
The bar at Orso is usually one of those places you visit when you’re dressed up or when you want upscale nibbles and a fancy wine or cocktail. And where, before you go, you mentally check your bank balance. But now, from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays, all you need to balance is a martini glass.
Yes, Orso has jumped on the tasty-pre-dinner-deal wagon, attempting to counter the half-price deals at Simon & Seafort’s Saloon & Grill and other venues and is doing so with its own style. Next time you visit the bar, look for the Bear Bites section in the tiny laminated bar menu. There lie some of the most scrumptious and scandalously low-priced items I have seen north of SoNo.
Posted: January 23, 2008 - 11:21 am
Recently I found out that, according to current open mic host Sean Mormelo, after next Monday (Jan. 28), Humpy's Great Alaskan Ale House is going to replace Open Mic Night (an array of talented, local musicians) with Guitar Hero Night (which will surely be an array of talent-less, wannabe, just-turned-21 gamers). In a MySpace message, Mormelo stated "I understand Humpy's and all bars for that matter are in the alcohol selling business and not the music business. I'm not naive to that fact or egotistic enough to think that live music is any more important in most people's minds as the myriad of other forms of entertainment out there."
Posted: January 21, 2008 - 2:20 pm
Another Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival has come and gone. This year, though enjoyable, it seemed to inspire discussion as well as drinking. First, I have rarely seen as long a line for a local event as I did on Saturday night. One line for those who'd already bought their tickets -- the early birds apparently do get the IPA -- and one for those eagerly awaiting ticket purchase, in case the "Sold out" status changed when other patrons left the premises.
Posted: January 18, 2008 - 10:31 am
“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
It started on the Galley floor, then moved to the corner bit.
The mate was a mighty drinking man, and I had one or two pours.
Two patrons thus set sail that night — for an eye-opening tour.
... And a slightly overrated dance floor.”
I used to go to the Sea Galley Restaurant (or more specifically, Gilligan’s) to start most weekend nights. Me, and everyone else in town. But it had been a while for me, and after hearing that things had changed a bit, I made a return voyage. Not only does the bar have a new music act, it also has a dance floor. Intriguing, considering it’s usually so packed that it’s hard to find a table, much less a place to do the Boot Scootin’ Boogie.
Posted: January 17, 2008 - 2:04 pm
Nightlifers, this just in -- the local Hooters has closed its doors. Yes, it was slightly tacky. Yes, some may have thought it was also slightly degrading to women. Yes, its moniker referred unabashedly to a part of the female anatomy. But it also had some of the best hot wings in town. And, it was a relatively popular hot spot for watching sports and having friendly after-work banter.
Alas, it is no more. Check out ADN's coverage where you can click on KTUU's story. KTUU reported yesterday that co-owner John Rushton cited "slumping sales" that "doomed the business." The close was sudden (no "Every wing must go!" sale), and reportedly some employees are upset about that.
Posted: January 14, 2008 - 11:48 am
Every once in a while, even the biggest partyer needs a break. You know, that Friday night when you look at your friends or significant other and say, “Let’s just take it easy and go see a movie.” If these words come out of your mouth, make sure you follow them with “at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub."
I know, this isn’t exactly a news flash to most of you, but I can’t help it. The Bear Tooth is awesome.
A night at Century or Regal can cost $19 for two tickets and up to $10 for a large popcorn and soda. That’s almost 30 bucks, and you usually have to share the grub. At the Bear Tooth, $30 will get you two tickets ($3 each), a pitcher of beer ($14-$15) and two slices of pizza ($2.50-$2.75) with change. Sure, you’re seeing an artsy movie or one that’s almost on DVD — so what.
Posted: January 10, 2008 - 4:11 pm
What's up, Anchorage? This weekend I planned to head downtown for some bar-hopping. But with the new snow the plans might change to include either the first venue I find that has a seat and a parking spot in a snow-cleared area or my living room with a supply of beer and some cards.
If you stay home, a drinking game that comes to mind when nights are frosty and dark is one I heard about online during Halloween this year on a Yahoo! answer board. First, rent a few horror movies (preferably the ones in which a lot of people die, like the "Halloween" or "Nightmare on Elm Street" series ... even
Posted: January 8, 2008 - 12:03 pm
Whoah. Listen to this. Coolest. Thing. Ever. Well, in terms of neat ways to look at the cocktails and alcohol we drink, that is. Check this out -- see the image above? How would you describe it? I'm guessing the words "modern" or "abstract" or "just plain weird" come to mind. And it is very weird, but it's also very educational.
The image is a photo taken at the molecular level of the cocktail Tequila Sunrise, via photomicography (recipe). Seriously. And not only that, you can find more spirits and several cocktails with quirky and cool coloring at MolecularExpressions.com.
Posted: January 4, 2008 - 3:01 pm
Happy 2008! I trust that everyone had a radical, if raucous, good time ringing in the New Year. (Don't you just love having a free day off after partying?) To start 2008 pff right, here's a roundup of nightlife resolutions from the About.com Cocktails Guide, modified with some of my personal suggestions (in bold). These are things to think about while making your 2008 party plans. Pick one, if you like. Pick them all, if you're feelin' lucky. Or if you're one of those people who already do all of these things on principle, well, I probably don't want to party with you anyway. Just kidding. (Sort of.)
Posted: January 4, 2008 - 11:01 am
I know, I know, it’s only my second savory safari in the hunt for the perfect appetizer, but I’ve already found a new favorite oasis. It may end up the ultimate victor, it may not, but it’s definitely a contender —- and a heavyweight at that.
Everyone knows Simon and Seafort's Saloon and Steakhouse (420 L St., 274-3502) offers great daily half-price appetizer specials (and if you didn’t know, you do now). But I recently discovered another happy hour hot spot — a place that puts the “Sacks” in sexy.
Just off Fourth Avenue, a vision of glittering lights and bold colors designates Sacks Cafe (328 G. St., 276-3546, www.sackscafe.com). Inside, the soothing mellow jazz, eclectic art and warm-toned walls greet you with a tip of a mighty classy hat.
Posted: January 3, 2008 - 6:07 pm
What's up Anchorage party-goers? Sure, some of us may still be recovering from New Year's Eve (in fact, some of us may not yet have made it home). But if you didn't end up getting 86'd from the nightlife scene, here are some hot options for nightlife plans this weekend:
Give your taste buds a First Friday twist and sample three new beers -- Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet, Maredsous 10 and Gulden Draak Tripel Dark -- at a First Taste event, 5-8 p.m. Friday, McGinley's Pub. $9. (645 G St., Suite 101, 279-1782)
If you aren't going to make tonight's First Tap at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub, you can catch the Whipsaws Acoustic CD Release Party Friday, 8 p.m., at the Great Bear Brewing Co. (238 N. Boundary St., Wasilla, 1-907-373-4782), where Canadian singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger joins in the fun. (All ages until 9 p.m., free.). Or head to the Snow Goose Theatre (717 W. Third Ave., 277-7727), 9 p.m. Saturday, for another celebratory gig with Tim Easton. $15 advance, $17 at the door. (www.thewhipsaws.com)
Posted: December 29, 2007 - 2:31 pm
I know some of us don't have our plans cemented for New Year's Eve -- a few are still waiting to see what everyone else is doing or if something else will come up at the last minute. Check out my column this week for some ruminations to that effect.
But, party peeps, I have one word of advice that might keep you from the last-minute nail-biting and 6 p.m. champagne-chugging spree that'll leave you passed out before the midnight bell tolls. Try a prix fixe meal at one of several local restaurants to start your evening. I did it last year at Kinley's, and honestly, for the price, it's almost unbeatable. We had a lengthy, elegant meal with wine and champagne and before we knew it it was time to head to a friend's party, ready to countdown into 2007.
Posted: December 28, 2007 - 4:32 pm
You know when you go on vacation to the Caribbean and when you come back, it's freezing and there's about five inches of new snow on the ground? OK, I may be the only one recently returning from St. Thomas, but I know that you get the idea. So in the spirit of holiday spirits, I thought of a way to combat the below-zero boredoms and the down-coat doldrums -- spice up the season with a tropical cocktail! They're fruity, they're fun and they remind you that the sun is not just a figment of your imagination.