I'm obviously not a cocktail blogger but since this little journal has a large majority of "cocktail" tags you can tell I like a libation. And so does Dayne. And so do most of our travel buddies. Because of this we rely on many recommendations from like minded connoisseurs and better yet, those in the biz, to aid us when we are on a world wide hunt for exceptional drinks.
No one has led us to more places, introduced us to more people and inspired more cross country and international liquor purchases than Murray Stenson.
Before this blog was around, Murray had pointed us to bartenders and bars in New York, Chicago, Boston, and elsewhere.
Five years ago Murray pointed us to one of the only craft cocktail bars in London at the time, where we had our first 15£ drinks in a town of pints and gin and tonics. That bar remains a favorite and a recommendation to others heading across the pond.
Earlier that same year we traveled to New Orleans, where all things cocktail live, and rooted and cheered for Murray and Zig Zag as they won awards that put Seattle on the cocktail map.
Three years ago while in Paris checking out a newish cocktail bar, I noticed they had a Last Word on the menu. When I struck up a conversation about the drink with the bartender she started to tell me about this great man named Murray from Seattle. I explained that I knew him and was going to be sure to tell him about the far reach of his resurrecting old cocktails. She was thrilled and he seemed amused by the retelling.
Later that same year we were in Japan and Murray asked if we could take friends of his, who were living in Tokyo, a bottle from him. We did and they also sent some bottles back for us and for him. We just served some of the Japanese brandy as an after dinner drink to friends last week.
These are just a few of the many, many, many connections and experiences we have had, being lucky enough to know Murray. Everyone has their story of his generosity, his kindness, his memory, his laugh. We are just two of thousands.
But the story now is this, Murray, like many others in the bar and restaurant industry, doesn't have medical insurance. When you have a cold, cut yourself or break a bone, that sucks. When you need heart surgery the suck factor increases tenfold. Murray needs heart surgery. And it goes without saying that he isn't able to work right now.
There's a MurrayAid Facebook page where you can find out about local events in which you will get to consume lovely cocktails at the finest bars and they will donate the proceeds. Please "like" the page and come join us at these events. There's also a Murrayaid.org site where you can donate directly. If you are lucky enough to know Murray or have heard a story about him I hope you will donate. And if you don't know Murray but are lucky enough to have ever met someone like this, I hope you will donate. As Dayne and I have found time and time again, it is a very small world, one that is made better by wonderful people.