All photos: Olivia Alonso
BYT got with with Jeff Faile, bar manager and mixologist at Fabio Trabocchi’s James Beard Nominated/Rammy Winning Fiola. Per usual in our drink diary series, here is a week of what Jeff knocks back, accompanied by photos of his work space:
When I was first asked to do keep a drink diary, my first thought was “Oh no, people are going to see how boring I really am.” As luck would have it, I was able to step away from the bar and saddle up to some of my favorites across town.
10-11am: Coming off a rough Saturday night service results in trying to sleep in (I failed). By 11 am, there are three cups of coffee in me. Exhaustion is battled for the next few hours.
12pm: Water and none of that fancy bottled sparkling water. This is straight DC tap kicked through a SodaStream.
3:30pm: Exhaustion is back and it’s taking the body back one organ at a time. The stomach is losing ground fast, so I take a quick shot of Calisaya. It’s not available in DC, but a friend knows the distiller and passed a bottle along a while back. It has a bit of a syrupy quality to it, but the herbs and spices help the stomach fight back.
4:00pm: One of the nicest regulars (and friend) out there opens the doors to his house and cellar to his favorite restaurant professionals every year. I kick the festivities off with a 2009 Chablis Domaine des Malandes Grand Cru. Lovely. Nice and balanced.
4:45pm: Enough of the white wine. It’s cold and wet outside. A 2000 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon is just what the doctor ordered. Cherry, plums, a little dark chocolate. Usually not a fan of California wine, but this is delicious.
5:30pm: Saw sangiovese and went for the bottle. There’s a 2007 Unti Sangiovese from Sonoma. Staying in California with a little dryer wine. A little leather, cherry. Solid.
5:50pm: 2006 Cline Zinfandel. Three glasses of wine in less than two hours to go along with cured meats. My palate is crying out for a break.
6:15pm: Drink Diary alum Andy Myers is pouring Burgundy! I think I even called him the Burgundy master. 2005 Clos de Beze. If I drown in a tub of Burgundy, I’ll die a very happy death.
6:30pm: Water. Deer Park, if you want to be specific.
6:45pm: Morey- Saint- Denis Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. I’m drinking ridiculous wine right now. Water be damned.
7:00pm: Port City Tartan Ale. Palate is shot. Time to try a local beer!
8:00pm: Port City Monumental IPA. Digging the pale ales right now. Alas, 6:30am comes early tomorrow morning. Time to shut this evening down.
This simply can’t be right. I’m up at 6:45am. I’m on for a true double today. I won’t be home until probably 1am. This day is going to have a very unhealthy amount of coffee in it.
6:50am: First cup of coffee is down. There are a total of three in me by 7:10am. I’m starting to feel kind of human.
11:30am: By the time lunch service gets started, I have a liter of water in me. You read how much I had to drink yesterday, didn’t you?
1:00pm: I sneak away from the bar. Espresso time.
1:15pm: Coke. I’m a caffeine addict.
2:30pm: More water.
5:30-11pm: Random bits of Fever Tree Ginger Ale and Tonic. Also, more Coke. By the end of service, I’ve been on my feet for 14 hours. Ugh.
12:30am: Home. I’m meeting with another Drink Diary alum tomorrow, Patrick Owens, and his co-bartender, Ashley May, and I need to come up with drinks for Spirits in Black which I’ll be doing next week. First attempt was Rye, Averna, Punt E Mes. It should go down the sink. It goes down my throat instead. Off to bed.
10-11am: Three cups of coffee. There’s a pattern developing here.
12-4:00pm: A steady diet of water.
6:00pm: We meet at Estadio for drinks and some bites. I start out with the original Gin & Tonic from Adam Bernbach. Insanely good.
6:50pm: Ashley orders us up a 750 of Cigar City Guava Grove Saison. It is delicious, but it almost reminds me more of a cider than a saison. Recommended.
7:30pm: Can’t stop thinking about the first gin & tonic I had. Go for a different one this time; the elderflower. Again, Adam shows why he is one of the best around.
8:30pm: We make a trek to Birch & Barley to visit some of Patrick and Ashley’s friends. They pour us a glass of their Rammy Punch: Vodka, lemon, grapefruit, absinthe and topped with Green Flash Rayon Vert.
8:45pm: Time for the polar opposite. I go with Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve. Dark as you would think given the name, and it packs a 9% punch. Yet, it goes down smoothly.
10:00pm: Home. Finish off the night with Partida Anejo. Partida has become one of my favorite, affordable tequila producers. A beautiful way to end the night. Heavy note of vanilla and agave.
11:30pm: Water. Bed.
10-11am: Three cups of coffee and out the door.
12:30pm: Meet an old co-worker of mine for lunch. We haven’t seen each other in over a year, but we make it a point to grab a bite to eat and catch up. As luck would have it, we know people at the restaurant, and suddenly, I’m drinking a New Zealand Riesling. Never caught the name of it.
1:30pm: Finish off a great lunch with a Solera Sherry. Again, I didn’t get the name.
3:00pm: Spirits tasting with a sales rep. Over the next 30 minutes or so, I have a run through the St George portfolio: Breaking & Entering Bourbon, Botanivore Gin, Dry Rye Gin, Terroir Gin, and their Absinthe. All this is followed up by El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Anejo, which is completely lost on me after all the other spirits I tasted.
4-11pm: Water, coffee, Coke, repeat as necessary.
12:30am: A mistake from earlier in the night results in me having a Peroni while doing the night’s paperwork. How Italy makes such good food and wine and then kicks out this monstrosity of a beer is beyond me. Still, it’s cold and wet.
1:30am: Water. Bed.
10-11am: Three cups of coffee.
12:30pm: Water. DC tap.
4-10:30pm: Fever Tree Ginger Ale, Blenheim Ginger Ale, Club Soda. All interspersed throughout.
11:00pm: Out of work. Make a run to the Passenger. Beer me.
11:15pm: Can of Schlitz and a shot of Jim Beam Rye.
11:45pm: See 11:15pm.
12:00am: It worked the first two times. Another round of Schlitz and Jim Beam Rye. I always say I’m going to the Passenger for a quick one. While true, I do have a quick one, there’s usually two or three more quick ones to follow. I love the Passenger that night. I hate the Passenger the next morning (It’s not true, Passenger. I could never be mad at you).
1:00am: Home. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Bed.
10-11am: You guessed it. Three cups of coffee. I have a problem. I admit it. I don’t care.
12:00pm: Today is going to be all about water. Sparkling water starts now and runs throughout the day.
4-11pm: I switch over to DC tap. What does not kill you makes you stronger.
1:30am: Home. I break out the seven-year Havana Club Cuban Rum. Drink a small bit neat. Bed. (Custom agents are staking out my house now. Thanks BYT for making me incriminate myself).
10-11am: Three cups of coffee. You realize I’m just copying and pasting this right now.
12:00pm: Coke, because Friday and Saturday service requires as much caffeine as humanly possible.
4-11:30pm: Water, espresso and more water throughout service.
12am: Wine tasting. We break out the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose. One of my favorite producers and it’s finally available in DC on a regular basis!!!
12:15am: 2004 Fattoria Le Terrazze “Planet Waves.” A blend of Montepulciano and Merlot. Full bodied and full of tannins. Good, solid wine. If I only had some cheese with this.
1am: Water. Bed.