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Review: 1022 South

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Brian Posted: 25 Jan 2010 7:16 PM
Review: 1022 South
1022 South J St
Tacoma, WA 98405
USA
phone: 253-627-8588
CASUAL - $$$$ - EAT -
This bar is the jewel of Tacoma's cocktail scene with it's intimate, dark setting and many books throughout the bar. It holds about 25 people total, has good music and super friendly, knowledgeable bar staff.

They make most of their syrups and concoctions in-house, and as such, have a diverse menu with classic cocktails and custom creations.

If you are in Tacoma and have time for a drink, this is a must visit.

Better Cocktails at Home - a new cocktail video every Friday

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Review for 1022 South has been updated by Robert Hess
  • Latitude was changed from to 47.252904
  • Longitude was changed from to -122.450429
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check out them out on Twitter: 1022south

Better Cocktails at Home - a new cocktail video every Friday

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An excellent establishment with an emphasis on house-made infusions and bitters. Had a thoroughly enjoyable evening here, with a group that tried several orders of the Apothecary Cup (you specify a base or desired direction, then it's bartender's choice). All of those turned out to be well drinkable and interesting at worst, and mostly delightful.

My personal favorite was the Harkkonen - mezcal, rum, demerara gomme, and smoked salt. Smokey deliciousness.

At the time (May 2012), all the mainline drinks were $10. Prices may have gone up after the Liquor privatization caused liquor prices to rise.

I have vowed to at least attempt to foray too 1022 South every time I find myself in Tacoma.

 

 

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Click for link to NY Times review.

 


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It's always nice to have a picture! And great article in the NY Times. I'm a little concerned however about the mention that they make their own absinthe. You can't make absinthe "at home" without distillation, distilling "at home" is illegal, and they couldn't sell illegally distilled booze in the bar, so the only other option would be to use an "infusion" process, which not only doesn't make absinthe, but also tastes horrid.

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Not sure on that score. I note their web page doesn't make mention of it.

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I was curious about the distillation claim regarding absinthe - as it can be insane to navigate local and State laws about such things. So, I emailed them and asked.

I'll post any reply I might get.

[Stranded on an island essential cocktails: Sidecar, 3:1 Dry Martini with 2 olives, my own Neo Old Fashioned.]

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My hunch is that they took off the shelf absinthe and infused it to customize it. I could be totally wrong, but based on their drinks, they are super big on infusions. Chris, who runs the bar, knows his stuff and would never put a sub-par ingredient into their cocktails. Since I originally posted this bar listing, 1022 is still the only place to get a good cocktail in Tacoma.

Better Cocktails at Home - a new cocktail video every Friday

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Chris replied to me promptly and was very pleasant.

I neglected to ask his permission to reprint his response so I'll just note that he said it was an early experiment - prior to the article being written. They were "macerations" back then (his distinction) but that they now use market-available products.

[Stranded on an island essential cocktails: Sidecar, 3:1 Dry Martini with 2 olives, my own Neo Old Fashioned.]

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Just to add some more info on 1022 South. Here is a video featuring their ice. They have really grown their ice program in the last couple of years. Hand cut along with a Kold Draft machine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fHGbD0xas8

Better Cocktails at Home - a new cocktail video every Friday

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