JT’s, Oxford   1 comment



My judgmental cocktail — the one I test bartenders on — has been the Manhattan ever since I was made the mixer of drinks for my folks’ friends when I was 6-years-old. I left the Pint Shop with a half hour to kill and descended the steps next door to the eerily empty JT’s.  I would wind up in there an hour.

The bartender had the voice of Simka from Taxi and the subtle manners of Vladimir Putin. It was Happy Hour so I ordered two Manhattans, one for now and one to chase it since they were 2-for-1. I watched aghast as she used Jack fucking Daniels for the whisky, and she used orange peel for a twist and to wipe the glass rim. It was surprisingly good and I settled into a conversation with a drunk who had just loudly wandered in and seemed to know the staff well.

He was from Oxford but had spent 14 years in South Africa and wanted to explain to me everything about Motown but he didn’t really know much about it or that STAX Records is actually in Memphis, Tennessee. He visited the States once, he said, and was aghast at the racism but he was also quick to point out that South Africa is ruined because the blacks are in charge. I used my refill as an excuse to escape.





“Can we do this one with Jim Beam instead of Jack Daniels?”
“I have already rang that up as Jack Daniels.”
“Okay, fine, but I see you have some rye up there and the price should be the same.”
“But, you said Jim Beam.”
“It is Jim Beam. Not the White Label, just the rye.”
“What is White Label?” she snapped back. “I have Jim Beam original and Jim Beam rye.” She put both bottles before me.
“Well, I don’t want The Original that has this white label on it.” Thinking back to making these with Old Crow or Bourbon de Luxe or any of a host of Canadian whiskeys I asked, “what’s the WORST straight whiskey you have.”
“We only have very good whiskey in here,” she spat back.  Waving the two bottles menacingly at me she demanded, “what do you want? I will mix.”
“Rye, please,” and I just hoped the booze was appropriately cheap tasting.

She put the gently refluxing beverage in front of me. “Try that. I want you to be happy with it,” she said unconvincingly. Excellent. I nodded.

“It is a very old-fashioned drink.  I don’t get a lot of practice with this.”
“I’m from the Olden Days.  And, you’re doing fine.”
I refrained from pointing out that I would return to test her ability with an Old Fashioned, soon.






Posted October 6, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Pubs

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One response to “JT’s, Oxford

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  1. JT’s sounds like a fine place!


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