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Food & Drink

River Walk Pub Crawl: Deep in the heart of darkness

Photo: Callie Enlow, License: N/A

Callie Enlow

Don’t forget to pay your respects to Papa at Ocho


I follow the lamp-lit path along the blackened river. I come up to street level at Brooklyn Avenue.

The Brooklynite

Surf music plays and somehow I’m surrounded by Hawaiian shirts. I lucked into The Brooklynite’s “Tiki Tuesday.” I sit down and ask for something with whiskey and absinthe. Jeret Peña hands me a take on a drink called the “Suffering Bastard.” It’s got bourbon, grapefruit juice, lime, homemade grog, a bar spoon full of absinthe and is topped with ginger beer. The strange Tiki-man cup stares at me. He has a cocktail umbrella for a hat and a sprig of mint for hair. There is a sick scowl across his face. I converse with a friend, now a blacksmith’s apprentice. The absinthe is taking hold.

I stumble out and head toward the Pearl, searching for the smokestack illuminated with the word “Pride.” Was it pride that led me here?

Blue Box

I go up the steps slowly, into the loft, overlooking the rest of Blue Box. Behind the bar stands Olaf, his visage shining bright under the bar lights. A few regulars turn to see me, exhausted, eyes mad with absinthe and whiskey.

“What will it be?” he asks.

“Something with whiskey and absinthe…” I mutter.

He thinks for a moment, pulls some bottles down and starts mixing. He hands me a drink made with scotch, sloe gin, Cynar and Cardamaro. Hearing of my journey, he jests, “Let’s call it ‘The Heart of Darkness.’”

“The horror! The horror!”

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