by Pink Gin
LUPEC Boston has been busy this summer traveling the country and doing important cocktail research for the benefit of our loyal readers. Sure, you could have found several members at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans but we also took on a bigger challenge: where to get a decent mixed drink in Alaska?
It wasn’t easy. Anchorage is a beer town. You can’t trip over a curb without finding great local beer. With three Anchorage-based breweries/brew pubs and great halibut, salmon, and other seafood in every hole in the wall pub – you could be content for some time.
Undeterred, we found a hidden gem at the Double Musky Inn as featured in this week’s Dig. Sitting at the bar was a pleasure – our wishes almost magically fulfilled by our “bartendress” Suzette and a busy but attentive crew. Sipping on the Deanna’s Garden, named for the proprietor’s wife, had us dreaming of other ways to play with herbal teas in simple syrups. You can order the Spring Garden herbal tea at Summit Spice & Tea Company or find a similar blend locally.
We also loved Club Paris in downtown Anchorage. I bet a lot of people pass it by (actually we sat at the bar and watched some of these people skittishly peer in the door and then scurry away). That’s OK, we probably didn’t want to drink with them anyway. We were drawn to it on our first day (love at first sight?), and I’d be a fixture if I lived any closer – like say, Worcester. We later read this Frommer’s review:
Coming from a bright spring afternoon into midnight darkness, under a neon Eiffel Tower and past the bar, I sat down at a secretive booth for two and felt as if I should lean across the table and plot a shady 1950s oil deal with my companion. And I would probably not have been the first. In contrast to Sullivan’s Steakhouse, across the street, which contrives a masculine, retro feel, Club Paris is the real thing, decorated with mounted swordfish and other cocktail-era decor. The club is the essence of old Anchorage boomtown years, when the streets were dusty and an oil man needed a classy joint in which to do business. Steak, of course, is what to order, and rare really means rare…
The bar was (refreshingly) without any beer taps, and
Steve mixed a fine Maker’s Mark Manhattan on the rocks. And I’m not sure how or where they find the cows, but they have the finest steaks we’ve eaten anywhere (without the pretense, mini-skirted escorts, and power egos that come with our so-called steakhouses). A week later we joined the regulars at the bar again, and Steve was already reaching for the Maker’s before we sat down. If you find yourself in Anchorage, don’t miss it. The low key “old-school” experience is one that is hard to find in Boston these days – classic bar, classic menu, classy service.
MAKER’S MARK MANHATTAN
2 oz Maker’s Mark
1 oz sweet vermouth
few dashes Angostura bitters
Build in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir.