Speakeasy Fever!

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Everywhere I look lately is the word speakeasy.  It harkens back to the days when alcohol was barred and gangsters prowled.  It recalls the plumes of smoke wafting up from hidden underground bars and the hushed sounds of casino gambling.  Be it an event that Sweet Deal is part of, an old-style bar opening up on either coast, or an inspired cocktail from the traditional drinks, speakeasy is all the rage today.  From my own experience I must say that there is something grand, luxurious and just plain fun about hamming it up flapper-style while sipping on a tasty Negroni!!

As a Sweet Dealer, I’ve taken part in my own speakeasy style event in San Francisco last September.  Of course, nowadays alcohol is allowed to flow freely and it surely did at this “Ragtag Rabble Soiree” seeing as the event was part of San Francisco’s Cocktail Week.  We Sweet Dealers donned our best vintage-inspired garb; jewels, feathers, and boas included.  Top mixologists whipped up classic cocktails with modern day twists, burlesque dancers and musicians performed their trifles and Sweet Deal’s casino dealers served up a gaming frenzy.   I dealt craps to a crowd that was having the time of their lives, throwing the die with such enthusiasm and force that I had to chase after the runaway dice under the tables all night!  You can see some of the photos from that event here.

Just as our casino event was tucked into the back hidden room of the quaint Crescent Hotel in San Francisco, obscure spots with secret entrances are popping up all over the nation from Santa Monica (http://www.yelp.com/biz/basement-tavern-santa-monica) to Brooklyn (http://raineslawroom.com).  The hidden gems always have a secretive feel, yet never exclusive.  They open up their arms to anyone who may encounter their veiled doorways and feel the urge to sway with the string trio playing a soft lilting tune inside.  Of course, a speakeasy wouldn’t be a speakeasy without the ultimate forbidden pleasure: fiercely delicious cocktails.  Around the modern day speakeasy has evolved a rich and unique world of mixology.  Bartenders take their inspiration from the old drink standards like the Manhattan & Old Fashioned, but then add a unique twist that makes it oh so nouveau…and might I add, oh so scrumptious!

The speakeasy style of mixology has started a renaissance of the cocktail across the country.  No longer is the art of a cocktail strictly found in exclusive high-end bars.  Now, everywhere you look you will see unique cocktails on the menus of local restaurants and hotel bars.  The speakeasy is no longer a quiet movement, peeking out with secrets from underground; it is a mainstay in the American tradition of  enjoying the simple pleasures in life: good drinks, good eats, good company, and good times!

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