I recently set foot inside the Rosewood Tavern for the first time ever and wondered why I hadn’t been inside this den of drinking happiness sooner.
It was my kind of bar. Wooden fixtures and plenty of booze. There were several bottles of Irish whiskey, and I did a double take when I spotted the bottle of Red Breast sitting so innocently in the shadows.
As I was walking to the Rosewood, I suddenly felt the thirst for a snakebite. I hadn’t had one in awhile. I wondered if the Rosewood had good cider, not that pear crap.
My last experience with cider in LA had been a bad one. I was in an Irish bar which shall remain nameless to see an English buddy of mine. When I asked the actress/bartender if they had any Irish cider, she said no but with that can-do spirit of being helpful, she said they had Strongbow in cans.
That’s English. My buddy and I said at the same time. I eventually just ordered a a red ale my buddy suggested. It turned out to be a nice night. I should focus more on the positive.
As I walked into the Rosewood, I knew I didn’t want ale or stout or some exotic spiced beer concoction. I wanted something basic.
I scanned the drinks menu and noticed that a shot of the Red Breast was twelve dollars. I was tempted but I had to focus. What did I really want?
I caught the bartender’s eye and asked if he could make a snakebite.
Of course. Did I realize that snakebite was cider and lager?
The bartender sounded like he was from Scotland.
I shot him a look that said duh-I-was-drinking-snakebite-when-you-were-just-a-wee-lad-in-short-pants-so-can-we-please-get-on-with-it.
The bartender read my look correctly and explained that he had gotten some attitude from an LA drinker who thought a snakebite was Guinness and cider.
It’s not fuckin Guinness. I come from that part of the world, and I know a fuckin snakebite is lager and cider.
Those were not the bartender’s exact words, but I felt empathy. It’s okay, bartender whom I have just met. I’m listening.
When the bartender finished his explanation, he asked which lager I wanted.
Your choice. I said.
A minute later, a mug of lager and cider was placed in front of me. I tried it.
It was the best snakebite I had had in a long long time. Yes, after one sip, my cold blooded thirst had found its proper heating rock.
So if you’re ever in the Rosewood Tavern and you come across a bartender from Scotland, he can make you an excellent snakebite. And he won’t put Guinness in it.