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About Me

This is my place to write about all things drinks and drinking. My name is Jason O’Bryan, and I’m a San Diego based writer and bartender. This is my reflections/education blog, and where I post experiments, reviews of local bars, tasty cocktails of any origin, professional bartender gripes, and anything else that falls within the admittedly capacious topic of drinks and/or drinking. I will try to refrain from listing off what I drank last night. Dull nonsense like that will be kept where it belongs, on twitter.

In January of 2010, I left a newspaper job in Boston to come to San Diego in the hope of finding a craft cocktail bar at which to work and plenty more at which to drink, and as much as anything, this blog will feature the subjects and products of that desire.


For many, the field of craft cocktails is made impenetrable by either a false ceiling of ignorance from the bottom, or a disapproving scoff of pretension from the top. I’ve tried to avoid these at all costs by following a small set of personal rules:

1. Life is too short to drink well liquor.

2. What’s in a glass can be as engaging and complex as what’s on a plate.

3. Waxed mustaches, secret doors, and overwrought mystique are requisite for neither the creation nor enjoyment of a well-made drink.

4. Those who display curiosity will always be rewarded with either answer or experiment.

5. Vodka is a flavorless canvas without character or distinction. It is the tofu of drinks.

5a. Some people like tofu, and that’s fine.

6. The primary goal of knowledge is to better one’s own experience, which is to say, learning more about spirits and cocktails helps one drink better, which is one of the main forces in the service of living better.

My goal is to live up to these, and hopefully be entertaining in the process.


18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2013 10:20 pm

    Was the chrysanthemum a reward for curiosity!? Because that was delicious!

    • April 13, 2013 12:33 pm

      Ah, Patricia Pan. Of course. I should’ve put that together faster.

      The Chrysanthemum was part reward and part experiment. Namely, I wanted to make that drink for someone, and your reward for participating was that you got to drink it. Which, I think you’ll agree, is win/win.

      • April 16, 2013 9:24 pm

        My taste buds would agree it was a win-win. Are you by any chance familiar with a liquor called Creme de Violette?

      • April 17, 2013 1:37 pm

        Yeah, definitely. We have it at the bar. You been reading about Aviations?

      • April 17, 2013 8:23 pm

        Is that a drink involving gin, some other items, and the liquor? I read something about it but cannot remember the name of the drink!

      • April 18, 2013 10:43 am

        That’s the one. Gin, maraschino, lemon juice, creme de violette. It’s wonderful. Come have one.

  2. January 13, 2015 5:11 am

    I pay a visit day-to-day a few websites and blogs to
    read articles or reviews, however this web site gives quality based posts.

  3. August 8, 2015 1:01 pm

    Thank you for your posts. One can see you put a lot of time into your experiments. I would love to see you take on margaritas-the tequilas and well as the proportions.

  4. Redwan parves permalink
    May 22, 2016 11:29 pm

    I am tired of thinking that you writes on your blog, deep thinking, new ideas… and many more.. after all it makes me happy… thanks man

  5. Dave P. permalink
    May 25, 2016 4:23 pm

    Just wanted you to know that my wife and I love this blog. You are a wonderful writer and very, very funny.

    We discovered “craft cocktails” somewhat late in life while visiting Charleston several years ago.

    It is unfortunate that we were not exposed to properly made drinks while we were young.

    (It is possible our livers feel differently….)

    We still enjoy our wine but good cocktails have really made the last couple of years far more interesting.

    Better late then never!

    • June 1, 2016 6:46 pm

      I very much appreciate that, Dave. Thank you so much for reaching out. And yes indeed, better late than never. It’s occasionally horrifying to wonder about the long term effects of falling in love with great drinks so early in life, but I’m comforted in the knowledge that bad drinks never stopped anyone from drinking.

      Glad to help. Cheers.

  6. May 29, 2016 2:32 pm

    I really enjoy your posts! I received whisky stones and felt they were a fad. Did nothing for me. Once in the freezer, the “nose” knows! Not in my whiskey, thank you! Thick glass or bigger ice works!

    • June 1, 2016 6:48 pm

      Thank you Kim! Yes, Whiskey Stones are one of those Emperors New Clothes things that I’ll bet no one on earth has actually enjoyed, and yet is so hard to kill… Damn devil whiskey, and it’s irrepressible mystique…

  7. Kat permalink
    June 15, 2016 7:13 pm

    I live in Australia. This morning I randomly googled best vermouth and stumbled on your blog. I was searching for two types (for negroni and martinis). What a morning I’ve had! Reminds me of my many years bar tending testing new cocktails out on the staff and regulars. It’s been a while I’ve been out of the game but my love for quality drinks will never die. If you get the chance, you should try some Four Pillars gin. A local distillery for me here. Thanks for great blog and info. I’ll now be googling where to buy Dolin and Cocchi in Melbourne. My day just gets better!

  8. Anonymous permalink
    October 26, 2018 3:58 pm

    i really love this negroni study!!!

  9. Brandy Craddock permalink
    June 27, 2019 3:41 pm

    I feel the same way about vodka. Never could figure out why anyone drank it. Vodka martini? Why? You just love the flavour of vermouth sooo much?

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