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Tippling the night fantastic: Music and cocktails at the Clift

May 14th, 2012 Comments off

In the hot seat at the Clift (Photo: P.J.Ohm)

Whenever I think about the Clift Hotel, I start humming “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It’s the last link in a free associative chain triggered by the Clift’s memorably outlandish lobby decor. That 1984 tune, of course, is from Tears for Fears’ fey-tastic 1984 album Songs from the Big Chair.

My bouts of nostalgia notwithstanding, the Clift plays host to a series of musical events that are utterly au courant. The next two shows are coming up soon, and if you click on the links below, you can get on the guest lists, gratis.

  • On Thursday, May 24, experimental trip-hopster Shlohmo ushers in the Memorial Day weekend. GUEST LIST 
  • On Friday, June 2, Diego Garcia—brainy Brown graduate and former leader of Elefant—brings his dreamy, Beatlesque pop to town. This one’s a must catch. GUEST LIST

The free shows, in the hotel’s swank Velvet Room, will get underway around 10 p.m. (Doors at 9ish). But since you’renot spending anything for tickets, consider showing up early to kick off the night with luxe libations in the adjacent Redwood Room, one of the most indisputably alluring cocktail lounges in town. Most weeknights, the post-work crowd thins out around 7:30 and the handsome room maintains a comfortable level of volume and crush for a couple magic hours, the ideal time to tap the staff’s creativity and knowledge of locally sourced spirits.

One of the handsomest bars in town (Photo: Clift Hotel)

Crackerjack barman Anthony Kim recently joined me in lamenting the sparse supply of Hangar One’s bracing chipotle-infused vodka, but made up for it with the Redwood Room’s signature House of Pisco cocktail, which blends pisco (Peruvian eau de vie) with pineapple and clove gum syrup, and green chartreuse. A skinny helix of lemon peel straddling the glass provided a bitter aromatic counterbalance to the drink’s slight sweetness. Kim is a master pisco mixologist; his concoctions using the locally imported Encanto brand recently won him a trip to Peru for the annual grape harvest.

Pour yourself a drink and check out Diego Garcia on video after the jump

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