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: April 16, 2010 - 10:17 am
I've been feeling guilty lately that I can no longer recycle glass. Every beer, wine, champagne, or Framboise bottle now just goes straight to the garbage heap. In an attempt to lessen my own impact and impart some wisdom to other party people --Thursday is Earth Day after all -- I spoke with a few experts about what we can do to help and alleviate some of the guilty pangs of a heavy clinking thud in my trash can.
Posted: April 13, 2010 - 1:14 pm
Hey nightlifers - I finally visited the newest watering hole on the block, the S Lounge (on Gambell, near the Crossroads Lounge) and found it a hip, interesting spot to kick back and throw back a few on a weekend night. I was pleased to note that contrary to my rampant imagination, there was a well-lit, colorful sign delineating the entrance instead of a dim doorway cast in shadows to deter the woefully unprepared and uncool.
Posted: March 30, 2010 - 2:49 pm
I just heard some great news from Mike Kiker of Celestial Meads! The Mazer Cup International Mead Competition, known as the largest mead only competition in the world, awarded local brewery Celestial Meads a total of 9 medals at this year's contest. Our guys beat out entries from Nicaragua, The Philippines, Slovakia and Poland. For a full list of competitors and information visit MeadFest.com.
Celestial Mead Awards
MEAD NAME, AWARD, CATEGORY
Gunnlod’s Tears, Gold, Dry Traditional
Posted: March 30, 2010 - 9:32 am
The snow...is...melting. I don't want to say it too quickly lest it suddenly snows again, but the crunch of my snow tires on actual pavement is becoming a lovely morning sound. To celebrate the impending arrival of spring, the end of breakup, and endlessly sunny days -- what better way than with some seasonal cocktails enjoyed at home or toted to a friend's house?
Posted: March 16, 2010 - 2:41 pm
Happy best Irish holiday ever, nightlife compadres! Whether you're out and about in your forest-green finest, kicking back with some Gaelic ditties at home or still on the fence, here are some lively, limerick-inspiring libations to celebrate this year's event.
So, enjoy your day but make sure to get some Irish Stew in your belly as well. ‘Sláinte!’ (pronounced ‘slawn-cha’), and safe times for all!
Posted: March 4, 2010 - 1:01 pm
Nightclub & Bar's Top 100 2010 list of venues was recently released, and among the uber-trendy, Las Vegas-heavy hot spots, our own local watering hole placed 60th in the list.
It's also a place of local infamy -- bar fights, drama, crowds and even death have plagued the location in the past. Yet it consistently ranks in the higher echelons of club fun, and the crowds keep coming. What are your thoughts?
Find out more at www.nightclub.com.
Posted: February 25, 2010 - 9:13 am
I meant to write this today in honor of the impending 75th Fur Rondy this weekend, but with the recent wintry downpour I'm writing in honor of all things snowy, blustery, and seasonal. Including my favorite reindeer-running time of year.
So, I've linked some stellar ideas for warming libations perfect for sipping while curled up under a Snuggie ... or whatever creepy blanket-type-thing you, ahem, happen to prefer. Cheers!
The Irish Canadian (in honor of the Olympics -- and because I feel so, so bad that we destroyed them in hockey ...)
Posted: February 17, 2010 - 10:20 am
"The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has just launched CraftBeer.com to celebrate the ever-growing interest in craft brewers and their liquid libations. The new site is a consumer portal providing information and community interaction for craft beer enthusiasts everywhere."
Craft beer includes such libations that really get to the heart of the brewing profession and art -- whether or not wine lovers (such as myself) will be converted remains to be seen. Still, it's an excellent resource for facts, information, food pairing and more.
Posted: February 5, 2010 - 9:47 am
Really, Billings, MT? Really?
Check out the Top 10 List and see if you agree or disagree. Quick breakdown below. (Note: Texas is represented three times. Coincidence?)
The "drunkest" cities, starting with the wettest:
St. Louis, Mo.
San Antonio, Tex.
The "least drunk" cities, starting with the dryest:
Posted: February 4, 2010 - 8:22 am
Check out this week's in-depth story by ADN reporter Rindi White on the Valley-based vodka company's success!
Posted: February 1, 2010 - 12:35 pm
Go Alaska! Go beer! RateBeer's annual breakdown of the best beer and breweries in the WORLD came out recently, with a few familiar names ranking respectably high on the lists. Quick stats below -- full lists and descriptions found at ratebeer.com
2010 100 Best Brewers in the World
- Midnight Sun Brewery comes in at a tasty 46
- Alaskan Brewing Co. follows up at 88
2010 100 Best Beers in the World
- Midnight Sun Berserker Imperial Stout rates 60th
For more informa
Posted: January 27, 2010 - 8:05 am
Has anyone been to the Anchor Pub and Club lately and, sauntering in for a regular, ho-hum, dance-floor-hopping, crowd-navigating night, taken a second before going -- what the...?
You aren't the only one. Last weekend I went to see a friend DJ and found myself greeted by a revamped interior and a completely different scene. Owner Joe Graham told me he'd hired new management and they were taking things in a new direction to see if it worked. (Hint: the new management, or some of them, are formerly of the Avenue Bar.) The new direction is a fooseball-happy, hipster-friendly take on the clubby atmosphere the Anchor used to have.
Posted: January 15, 2010 - 9:07 am
This weekend marks the 15th anniversary of that hops-heavy, barley-bedecked event for suds lovers everywhere -- the Great Alaskan Beer & Barley Wine Festival.
For those of us who have toed-the-line and stood Northface-to-Northface at previous events, the modus operandi is much the same this year. Entertainment is abundant and includes local tunes from bands such as Silver Train, Good Life, The Snapping Turtle Swing Band, Rolling Boil Blues Band, the Defrosters and the Road Rangers.
As previous fest-goers know, the Egan Center provides a choice of food while you're imbibing -- this year, food will be located down the escalator by the restrooms as well as the coat check. Upstairs you can still find a pretzel or hot dog if you're in the mood.
Posted: October 9, 2009 - 11:12 am
Hi party peeps! I just wanted to say (albeit belatedly) that if anyone feels like heading to the Beartooth Grill this week, they can order me as a cocktail. Well, not me specifically -- but a "Jessytini," this week's special, concocted by my friend and fellow Libra Amy Mack, General Manager and mixtress extraordinaire.
Seriously, I started tearing up when I saw what she had created. And then when I tasted it, the tears began to flow. It's literally like strawberry cheesecake in a glass. Complete with a graham cracker crust rim. But beware -- like me, these babies are potent and can pack a punch when you least expect it! See the ingredients below to make one at home, or head to the Grill to try it yourself. Salud!
Posted: October 8, 2009 - 10:51 am
Sorry folks -- as I attempted to confirm the tasting time, Specialty Imports let me know that the tasting at Bell's tonight is already sold out. :( My apologies for getting you all excited. But be sure to read my blog review where I'll give inside details and also a link to some YouTube videos that are almost like the real thing.
Posted: October 8, 2009 - 8:26 am
Hi Nightlifers -- I'm composing a longer blog about my amazing experience with Maximillian Riedel and his fabulous wine glasses, but I wanted to send out a quick note for tonight in case anyone's looking for a fun, possibly life-changing event. Riedel is hosting one more tasting this evening at Bell's Nursery at 7 p.m., and you should be there! Contact Gary Griffeth at Specialty Imports (563-9100) for more details. I'll update when I hear more.
Posted: September 8, 2009 - 10:30 am
The new Marx Bros. restaurant in the Anchorage Museum expansion - the retro-hip Muse - has obtained its liquor license and ladies and gents, that is a very, very good thing.
I stopped by last Friday for a drink with a friend and to check out the general scenery while perusing the cocktail menu. One of the highlights was that Muse appetizers are all half price from 4:30 to 7 p.m. each weekday, a tasty tidbit our server informed us about -- and one that lasts later than many other Anchorage appetizer haunts.
The cocktail menu was varied and creative -- my friend had a drink involving the British classic summer beverage, Pimms, and I had a Bellini with honest-to-goodness real peach juice. The restaurant makes most of their juice from scratch, and boy does it make a difference.
Posted: August 28, 2009 - 3:59 pm
The clever marketing strategists on the Absolut Vodka team have come up with one more vodka based on the "city" theme, and just in time to commemorate Massachussetts Senator Ted Kennedy's passing away this week. It's called Absolut Boston, and reviews that I've seen say you'll either love it or spit it back into your glass.
The vodka recipe is infused with a strong black tea and elderflower, but it isn't sweetened up, says Colleen Graham on the Cocktail blog at About.com, but has fantastic cocktail mixing possibilities. Proceeds from the sales of the Boston brand, though, go toward environmental causes in the city of Boston, so it may be worth buying to try even if you don't end up liking it.
Posted: August 25, 2009 - 3:10 pm
Cheers, nightlifers — today (August 25) is National Whiskey Sour Day! I know it’s not everyone’s favorite, but it’s a standard and it’s been around since the 1870s. In fact, I know several people who crave the mouth-puckering, throat-burning freshness of a WS when heading out or relaxing at home with friends. I took some tips from Colleen Graham at About.com’s cocktail blog and included some variations on the classic recipe below. But the best part about a WS is that any bartender, at any bar (and I will take on this challenge) knows how to make one.
Whiskey Sour: Classic recipe
Posted: August 7, 2009 - 3:14 pm
To all my fellow lush-lifers who have been wondering why my charming mugshot hasn’t been in the Play section for the past few weeks – the answer is, my Last Call column is now on an online-only track. But never fear! I’m still with you, and continue to haunt local spots, travel out and about for new and exciting appetizer, cocktail and nightlife deals – I’ll simply be doing it all from the Lush Life blog from now on.
It’s been a great run, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the Anchorage nightlife scene in print the past two years. As my predecessor said, it’s pretty much the best job in town. And it’s still a great gig – it’s just changing shape a little bit.