Esquire (USA) - - THE SHORT STO­RIES -

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.”

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