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bartender [bahr-ten-der]–noun: a person who mixes and serves alcoholic drinks at a bar.

boytender [boi-ten-der]–noun: a bartender of ambiguous sexual orientation who mixes craft drinks with an impeccable bedside manner.

sometimes traditions are created by happenstance, but cocktail wednesday is not one of those traditions.  born out of a necessity for liquid libations after enduring the better part of the workweek, this soon-to-be national phenomenon steered me and my jewish lawyer/therapist/spiritual advisor straight to the little red bistro in south lake union. with its entrance marked by a big red clock tower, this restaurant and bar also moonlights as a performance space and day spa; a multi-threaded business model that would make any asian businessman proud.  the drink menu read like a chronicle of mixology, featuring a list of classic cocktails ranging from 1803-1934, but menus never fully showcase the talents of a true mixologist, so i once again threw caution to the wind and relinquished full control to the bar. what resulted was a concoction of fernet and domaine de canton, an ginger liqueur fortified with eau de vie and cognac.  sadly, i found the drink to be sticky sweet with a cognac kicker that conjured images of a stodgy aristocrat, but our boytender thomas sensed my disillusionment, and with a little additional consultation, created a lemony fernet concoction that lasted all of about three minutes.  ever attentive, the next round of drinks appeared sans soliciter– a shot of fernet with a ginger beer chaser.  i’ll admit that i had my doubts about the ginger beer after the recent canton calamity, but alas, redemption was on the horizon for both ginger and our boytender.  like a firm slap followed by a loving rub, the evening ended on an upswing.

paying homage to the classics