Never trust a drink review.
Seriously, no matter how much you think of the reviewer you can never trust in a drink review because just as the old saying goes o0f me no drink is an island; and more than that rarely if ever are any two drink the same. A great bartender may be able to make something “perfect” every time, but I assure you it is a standard of quality not a measurement of exactness or precision The problem with a drink review is that they, much like any honest review of a restaurant, are usually more indicative of the atmosphere and the crowd than they tend to be of the drink itself. I’ve have frosted mugs of Pabst Blue Ribbon with a beautiful girl that was better than the 500 dollar a bottle champagne I drank with a sullen friend while watching the girl he hoped to marry walk down the aisle with someone else, incidentally we savagely took his revenge out on the open bar they so foolishly provided us. My point here is that while a drink recipe is a fantastic way to expand your pallet the only way you can ever know what’s good to drink, or where’s good to drink, is by exploring on your own. All any reviewer can do is tell the story of their own experience, and that’s little more than a raindrop in the ocean…that said, and therein I trust all due and fair warnings issued, I would like to review for you my first in a series of drink reviews. The drink in question is an enigma of my own invention, in a manner of speaking, a drink I proudly refer to as, The Gin Lover’s Pizza.
The Gin Lover’s Pizza is, in the estimation of those who are familiar with it, much more than simply a drink. It is, in a sense, a call to action. If I’m sounding overly verbose on the matter think of it in much the way one listens to a dotting father talk of his child. The beauty of a Gin Lover’s Pizza is that it is the perfect drink to be reviewed because it, like any barroom experience, is wholly unique to the evening. By which I mean there is no definitive recipe for the Gin Lover’s Pizza, it’s more of an open invitation for an evening to begin. The Gin Lover’s Pizza functions under three rules:
1. The drink must be a wholly original recipe, it doesn’t have to have gin, it doesn’t have to in any way resemble a pizza, in fact it’s probably best that it doesn’t it only has to be something that you, the bartender in question, can assuredly say is something all your own
2. The drink must be strong, the exact phrasing used when initiating a trusted bartender to the challenge is something along the lines of “ This is a ‘I’m going to the heart of hell tonight to rip out the devils heart with my bare hands’ kind of drink”
3. It must from it’s first pour until the doors are locked forever be known only as “The Gin Lover’s Pizza”
In the end the point of this game is to allow any night the opportunity to have a self-assured battle cry that seems to say this is to be a night to remember, and it’s universal and yet wholly individual. No two Gin Lover’s Pizza’s are the same, just as no two bars and no two nights are the same. What is shared is the fact that all those who order this particular drink know that this is not just some quick round on the way home, this is an investment that tonight will matter, if only amongst the bar room philosophers, but truthfully isn’t that enough?
The first Gin Lover’s Pizza.
I was the last to arrive which once was an utterly unthinkable crime on my behalf, but as of late had become the norm. Thus is the tragedy of having a day job, it so get’s in the way of your social life, at times to an inexcusable extent, none the less, like a weekend father, I always make sure I’m there for the important things. We, my friend and occasional writing partner, whom for this piece I will refer to as O’Mally, and I had discussed the idea of the Gin lover’s Pizza challenge and had decided that this would be the night that we first took it for a test run. In theory it was as a celebratory measure to mark the beginning of our first collaboration on a play, which we very much meant to work on, had we not been distracted by a night spent instead celebrating how delicious, and potent, our new favorite drinks had turned out to be.
Beyond the pair of us there were a handful of meandering friends who had also hit the town this particular Friday night with the intention of bar hopping, and, having not seen them in sometime, I agreed to meet up with them somewhere down the line, once O’Mally and my business here was concluded.
We made our way to the bar, which we were greatly relieved to discover was being manned by our dear friend, and trusted accomplice in matters alcoholic, was manning the spouts. We presented him with the challenge, outlining the three rules and then assuring him that we had in his skills the utmost faith…and with that he was off. Weighing and judging his options, a base, a slight addition, a minor twist, a bit sweeter, a bit stronger, back and forth, to and fro leaving no nuance unconsidered; and the result?
I will say simply that both O’Mally and I have visited this bar numerous times since discovering, as it were, the Gin Lover’s Pizza, and have ordered for ourselves, and guests, nothing but since. Now surely you are wondering what bar I’m talking about, and who is this great bartender who has created this gift to the thirsty masses. Well, I’m not going to tell you. Not that it’s a secret mind you, but that’s the whole point, of the game, and the whole point of late nights spent joyously hopping from bar to bar in general. It’s a scavenger hunt without a list. It’s a never ending search, there is always someplace new to try, some new drink to discover, some new adventure to be had.
So go out, find a bartender that you know and trust, or go up to a complete stranger who has the kind of eyes that you think have seen enough bottles fly to know what he’s doing, and order yourself a Gin Lover’s Pizza, and if we had been there they’ll know what to do, if we haven’t then it’s up to you to teach them. It’s a battle cry readers, against the dying of the light. So drink up, because last call is always a little sooner than you expect.