Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jack Rose: so much better than Titanic, OR "2 Years WASSUP?!"

I realized something this morning, as I was sitting in the eye doctor's office filling out paperwork -- today is my two-year anniversary of living in DC. (On an unrelated note, you probably shouldn't wait two years after relocating to find a new GP, dentist, eye-doc, etc. Doctors will scold you.)

All told, it's been a pretty zippy and fulfilling two years. I have a (mostly) stable job, wonderful housemates in a cute lil rowhouse (let's just skate over the whole mold thing), fabulous friends (remember when I lived in a cave and complained about my social life?), and am looking at getting another degree (apparently this involves studying for the GRE. Psh).

So thanks, DC, for being pretty good to me. All I need is my family and the mountains and I'd be set.

Since my 1-Year Anniversary Post was a mild tribute to Irish whiskey, why not continue along that theme?

There's a bar here in the District, called Jack Rose. It is not an homage to Titanic. It is an homage to all things whiskey. And I've had some pretty good experiences here, one of them just last week, which is close enough to serve as my annual nod to whiskey.

One of my best friends in the city is moving to Colombia for a Fulbright. (#baller) I promised her a Whiskey Education Night before she left, so on a quiet weeknight we tripped over to Jack Rose for the evening. Most of my knowledge I gleaned from working at my fine wine/liquor store, but if you're interested in a primer on whiskey, start here. And ignore the sexist title of the article. *grumble grumble*

We started with beer. Cuz you need something to sip on. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I get very animated (and, well, loud) when I'm excited about something, so basically anyone sitting near us could hear my whiskey spiel. The bartender had a little grin on his face, and the guy next to us (sitting alone, my age, and very attractive, not that I notice these things) was blatantly eavesdropping.

I get about halfway through my lecture, and the bartender approaches with two drinks. "Here ya go, ladies," he says, as we pick them up with curiosity. "Some of us bartenders are participating in a gin mixology contest for GQ, will you be our guinea pigs?"

Um, YES. I don't know much about gin and it isn't my favorite, but I'm not about to turn down free drinks.

We take our sips and the bartender asks for our opinion. "Well, to be honest," I say, "I think it's missing something." I give my recommendations, since Bartender was going for a gin chai flavor -- up the citrus, add more spices, maybe try a more floral gin to make it pop more. The cute loner leans in.

"Whoa." He stares at me with serious eyes. "That was incredible. Are you a professional?"

I laugh and explain the whole worked-in-a-liquor-store thing. Bartender raises his eyebrows and says, "I remember you! You've definitely sat at my bar before." [I have, indeed, dear readers. But that's a separate story.] Oddly, Cute Loner doesn't say anything more and returns to his burger -- gentlemen, *cough cough*

Just sayin.

We sip our gin and order some bourbon. Girl talk. Appetizer. Bartender brings us another, improved round of gin drinks. Cute Loner leaves, to be replaced by Gaggle of 4 Dudes. I order a Scotch. More girl talk. Another bourbon. Gaggle of 4 Dudes eye-flirts with us for a while, but we don't engage and they leave. Bartender brings a different gin drink. Another bartender wants us to be his guinea pigs, too, and brings over yet another gin drink. At this point it's late, we're almost the only ones there, and we've made friends with all the bartenders. There may have been more gin involved, I don't remember. One more bourbon and we're almost done for the night. We've probably been here for hours, I think.

"Excuse me," I hear a voice say from behind. "But have you ladies been here drinking whiskey for almost four hours?"


We turn. It's one of the Dudes from the Gaggle of 4 Dudes. "Um, yes," we say with slow grins. "Yes we have."

"That's AWESOME," he says. We exchange brief small talk and he explains that the Gaggle didn't leave, they just went upstairs. And that they all couldn't help noticing what beautiful blue eyes we each have, and how they couldn't stop talking about us once they got upstairs. I'm about to roll those beautiful blue eyes, but he interjects. "I'm not trying to be creepy!" he protests. "I'm actually married -- but I just wanted to let you ladies know that we think you're beautiful."

"Oh. Well, thanks," my friend and I say, genuinely appreciative. "We were actually just sitting here complaining about men, so....really, thank you. It means a lot."

"Oh, I'm sorry about that," he says. "I promise we're not all terrible. You ladies have a great night. And just know that you're appreciated." Then he smiles and leaves.

My friend and I turn slowly to each other. Well, that

Bartender comes over to ask what just happened. When we tell him he laughs -- "Are you kidding me?" -- and goes to fetch our bill.

Second shocker of the night: our bill, together, comes to a grand total of 20 dollars. WHAAAT.

We each protest, surely we ordered more than that and it's very sweet but we'd feel terrible not paying for more and we don't want to be those girls always looking for free drinks, but he overrides us, quite firm. "I don't remember pouring any more than that," he shrugs.

We stare, thank him profusely, and leave a very generous tip.

"See you ladies next week!" the bartenders all call as we gather our things. "You're regulars now, so you better be back!"

Oh, trust me, we will.