Punch Drunk Love

Oct 23, 2012 at 12am

Three dudes. Seven hours. Six bars. Five liters of beer. Two bowls of cocktails. Five shots. One slap in the face. One ice cube shower. And one resounding obsession with novelty drinks. Whether it’s on fire and filled with plastic monkeys or in a shot glass that’s two feet tall, I’ve never been shy about my fixation with cray-cray novelty drinks. Or bar crawls. Or cray-cray novelty-drink bar crawls. Neither have my buddies Matt and Phil. To wit:

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Suppenküche, Hayes Valley

We order a part Hefeweizen, part-banana-juice creation. All told, it’s breakfast-y and delicious. If it were a character in The Wire, it would be Bodie – important in the grand scheme of crazy booze concoctions but still gonna get capped by one of Marlo’s dudes.

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Suppenküche, Hayes Valley

This pony-keg-heavy ceramic stein was brought over from the actual Stiegl brewery in Salzburg, Austria. It never seems to get emptier, until it does and you’re finished. We take turns maniacally laughing and heavily Darth Vader–breathing into the empty glassware. 

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Straw, Hayes Valley

The drink we select at this half circus, half restaurant is poured tableside over a glass stuffed with cotton candy. A champagne and soju mixture dissolves the candy immediately, leaving you with a pint of sugary, pink awesomeness that’s sort of like a redneck mimosa.

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Straw, Hayes Valley

Menu: “Serves four.”

 Me: “Fuck.” Five liters of beer deep, this double-barrel premium sake and blue curaçao jungle juice is intensely boozy but intensely awesome: It’s served in an actual fishbowl with a handful of Swedish fish at the bottom.

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Smuggler's Cove, Hayes Valley

The TNV is served in a giant ceramic bowl filled with pineapple, lime, passion fruit, maraschino liqueur, and private reserve rum. The bartender sprays some magic tiki voodoo powder in the air and lights it on fire. “It’s like a tiki Capri Sun … from hell,” says Matt.

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Madrone, Western Addition

It’s high time for the Ike Turner – a shot of Hennessy and a slap in the face. Matt: “Maybe you should insult the bartender’s mother, so he makes it count?” I don’t. But after a halfhearted slap, I sort of wish I did. Or maybe I don’t. This is getting confusing.

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Tonic, The Tenderloin

We order Tonic’s less-than-traditional shot and a shot: a Hornitos Silver with a habanero pickle back. Matt: “It’s like drinking tequila and then licking Satan’s asshole.” Phil: “With a habanero in the center.” Matt: “After Mexican Thanksgiving.”

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Tonic, The Tenderloin

No joke, this drink is a Jäger bomb, followed by an Irish car bomb, followed by the bartender throwing a bucket of ice in your face. It’s like being jumped into a drinking gang. I’m soaked, drunk, and certain this night is going to end at Sam’s Pizza and Hamburgers.

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Buddha Lounge, Chinatown

These are the most novel Bud Lights I’ve ever bought. The bartender will play you for them: You win his six-dice game, and he buys two beers (one for him, one for you). He wins, and you buy. I end up buying a lot of beer. Luckily, Phil has a couple of bucks left over for Sam’s.

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This story originally ran in Volume 4 of The Bold Italic magazine – Obsessions – which is available for purchase in our Shop.

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