"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Taster’s Cherce

When my Old Man was still drinking he’d take my brother and me to the bar at the Ginger Man where we’d drink Cokes on the rocks with twists of lime. Sometimes my twin sister came too but I don’t have any memories of her being there. I was ten, eleven years old but felt like a grown up at the bar so it didn’t occur to me that there was anything strange about a father taking his sons to drink with him.

Eventually, that changed. One day, I was sitting next to a friend of the old man’s who was so loaded, slurring his words, putting his arms around me, that I thought he was going to fall on me. Maybe what the rest of the family said was true, after all–maybe my dad was an alcoholic, though I wasn’t sure what an alcoholic was. 

While the Old Man was getting drunk on Vodka tonics, we pretended to get drunk on Coke, which came out of a magic soda gun, not a bottle. We ate salty peanuts which was special because we never had those kinds of peanuts at home. And on occasion, they’d serve home made potato chips that were still warm.

One of the bartenders showed us how to rim the glass with the slice of lime and to this day a Coke doesn’t taste the same unless it’s on the rocks with a twist of lime.

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1 krad   ~  Mar 10, 2010 12:00 pm

Have you been to the Ginger Man lately? It's on 36th b/w 5th & Madison. They have an amazing beer selection..............

2 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 10, 2010 12:05 pm

Different Ginger Man. The one Mike and Patrick owned was the original one in NYC, named after the novel--or the play version of the novel that Patrick, a long time NYC character actor, stared in. It closed in the 80s and then re-opened as O'Neals in a much bigger space.

Thanks for the tip though.

3 krad   ~  Mar 10, 2010 1:04 pm

Ah, okay. Wasn't sure if it was the same place or not. :)

4 Yankster   ~  Mar 10, 2010 2:03 pm

A cuba libre sans rum. Sounds good to me. Bet the Coke gave you a good caffeine buzz by the time you walked out.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 10, 2010 2:24 pm

4) Oh, you bet. We'd be jacked up on five or six cokes.

6 Raf   ~  Mar 10, 2010 3:11 pm

Just had a "Ginger Kids" South Park flashback...

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