Over the weekend we decided to bid a classy farewell to the rapidly-closing Squalling Teens and say a big “well hello there again, sailor” to the Roaring Twenties. This meant a bunch of new decorations, a mess of horrible new drinks, and a fancy-dress party in Bar Äijä’s the likes of which … well, we may have seen before, but not quite like this.
The Äijä’s Speakeasy was open for business, with special doctor’s prescriptions written for each guest so they could get their medicinal alcohol, and a bunch of cocktails that were very heavy on the Dubonnet, Swedish Punsch, whiskey and of course gin. Moustaches were waxed, haircuts were bobbed, waistcoats were donned and flapper dresses were hastily ordered on Amazon.
I learned a lot about the 1920s, and various other things in general. For example, I had no idea a mint julep was just bourbon with a ton of sugar water stirred into it. And some mint. That was jarring, but not so jarring that we didn’t have fun demolishing a couple of 1.7 litre jugs of the stuff.
Ossi reflecting on how this upward trend is probably going to continue indefinitely.
What else can I say about the event? It was as fun and lively as ever, a great night in excellent company. Mrs. Hatboy put together an amazing feast of lamb and assorted side dishes from the era, and many of our guests also brought awesome food (Mr. and Mrs. BRKN, thank you for the little cakey pancake things, Drunk Arse 05:00am Hatboy really enjoyed them when it became apparent the lamb leg had been chewed dry). Numerous wacky cocktails were had.
And the music was simply amazing. In the video below, I’m afraid the quality may be a little poor but you can enjoy the inestimable Bar Äijä’s Minstrel, Ilja Jalkanen, singing the most hilarious song about Progressives These Days and just how anybody is supposed to know how to act in today’s climate of political correctness (a hundred years ago).
The Bar Äijä’s Barkeep bopped along and washed glasses in maybe the barkeepest possible manner in the background.
All in all it was an amazing night, with many a long and fascinating conversation and debate. We ended on politics at 06:00am, when I started turning out the lights and found it made no difference because the sun was coming up. My companions by that time were Ossi “I’m Getting Very Used To Having The Monocle” Strawberry, and August “I’m Planning On Becoming The Left-Wing Hitler Somehow” Backwoods (actual last names obfuscated for the sake of their privacy), to whom I shall award equal Last Man Standing cred but edge August through for the Best On Ground award purely because this was his first time at Bar Äijä’s, and he comported himself brilliantly. After rolling the dice immediately on his arrival, and earning himself a Prairie Dog (which he then drank), and then showing me how to Science a special shot with … what was it, something and tequila and then you pour hot sauce into the glass and it settles in the middle like magic … anyway, he did very well indeed.
My hat changed from a bowler into a top hat just from me touching Ossi. That is the power of affluence.
Jean was also there until closing, but after another lovely chat about how he’s enjoyed reading my books, and a bit of a cuddle, he fell asleep on the couch and messrs Strawberry and Backwoods hauled him into their taxi in the morning. I blame myself, because – well, because I was the barkeep, but also because I offered him a mint julep at the start of the night, and made the mistake of saying “I had no idea these were just bourbon and sugar water, I reckon you wouldn’t want to have more than three of these, they’ll probably knock you out.”
Jean proceeded to have, at last estimate, about seven of them. They did knock him out eventually though.
Another fabulous night – and more fabulous than most in our humble establishment! A huge thank you to all patrons and contributors.