Last Call!

by Columbine Quillen on August 17, 2011

Minnesota Street – downtown Bend, Oregon
photo by Brad Goettemoeller

To my blog readers:

I would first like to apologize for the lack of posts – I could offer up one of many excuses, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to time and I spent the summer visiting friends and family and moving a large household that had been settled for nearly a decade. Today I started law school, and I have the sneaking suspicion that my posts will remain few and far between as I have my nose jammed in case law rather than cases of Scotch or vodka. But I know I will always be tempted by intoxicating ingredients and I have full intent on finishing the Jerry Thomas Project – it might take my lifetime, but Jerry and I have something special now that I’m not willing to give up on.

Otherwise, I have walked away from an invigorating career as a bar chef for this new challenge of life. I will no longer write a snarky cocktail column for the local rag, but rather dry research-laden scholarly text for the law review. On that note – here’s my last column for The Source. For the meantime, please enjoy the archives on the blog and check back from time to time, as I cannot help but guess that I will be inspired by all of the fruit growing around me (just on this one block there are hazelnuts, blackberries, apples, and pears) and from time to time, I will set the kitchen up and see WJD – What Would Jerry (Thomas) Do?

The Jerry Thomas Project
Pre-Prohibition Measurements
Cocktail Recipes
The Source Columns


Last Call

Last night was my final bartending gig in Bend, Oregon. And so appropriate that it was smack dab in the middle of Minnesota – a street filled with bars whose history and mine are woven together with blood, sweat, and tears. I have worked in almost every bar on that street, some for years others for days.

It is on this street where life has thrown me some its greatest joys and oddest curve balls. It is on this street where I met many of my closest friends by working night after night together, learning what makes this town tick. It is on this street where I won the most awards and it is the place where I really became a connoisseur of spirits and learned how to mix delicate cocktails. But it is also on this street where I was fired, for no apparent reason. In retrospect, it is laughable as my boss later turned out to be using a fake name in order steal many a man’s money in what was a short-lived ponzi scheme.

Years later it is on this street I would fight for my livelihood and eventually have to threaten a slander case against a Bulgarian illegal who ran around this town on a high-horse with a stolen identity later to be found that of a murdered three-year-old. It is on this street where I used to hide in the shadows and kiss my lover and it is in the same shadows where I’ve pulled drunks off the wall to save the building from their urine. Ah, Minnesota Street, you’ll always have a place in my heart.

Minnesota Melt-Down

A little bit of this
A little bit of that
Shake it all together
And well, that’s that

This was first Published in The Source Weekly

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Silver Fox August 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

Do keep the blog up even if posts are sparse – it’s a great reference with good reads.

A August 30, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Hey there I was wondering if you have any tips and tricks for those uncomfortable situations like having to cut someone off…kick someone or a group of someone’s out and other unfortunated moments that frequently occur..Sometimes I get frustrated and don’t handle these situations the best…Your knowledge and wisdom would be appreciated…

Miranda October 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

you’re great at what you do and quite articulate, but if you plan on posting people’s application responses and (quite rightly and in a way that makes me giggle) holding them up as examples of poor grammar you best check yourself.

please, please fix this if you can: I also one of a select few in the nation who can call oneself a Certified Spirits Specialist which involves an intense knowledge of all things liquor related.

yes, it’s a tiny mistake in a catalogue of otherwise eloquent and useful blogging… but seriously. you’re such a snob, and that’s fine but you better edit and edit again to get away with it!

having said that, i’ve learned a lot from your site and hope you continue. best wishes.

Miranda October 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

and this! oh jeez, please fix it: I must also try to recreate bitters and tinctures no seen in over a century.
i could keep going, but it’s dangerous to be snarky about shit like that as we’re all guilty of it from time to time.
you’ve stopped actively blogging and i am not trying to be a jerk. hope your law studies are going well. you’ve inspired me to try some new cocktails!

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