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A Taste Of Manhattan In Port Jeff

Posted: March 7th, 2011 | Author: | 1 Comment »

It’s raining like hell outside. To the point where my windshield wipers are on high all the way home from the restaurant. I can’t remember the last time it rained this hard.

It’s good, though. It’s better that snow, and based on the amount of rain that’s coming down — that’s been coming down for hours — it would be a lot of snow.

It’s enough rain to cool the air, enough that running in from the car makes you want a drink to warm things up. No, not coffee or hot chocolate. Something that warms the interior. Something strong. Something delicious. Something with whiskey in it.

Whiskey and diet soda are the two most common household ingredients I have that work together. Except, because of a guy named Greg, they don’t work.

Greg’s a bartender at The Fifth Season, my favorite restaurant ever and Kelsey’s former employer (there’s my disclaimer, by the way: my girlfriend used to work there and I think they make delicious food…). See, Greg is awesome because, other than being a pretty awesome all-around dude, he knows a lot about drinking. Not in the way your college baseball team knew drinking, but in a way that can say “use rye instead of Scotch for this drink,” which, in my opinion, is infinitely better. Because when you can choose between “this is how to drink” and “this is how to get fucked up,” you should choose the former every time.

A few weeks ago, when Kelse and I were sitting at the bar drinking beer, I struck up a conversation with Greg: “I don’t have a drink,” I told him. “I don’t have anything that I can order when I go to a bar.” Have you ever asked for a whiskey and diet? It’s embarrassing. What the hell’s that? A frat drink. A wannabe writer drink (I know *allllllllllllll* about these…). It doesn’t even feel like a drink, it feels like a nasty-tasting glass of Diet Coke.

It’s still raining. Serious downpours ever twenty minutes or so that make me think the sewer systems on Long Island (which I’ve already noticed don’t actually drain water very well) won’t be functioning by morning and we’ll all be ankle-deep on our way out to our cars.

But that’s then. For now, I’m thinking about the concoction in my glass, and how it’s not quite as good as the one that was in my glass earlier tonight.

Here’s the deal: Greg works Sunday nights at The Fifth. I’ve decided to drop by during his shift and learn how to really drink, one cocktail a week. We’re tackling the classics first: last week, we tried an Old-Fashioned. I liked it; it was whiskey but it was smooth. This week: a Manhattan. Not so much.

But you know what? As much as I didn’t like the aftertaste left behind by the sweet vermouth, it was better than a Jack and Diet. That’s all I need. Let it rain as much as it wants.

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One Comment on “A Taste Of Manhattan In Port Jeff”

  1. 1 Post Script » Blog Archive » Writer’s Block In A Bar said at 6:44 pm on April 21st, 2011:

    [...] was at the Fifth Season in Port Jeff on Sunday night, learning how to drink, having this same conversation in my head. And for no reason other than to fill the paper, I just [...]

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