this time around, cocktail wednesday brought my motley crew to vessel, seattle’s imbibed interpretation of an ian schrager hot spot. located next to the 5th avenue theatre in the heart of downtown rush-hour traffic, vessel has received rave reviews, the most notable being a coveted seat at esquire’s compendium of the best bars in america. but we didn’t come here on reputation alone–of course there’s always a backstory, a method to our mixology madness. they say hindsight is 20/20, but chalk it up to a cancelled first date to one day lead me to a cocktail goldmine. redemption is sweet, for vessel houses bartenders that have seemingly perfected the formula of spirited savvy, aloofness, and hospitality, enough to make me want to be their student, favourite ex-girlfriend, and childhood neighbor all in one fell swoop. and oh the drinks! perusing their cocktail menu was like uncovering a stash of porn in your daddy’s closet (flip through as fast as you can, remember as much as possible, and pick one to take with you before you get caught). i ended up going on my second date with a fernet flip that definitely held its own against murray’s, and the truffle chips added just enough sparkle to keep things exciting. they say “fools rush in“, but i think i’ll be seeing vessel again very soon.