culture / food / sacramento / Uncategorized

Midtown Sacramento Cocktail Week, TUBE Style!

Sacramento’s famous cocktail week just passed and TUBE peeked in at a few events!

Cocktail week kicked off on Sunday, August 19th on J & 20th with its first annual tasting event.

Next would be the Genever Gin night held at Red Rabbit, the first night of events I was able to attend. I walked into the bar, prompted for my ID and a fancy stamp to declare I was of age. You should know, Red Rabbit is a bar known for its neatly-doctored cocktails; their bartenders are attentive and make every drink with precision. Not only are they known their careful crafting, but the atmosphere is a comfortable one – meant to feel more like home than a bar. Therefore, it was the perfect spot for hosting Genever gin cocktails!

When I arrived, it was still fairly quiet. Some of the booths and tables we’re occupied and the bar had a couple seats open. Bartenders were decorated in nursing and doctor outfits, eager to craft! I ordered myself an Improved Holland Gin Cocktail, the drink consisted of Genever gin, maraschino liqueur, Gommesyrup and Peychand’s bitters. It was lightly sweet in flavor and strong with gin; so strong that I would have to spend the next hour and a half sipping on it in fear that I would be stumbling home rather than walking. During this time, I watched the bartenders shaking, pouring, grinding, tapping, straining, tasting, muddling, spraying, shaving and nursing their gin-cocktails into perfection! These bartenders did it all! Even as it got busier, Red Rabbit kept true to their relaxed, easy-going nature without the hustle and bustle of a normal bar. Overall, an excellent introduction into the gin family and a fascinating place to watch bartenders who love what they do.

The next event attended would be at Grange on J & 10th, a 1920’s-themed night to take you back to the days of illegal drinking and scantily clad women. Grange, attached to the Citizen Hotel, features a two story bar with a restaurant below and a wine room above. Red, white and blue littered the bar walls and ceilings as if a speak-easy was going to take place and questionably-dressed dancers walked amongst the crowd all setting the tone for a classy yet risqué evening.

The feature of the night though, would be the burlesque show. The bar was packed with eager eyes, men and women alike as the show began and the lights dimmed. Dancers would use their hips, props and an era of 1920’s music that lulled you into their eyes. They played wide-eyed and innocent every time a piece of clothing was removed, leaving you feeling as though you were peaking in on something you shouldn’t see. Their bodies moved fluidly and sexily, the crowd erupting in whistles and applause after each performance.

The last performance of the night sent the crowd out with a boom. With a few wardrobe and prop malfunctions, she kept her innocent smile and teasing eyes on to keep the audience seduced. Nobody seemed to remember the few mistakes as her outfit ended in only black tassels covering her nipples and silk panties to cover her bottom – a truly sexy experience. The booze is not the only thing that left the crowd buzzing that night!

Cocktail week would come to a close at The Golden Bear on H & 24th, a southern-themed night.

As I arrived, I expected to see more bodies standing outside of Golden Bear, but found the festivities were occurring in the empty lot to the bar’s left. It was fenced off so you couldn’t see what was going on inside until you walked between the chain-link fence entrance, only the strum of an acoustic guitar and the twang of a strong female voice.

You feel as though you’re stumbling into the backyard of the country: dirt floors, picnic tables with plastic white chairs, cowboy hats, the smell of ribs roasting on the BBQ and whiskey-clad bars (the featured whiskey was Maker’s Mark) overwhelmed my senses. I quickly grabbed a beer and sat to enjoy the animated singer and band on stage. The gathering was intimate, the singer talking to us about life stories and encouraging others to dance. Only a few did, two being two twin boys that made your heart ache with happiness. Their blonde hair and coveralls matching and the small frames bouncing out of tune to the musical country tales made their joy contagious.

Sipping on a few whiskey-cocktails, enjoying some mouth-watering ribs and visiting with friends and family alike in the backyard of The Golden Bear was an excellent ending to a week-long tribute to cocktails in midtown Sacramento!

Words Marissa Nicole

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