Last year I was sitting in the bar chatting with an out of town friend.
Down from us was another gentleman who looked vaguely familiar.
When I was giving my Savoy spiel to the bartender, he introduced himself. We’ll call him “E”.
E. is the bar manager at a well regarded restaurant in San Francisco. We’ll call it “Tilted Portal.”
E. was familiar with my quixotic quest to make all the cocktails in the “Savoy Cocktail Book,” so I also hit him up to potentially get together and make some cocktails down the line.
A couple months later, I sent a note to E. asking if he might be interested in participating in the “Savoy Stomp.” He was kind of excited, as he was launching a bar program at a new restaurant in Oakland. We’ll call it “Flower.” As a matter of coincidence, Flower is in a great old art deco building and its cocktail menu includes several cocktails from the Savoy Cocktail Book. It seemed like a great dovetailing of timing and circumstances.
As usual, while doing these Savoy bartender features, I had a great time. E. turned out to be an incredibly nice guy. Plus, despite the fact that the bar had only received its liquor license the night before and it was crazy busy, the bar staff acquitted itself with honor.
However, E. seemed to have a particular interest in finding out how a cocktail writer/geek would fare behind the bar.
“How about if we set up something with bartenders and writers, like you and C.E., getting together and making drinks?” I said, well I’m not exactly a writer, but sure, as long as there was money riding on me kicking C.E.’s ass in the drink making department.