There’s a good chance that our family vacations are a bit different from yours. Of course, the trips are mostly about the kids, but if we get the opportunity to bring something back for the Firewater Lounge, we take advantage. So we drove 3000 miles round-trip to catalog our some of the cocktails of the south and we will present them to you starting with one of the best kept secret drinking locations in America: Oklahoma City.
Ground zero for this drinking adventure is OKC’s downtown historic Hotel Skirvin. The Hotel Skirvin, first opened in 1911 and then re-opened in 2007, is allegedly haunted. As the story goes, the hotel owner, Bill Skirvin had an affair with a maid and got her pregnant. To avoid scandal, Skirvin locked away the girl on the 10th floor of the hotel. When the child was born, Skirvin still would not released her, so in her depression, she jumped with her child from one of the hotel windows.
Most of you will not believe this, but I knew none of this before check-in. As the concierge collected my information for our reservation, he slowly asked without looking up, “Is a room on the 10th floor o.k.?” Thinking I had a shot at an awesome view, I said, “Sure” not knowing that we would be sharing the floor with a 100-year ghost chick and her spawn!
Regardless, the hotel bar is not even close to as awesome as their ghost stories, so it was off to the restored warehouse district, named Bricktown, a mere two blocks from the Skirvin. Sandwiched between Sheridan Avenue and Reno Avenue on its respective north and south sides, and bordered on its west by the Cox Convention Center and its east by Redhawks Stadium, Bricktown is an amalgam of drinking establishments and restaurants that caters to all tastes, from breweries to burlesque, from piano bars to shot and a beer saloons.
Our tour of Bricktown starts with its namesake brewery for supper. Bricktown Brewery sports a huge array of tasty accompaniments to suds. Our family partook in corn dogs, quesadillas, barbequed pulled chicken and the Oklahoma state meal- chicken fried steak with black-eyed peas. Naturally, the food required beer. So, let’s give you drinking notes to a couple of their brews.
The first draught we encountered was the 46 Star Oklahoma Amber Ale, which was the standard light-bodied ale of the brewery. Low in bitterness, but decent depth of malt and pretty lacing makes this beer a great all-around selection for pizza, burgers, and nachos. Since I had the chicken fried steak, I asked for another round; this time ordered up the Remington Red Ale, another malty delight that brought more hops and paired wonderfully with the Oklahoma state meal as it would with pulled pork, barbeque brisket, and ribeyes.
You know that Bricktown cocktails are our next stop, but for that, you’ll have to wait until our next entry...