GIVE SHOTS A SHOT
NOT TOO LONG AGO, AT A BAR IN CLEVELAND called the Spotted Owl, I did something that I hadn’t done in many years: I ordered a shot. Granted, this was not the throat-burner or sticky-sweet spring-break special that I might’ve recalled from college. This was a composed elixir of coconut-washed gin mixed with Dolin Blanc vermouth that had been infused with chai. It went down spicy and smooth—smooth enough to make me reconsider the lost art of doing shots.
I reached out to Eddy Buckingham, an owner of Chinese Tuxedo in New York’s Chinatown, where I’ve witnessed quite a few celebratory shots taken. “I don’t like shots,” he says. But his thinking has evolved, as has mine. “When it comes to having a rager, there’s always that sweet spot where the inhibition goes and the rhythm stays,” he says. “How long can one stay in that zone?”
Here are some shots to keep that flow going. Just don’t overlook the vessels themselves. “There’s nothing quite like a heavy-bottomed shot glass to clack together and slam down on the bar,” says Will Hollingsworth, who owns the bar in Cleveland where I had my revelation. “I want to be able to knock it back. I want to be able to toast forcefully with my people.”