Happy Hour: moloko

24 04 2012

I read somewhere that photography and alcohol don’t mix. That may be true, but I think writing and drinking pair off nicely. I was recently given an assignment from Northwest Travel Magazine to cover the happy hour scene on Mississippi Avenue. By the way, that’s a story idea I pitched to them. If you know me at all that shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Since I sincerely believe that in-depth research and subject immersion are the keys to insightful writing, I have taken it upon myself to visit as many of the bars along Mississippi Avenue that will have me. This coalition of the willing includes newer places, older places, upper end hot spots, and borderline dive bars. Last night I had the privilege of visiting moloko.

Going on 6 years old, moloko is owned and operated by Christian Fitzpatrick. What he’s created is a comfortably eclectic place to hang out. It’s modern, it’s vintage, it’s soul and hip hop. It is also mesmerizing fish tanks. It’s where George Jetson and Common might meet up for a drink; and then be joined by a handful of regulars.

My mixologist for the evening was James. Despite the burden of being distractingly good looking, James was able to pour a series of creative and spot-on drinks. In addition to all the standards, Moloko has a lineup of house infused liquors. I started off with a couple of summer inspired cocktails.

The Smoldering Fruit Bomb was comprised of habenero infused vodka, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, pineapple juice, agave and soda. It was equal parts “hello there” hot and fruit juice sweet that made the beverage remarkably refreshing.

In terms of refreshment though, you’d be hard-pressed to top the Aaah Jamye. My second drink of the evening was made with muddled cucumber, jalapeno-lime infused tequila, fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, agave, and soda. Good luck finding a better warm weather drink than that. Perhaps the only downside is that the drink goes down way too easy. I suppose depending on where you stand (or wobble), that’s not a downside at all.

Since the article I’m writing might be featured in the winter edition of the magazine, James finished things off with the Gingerly. The drink has orange-ginger infused whiskey, fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and hot water. It’s garnished with a cinnamon stick and a clove stuffed orange slice. Man oh man if this thing didn’t have me briefly pining for colder weather. Briefly.

Big thanks go out to Christian, James, and the delightful young lady at the bar who provided good conversation. I’ll be back.