Booze News: Dangerous drinks and intellectual pubs

Rico’s offers unique environment and events for locals


MICHAEL LINDER | The Daily Evergreen

Christopher McGary performs an original song at Rico’s Open Mic Night on Monday.

CHRIS WEST, Evergreen columnist

You know what’s really awesome? Nineteenth Century New England nautical-themed novels. Honestly, I cannot think of anyone in my social circle who’s read “Moby Dick,” finished the book and said, “So that Ishmael’s a jackass, huh?” Whaling, harpooning, seamanship and sailing: the staples for any kind of nautical adventure.

Love the industry or hate it, without whaling we wouldn’t have New England-style public houses and quiet bars to talk of adventures past, which brings up our local bar of the week: Rico’s Public House on Main Street. This tranquil, but deceptively large, pub sits right in the heart of downtown Pullman. Just walking in, this bar quickly became one of my favorite places to go.

The place reeked of alcoholic intellectualism. Not in the profound snobbish sense, but in the “I bet I can talk about World War II, doughnuts and Star Wars, drink five different martini’s and still be a classy badass,” kind of way. So I did just that. The bar looked like it should have racks of harpoons and nautical boarding axes next to the booze – a point that I recommended to the bar staff.

Speaking of bar staff, Ramona “Luna Lovegood” Bodley is a name that deserves a certain amount of respect in the booze community. Not just because she serves you booze, but she serves you good booze.

I’ve never heard of the Benson Bomber, nor was I too excited when I heard that one of the ingredients was Pepsi. But she not only made this from memory, which was impressive in its own right, but it tasted absolutely fantastic. Rum, vodka, Kahlua, half-and-half cream, amaretto and a splash of Pepsi on top, this tasted like a liquid Coke float, but with Pepsi. And was delicious. Or Ferg-a-licious. Or Booty-licious. Whatever floats your boat.

My advice to anyone who likes unusual and eclectic drinks, go to Rico’s and talk to Ramona. If you’ve ever read or seen Harry Potter and know who Luna Lovegood is, you can’t miss her. I recommend going on Monday or Tuesday night. Mondays, they have Open Mic Night and live music, and Tuesday nights, they have trivia.

On the subject of respectable cocktails, I would like to formally announce the success of my first Cocktail Roulette Challenge. Last week, I explained the challenge to Gaile at My Office. And when I came back this week, she delivered. While I am skeptical of drinks named Corpse Reviver #2, she made it tasty and drinkable with all the skill and grace of a ninja dolphin assassin. You think about that.

I simply gave her the spirit and off the top of her head, thought of a great cocktail to make. Combining gin, Cointreau, Lillet (a fortified bitter wine liqueur), lemon juice and, served cold, this little spitfire of a drink was both refreshing and deceptively drinkable. You’d think with the name Corpse Reviver #2 that it would be strong enough to raise the dead. While it is tasty, it is not strong. But it is strong. It’s cocktail math. You get it.

That being said, my Cocktail Roulette Challenge is open to anyone, and I love to try new things. I love the creativity that the Pullman bar scene brings to the table. If you got something new and interesting, or old and awesome, for that matter, let me know and I’ll drink it. And you, too, could possibly be forever enshrined in the annals of history through Mint. As always, 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].