Glendale: Neat Bar Now Open
The Neat Bar’s concept is a simple one- serve spirits neat or on the rocks, with a chaser if you like. No cocktails. It opened almost a month ago and took over a neighborhood dive bar. The clientele is mostly from the neighborhood still. They have a wide selection of spirits displayed on their brightly lit shelves along with some popular booze (I saw a guy order Grey Goose and olives on the side which he stuck in his glass). They have beer and plenty of seating. The DJ on the weekends played all those magical tunes that gets you up and dancing or at least bopping your head.
I went first for the bourbons. After sampling a couple, I decided on the High West Bourye.
Whiskey and ginger is a natural coupling so that’s what I went with.
The two glasses are served on a paddle emblazoned with Neat on the wood.
My drinking buddy wasn’t quite ready to leave the comfortable cocktail zone and our bartender gave us a wink and presented her with a Vesper when she mentioned she liked gin.
For my next drink, I told our new bartender buddy Joe that I have been on a fernet-chartreuse (fertreuse!) kick. He made a Moscow Mule with a little green Chartreuse and gave me a shot of Fernet Branca on the side. Perfect.
My drinking buddy had an applejack cocktail. The recipe is straight out of San Francisco where I’ve noticed apple cocktails have been trendy lately. And no, that is not an apple martini (gah!).
I tasted Diplomatico and Matsusalem rums. I decided I liked the Dipolomatico more. The Matsusalem had a bit of an artificial tinge to it. Then Joe brought out the Brugal which was his fave. He said he enjoyed all the levels of it but I should look out for their 1888 if I can find it.
I had the Brugal anejo neat with ginger beer (of course).
Bar owner Aidan Demarest didn’t seem to mind our illicit cocktails in the face of the bar’s neat philosophy. I figure if there are bottles of Chartreuse, Luxardo and amaris around, someone’s bound to ask for a cocktail. Like my friend went with a Last Word for her final cocktail. Maybe next time I’ll try a different artisinal soda though!
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