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On a recent night, Mr. Wonderful and I had a spontaneous date night at Spirit World. What’s romantic about a spirits and wine retail store?
The setting’s not intimate, or screaming romance. It’s a modern retail store, but tucked in a corner is a bar where you can relax.
We were fans of Spirit World back at its former location on Pacific Street, and we thought we’d check out their new digs at Aksarben Village. We’ve always associated Spirit World with wine since back when Mr. Wonderful and I were dating nerds, we took an intro to wine there, and the knowledgeable employees always faithfully directed us to the right wine for our budget (miniscule). They’re the kind of guys who help you find the right wine for a gift, then personalize the bottle with instructions on what food to enjoy it with.
The plan was to pick up some spiced rum for a recipe… then maybe have a glass of wine at their in-store bar, nothing “date night-y.”
Their new home has an expanded liquor section that we ended up exploring. In the gin section, we got stuck wondering about Navy Strength gin and if that was a real or novelty thing. And here saddles up Alzuri – a man with a knowledge of hard alcohol that’ll knock your socks off.
After a quick history lesson (Navy Strength is real, y’all), I admit to not really being a fan of gin at all. And here’s the challenge. Alzuri is certain he can make a gin drink for those who hate gin.
We spent quite a while at the small store bar with Alzuri, learning about different types of gins, how to make a few mixed drinks, and of course, ordering a few.
Here he is doing what he does best via @Spirit_World
Ready for a whisk(e)y tasting? We are! Come in and check out our flights! pic.twitter.com/dLc5u23frL
— Spirit World (@Spirit_World) November 20, 2014
For me, the non-gin drinker, I tried two expertly made summery drinks: Aviation and Tom Collins. The Tom Collins was special since he broke out the aged gin to use, which every guy in the place wanted to try, it’s that special and rarely used.
I loved them, and will order them when the time calls for me to be on a sun deck sipping drinks.
Mr. Wonderful tried a negroni and a unique mix of Old Tom gin and cambreri that Alzuri concocted. He was in heaven with these drinks. I’ll stick to my sweet stuff.
Curious about gin? Here are some books to get you started: Gin: A Global History , Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail and All the Gin Joints: New Spins on Gin from America’s Best Bars.
We added a delicious meat and cheese plate (charcuterie if you want to be fancy), and enjoyed the atmosphere. They have a deli for ordering sandwiches, too.
For an hour or so, we felt like 20-somethings again, learning about new things while trying to look like we knew what we were doing all along. No kids to feed first or chase after. No place we had to be after. We just had to be. And it was nice.
We never did get the spiced rum, though.
If you go
Where: 6680 Center St.
Hours: Mondays through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.
Things to note
– They’re apparently really known for their whiskeys – I’m clueless about whiskey, too – and their Whisk(e)y Tastings that are getting popular
– This summer, their Farmers Market breakfasts are back on Sundays.
Your turn: What do go to Spirit World to buy?