Five Questions for the Bartender: Sun Liquor Lounge's Cale Green
"Cocktails on tap. I really don't understand the appeal."
For Sun Liquor Lounge’s Cale Green, the answer to the most painful question of all—What do you do with a BA in English?—arrived at after studying English and Art History at the UW, working at the Fairmont Olympic and Anthony’s, trying his luck writing, and spending “a memorable month doing accounting work with carnies at the Puyallup Fair,” is bartending. He’s from Utah (specifically, American Fork, where the movie Footloose was filmed) and moved to Seattle 10 years ago for college. This is his fifth year as a bartender, and second at Sun Liquor Lounge.
Here, five questions for Cale.
What's the most underrated spirit? I think tequila is still slightly underrated, just because so many people have a weird stigma against it as a result of drinking bad mixto tequila in vast quantities until they got sick. Tequila is beautiful. It's great on its own, and it's great in cocktails.
What is everyone ordering at Sun Liquor Lounge these days? Lots of whiskey cocktails, lots of drinks with the various Sun Liquor Spirits. This time of the year, a lot of hot toddies or variations on them. Lots of rye, bourbon, and scotch, served neat. I pour a lot of Fernet Branca and other amari, too.
How do you stay inspired? Travel, both domestic and abroad, distance running as my knees allow, reading whatever I get my hands on, eating, listening to heavy metal and '80s punk way too loud, trap shooting, duck hunting, crabbing, fishing, and appreciating the beauty of the world around me.
What current cocktail trend is completely overrated? Cocktails on tap. I really don't understand the appeal. Sure, there's consistency and speed, but I have no clue what I'm actually getting in my drink as far as quality of ingredients, strength or weakness of the drink, etc. I enjoy watching a skilled bartender make a drink, no matter how simple or complicated it may be.
What's the craziest thing you've ever seen happen in a bar? Recently I had a young couple come into the bar, have a drink, pay their tab, and take off. Thought nothing of it, then realized that they'd left a bag behind, peeked into it, and discovered that they'd left their brand-new vibrator, Castle Megastore receipt and all, behind. And she came back to the bar that night to reclaim it. Maybe not the craziest thing I've ever seen, but anytime I think about it I chuckle, and I prefer it to crazy things I've seen that involved violence or generally awful, antisocial behavior.