NIK BLASKOVICH PHOTO
February 8, 2008 12:21 PM
There are occasional occupational hazards in this job, and meeting a bartender called Nomo at Mel’s might constitute one. Nomo has a mission — and I paraphrase — to send you out into the night sideways. Not literally, of course, but mentally. Mel’s has earned its reputation — along with a select few — of some of the strongest drinks in town. There’s a reason the bar has weathered all sorts of development since its 1963 inception, and when we walked in there, we were ready to drink that reason.
Nomo — he wouldn’t give his last name — has been working at Mel’s for over a year, after learning how to mix drinks — and how to drink, period — down the street at The Study Hall. Those gents may like to know their charge has gone above and beyond their lessons.
First up: Nomo serves us a straightforward Jack and Coke. It’s strong, and while many will ride the J&C rail until closing time, it becomes apparent that Nomo has other plans for us. To him, the J&C is a ciabatta-and-butter drink for the main course.
This turns out to be a shot drink in a pint glass.
The FranBomb, named after 18-year Mel’s bartending vet, Frannie, is designed to blow-up in the brain by way of the stomach. An entire can of Rockstar energy drink is poured into a beer glass, into which a shot glass of Jagermeister is submerged. A healthy cap of Bacardi 151 completes the cocktail, which, like all “bomb” drinks, is meant to be downed in one. (Did I do so? Only the inhabitants of Mel’s will tell you ? and their memory of that night probably isn’t the best.)
Nomo seemed pleased and finished (us) off with a drink charmingly named Slippery (Expletive) Nasty.
“This is our signature shot,” Nomo said as he started mixing one up.
Fortunately, “nasty” doesn’t describe the taste. Its mix of butterscotch and Bailey’s makes the drink tasty and easy to down in one.
But make sure to read the ingredients before taking this medicine. The drink’s nickname of “a blackout in a glass” wasn’t given lightly.
This story has a happy ending — we made it out of Mel’s still upright and satisfied that it had earned its reputation. For those brave enough to continue, we present the recipe for one of the rudest drinks we’ve had.
SLIPPERY (EXPLETIVE) NASTY
3 parts Absolut 100
2 parts Bailey’s Irish Crème
2 parts Bacardi 151
1/2 parts Butterscotch Schnapps
Combine over ice in shaker, agitate, then strain into a large shot glass.
6 E. De la Guerra Plaza