By Travis HoewischerPublished October 25, 2012
The scribe and the sauce have long been intimate bedfellows:
Hemingway was famously fueled by the Mojito, a drink boosted in popularity in the States after he drained them by the hundreds in Havana; if Hunter Thompson was out of Chivas, then he might as well have been out of ink.
During my time in the newspaper industry, veterans spoke often of the “good-old days,” when stashed six-packs and half bottles in the newsroom lubricated Election Nights, late Friday football marathons, and other more grueling deadlines.
By nature of those deadlines, booze becomes a default predilection for any journalist.
In the weird hour of the evening (or morning) when our work has been shipped to the press, and we’ve shuffled into the streets, bars are the only proper place to blow off steam or redirect our creative energy – an after-hours clubhouse we share with the city’s servers, musicians, and second-shifters.
As such, it wasn’t hard to inspire the (614) Media crew to get to work on our latest offering, a guide to Columbus’ increasingly diverse drink scene. Be assured: “research” for this first issue of Swig was ... thorough.
Comedian Dave Attel once said the best person to ask for directions is a man with one leg, ’cause he definitely knows the quickest way to get there; if you want to know the best place to get a drink, there’s no one better guide than a writer.
Swig, which we will bring to you twice a year, is more than a bar guide, although our 58 featured bars represent a healthy cross-section of dives, clubs, venues and lounges. It’s the first volume in a local anthology of alcohol.
The voices of the capital city’s most careful cocktail craftsmen and their faithful customers mix as smoothly as gin and vermouth: Curio’s Joe Peppercorn speaks to the preservation of old classics while Guiseppe’s Kendyl Meadows walks us through do-it-yourself bitters; our own David S. Lewis waxes rhapsodic about bourbon, his barrel-aged muse, while Steve Croyle soaks up the most savory cocktail in the city at Taj Bar and Lounge.
The size and shape of Swig is intentional. Place this in your purse, or at the wing of your home bar – and let it provide your own inspiration for a new concoction, or guide you to a new stool. Hell, use it as a coaster. Dog-eared or whiskey stained pages in Swig serve only to underscore their utility.
This isn’t just about drinking; it’s about drinking in our local culture. By the time Swig returns in the spring, there’ll be even more to toast.
In the meanwhile, I’ve got research to do.