I finally got around to watching last Wednesday’s episode of “Best Bars In America” …and it was awesome.
This was the second episode in the show’s first proper season and it spotlighted Austin, Texas.
The show airs weekly on the Esquire Network and follows two comedians (Jay Larson and Sean Patton) as they go from city to city checking out the list of “Best Bars In America” as published by Esquire Magazine.
There was an initial episode which featured Milwaukee, Chicago and San Francisco, but now that the show’s an actual series there has been a Portland episode and an Austin episode.
I’ve got to say, I really enjoy this show. Sure, it’s pretty much just two guys ordering cocktails from quality bars throughout various cities, but it’s got a lively pace and is pretty lighthearted (and it’s just fun all around).
I understand that I’m not the one tasting the drinks nor am I the one traveling, but there is a sort of vicarious fun in watching these guys. I’m sure there will be people who criticize it, but I’ve got a love for this show. My favorite part is that if you pay attention, you can glean a few things from the bartenders these two guys meet in each city: whether it’s an outlook on the job, new techniques or a little piece of history.
I shrieked out loud when a bartender serves the guys a “Jungle Bird” on the recent Austin episode. The Jungle Bird is a drink that I’ve been making for myself and friends in recent months. I got really into Campari over this past winter and after a while I’d had my fill of Negronis and Boulevardiers and Old Pals for a bit, which is when I discovered this:
•1 1/2 oz. blackstrap rum
•3/4 oz. Campari
•1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
•1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
•1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. (Adapted by Lantern’s Keep, New York City.)
I’ll have to research the episode if “Best Bars” to see if the Austin recipe was any different.