“Angostura bitters or housemade miso bitters?”


From The Threepenny Review:

If you have never encountered a mixologist in the wild, consider yourself blessed. Maybe you live in a nice college town where people still smile at each other in the streets. You patronize a clean, well-lighted place where someone called a bartender smiles, prepares your favorite beverage, and lets you drink in peace.

Enjoy it while you can. One gray happy hour you will go to your clean, well-lighted place to find the windows boarded up, the address obscured by a skull and crossbones, and the name changed to something like The Pharmacist’s Revenge. The horrible, sinking feeling in your stomach is called “mixology.”

If you are thirsty enough, go inside. (I know it looks closed, but that’s just a trick to scare off customers.) Once your eyes adjust to the crepuscular gloom, you will be menaced by a beautiful hostess. Remain calm; you have every right to be there. Don’t let on how badly you want a drink but instead act listless and bored. This should be easy if you listen to the music being played now that the cool jukebox has been replaced by the mixologist’s iPod.

You may now proceed slowly toward the bar, which is the large object in front of you made of zinc or tin, groaning beneath the weight of all the fruit infusions. Behind it stands the man whose sole purpose in life is to keep you from your drug of choice. He is probably a white male in his late twenties with a handlebar moustache, mutton chops, or pubo-Amish beard. He dresses like a member of a barbershop quartet. A frown hovers over his lips as he surveys his vast collection of bitters.

“Against Mixology”, Sarah Deming, The Threepenny Review