Because I have lost the ability for quantity, I have found my liquor interests turning to quality and a little imagination.
I love the trend for hand-crafted drinks, and I have heard that the new Gadsby's Bar American has brought in a new bartender with a reputation for creative cocktails. Chad Spangler competed in a national cocktails competition earlier this year after working at Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers. No, he is part of the new regime in the Columbia space that used to be Greystone Grill.
Spangler has been profiled by local blogs like Sophie Pyle in In The Capital and in video by GQ, which sponsored the competition. This is the kind of bartender who messes with ingredients and techniques like a chef -- fruits, spices, foams, shrubs. They even think about ice, the way that different kinds of ice would chill or melt or not melt in different kinds of drinks. In my new-found taste for bourbon and rye, I have tasted some brilliant drinks that I could have never made at home.
To me, a cool bar would be a fine reason for people to check out Gadsby's. I know people who love the fresh juices and tequilas at Azul 17 in Columbia, and these fun drinks can draw the hardcore fans and the "date night" folks who just want something special. I'd love to hear what people think if they try Spangler's cocktails -- or if they recommend other local spots for cocktails.
Of course, my thoughts turn to the Two Dudes who scored the first interview with chef Robert Gadsby by showing up there for lunch with their parents. It would really push the boundaries of "teenagers who blog about food" if the whole family sidled up to the bar to interview Spangler. I bet Spangler has some non-alcoholic ideas.