It’s a Five Questions first, everybody. We’re talking to a bartender from San Francisco.
Specifically, we’re talking to Neyah White. He’s the bar manager at San Fran’s Nopa where his housemade bitters, tinctures, and liqueurs have earned him love, fame, and all the perks that come with being a rock-star bartender in a city so obsessed with food and drink it puts Seattle’s own food and drink fetishism to…let’s just say it gives us something to which to aspire.
Here, five questions for Neyah White.
What is the most underrated spirit?
I am actually going to go with a wine rather than spirit and say vermouth. The 50s and 60s were not very kind to vermouth and it is really a shame. We abuse it by storing it wrong, pouring it wrong, and just plain not understanding it. I challenge everyone reading this to open a fresh bottle of any vermouth (well, almost any) and pour a little over ice with an orange slice. It’s delicious.
What’s your favorite Seattle bar?
I haven’t been to Seattle a whole lot in recent years, but there sure are some great folks working in your town. I get teary-eyed when I think about Murray Stetson [ Zig Zag], jealous when I think about Jamie Boudreau [ Knee High], nostalgic when I think about Eric Carlson [ Moshi Moshi] and Nate Weber [ Tavern Law, I think], and just plain happy when I think about Anu Apte and Zane Harris [ Rob Roy].
What drink do you order at that bar?
I am a big proponent of being a good guest by enjoying what is being offered. I like to drink whatever is most appropriate: Beer in beer halls, wine in wine bars, Scotch every chance I get.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?
I work very hard at forgetting stuff like that. Alcohol brings out the best and worst in people, getting $100 tip and getting stiffed on a $200 tab come pretty much from the same place.
Name three reasons you like to visit in Seattle.
1. The sun is evil and must be avoided at all costs. 2. They say the human body is made up of about 60 percent water. In me, 50 percent of that water is coffee, and Seattle is fine place to refuel. 3. I look good in a scarf.
GET TICKETS TO DRINKING LESSONS WITH NEYAH WHITE HERE.