Bottoms Up: Real Artways, Mark Twain, and Some Drunks

We’re happy to have to say this: There is so much cool stuff happening in Hartford that we often have to pick and choose what we can attend. Often we find ourselves weighing the costs of attending vs. how much fun it will be/how funny the story we get out of it will be. But when “Bottoms Up” popped up on our social calendar, we decided to go. For $20 non-members got to see “Hey Bartender” at Real Art Ways and then have a brief chat with the author of Tequila Mockingbird while drinking one of the cocktails from the book. 

So, let’s start by talking about the movie which centered around the uber-fancy cocktail culture of the world’s best cocktail lounges…and a dive bar called Dunvilles. I almost immediately recognized Dunvilles, and at first I assumed it was because so many of them look the same. But then they told us that the bar is in Westport,  I realized it was pretty close to Clamp’s old Westport pad.


Normally I find exclusive bars with $15 drinks annoying, but this movie made me understand the passion of the people behind the bar. I still don’t totally get it, because I don’t like pretension in any form… but I do love a good Pimm’s Cup so I guess I owe a little something to the “mixologists” down at 116 Crown (which did get a little shout out in the movie). The really sympathetic character in the movie was Steve Carpentieri from Dunvilles — a finance guy who bought a bar, and is now seeing his dreams go down the toilet. His condo is in foreclosure and the bar business isn’t exactly booming. But at the end of the movie he heads to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and starts making mojitos to bring in customers. (We’re considering heading down there to drink for a future story.)

Once we were back out in the lobby we could choose from four drinks from Tequila Mockingbird:

  • Huckleberry Sin
  • Are Your There God? It’s Me, Margarita?
  • Romeo and Julep
  • Some non-alcoholic bevvie we couldn’t be bothered with

I think the consensus was that the winner of our own private cocktail awards was Romeo and Julep. My margarita was a bit too sour for me, and the Huckleberry Sin was a bit on the sweet side. But the Asian Persuasion’s Julep was a solid Mint Julep.

But I just want to take a minute to talk about the genius of making a book of literary themed cocktails. What two things go together better than drinking and literature? After all, the people who wrote many of the books featured were raging alcoholics.

Also, The Courant took our picture and we’re pretty sure its traffic went through the roof as soon as they posted it.