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Booze News: High anxiety and high fives

Local bartender brings a classic to life in a tiki glass

CHRIS WEST, Evergreen columinst

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Right off the bat, it seems that there are some instances in this world where certain phrases shouldn’t be uttered. For instance: “OK, everybody breathe.” This doesn’t seem like something people should have to say or remind one of, much less an entire bar or stadium full of rabid, wild, cheering fans. Yet, while slinging drinks back at Stubblefields on a Saturday night, it was uttered quite often.

While not particularly flashy, this campus staple was the place to be on Saturday. The bar fare was your run of the mill selection of drinks, but that’s what made this the perfect place to make new friends in a public swimming pool of people who were, well, friendly. That’s what made it endearing.

Tipping back beer or rum and Cokes while watching Wazzu make one of college football’s most epic comebacks was a perfect excuse to give a complete stranger a high five. Don’t know them? Who cares? Their diaphragm hurts just as much as yours, they’re too afraid to go the bathroom in fear of missing something, and odds are, they’ll probably buy you a drink, because that is what inebriated new friends do. Especially if you share your mozzarella sticks.

A Viking and his tiki glass

Switching gears from WSU shirts and crimson face paint, let’s talk about goals. I have drunk more things, in more countries, from more dives, than most people here at Washington State. Not to brag, but it’s a fact. Of all the places that I have pulled up a bar stool, not once have I had a drink in one of those ceramic tiki glasses of some Polynesian deity. This seems like a strange aspiration to have, but when it’s your job to talk about booze, you think about stuff like this. Plus, it’s my column, so pipe down.

Behind the daunting and beautifully stocked bar of Black Cypress stands the Viking warrior of cocktails, Lars Lunstrum. Do not let the name or the Viking reference fool you, this man can make drinks with the grace and finesse of King Kong palming that blonde girl up the Empire State Building. Lunstrum made a drink that reminds one of raven-haired girls in hula skirts and cigarette-smoking sailors with sleeve tattoos in the 1940s: one of the greatest classical drinks that is rarely made well, Trader Vic’s own 3 Rum Mai Tai.

Now bear with me on this: Castillo White Rum, Myer’s Dark Rum and Plantation “O.F.T.D” Overproof Pineapple rum go into this mixture of Caribbean deliciousness with lime juice, Orange Curacao and Orgeat (an orange almond liqueur). This was potent, and made all the more awesome by the fact that it was served in a tiki glass. Life Goal: Accomplished.

To make this entire situation even more amazing; this order was the Bartender’s Choice on the menu. Off the top of Lars’ head, he thought “3 Rum Mai Tai.” Because that’s the sort of thing Viking bartenders think about, and that is fine by me.

Get out and drink

I feel that I should also mention, if you’re ever in the mood for a smorgasbord of Polynesian-themed drinks, there is Tiki Tuesday every week at Etsi Bravo. It is literally where all the rum is going. So, grab a bite and a drink at Black Cypress and head upstairs to Etsi Bravo for more drinks and catch cab home. And as always, please stay safe my friends, and bottoms up.

Chris West is a sophomore viticulture and enology major from Plano, Texas. He can be contacted at [email protected]