Clearport. 516 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Visited 6/10/17 @ 9pm.
Old-Fashioned. Bourbon, cherry bitters, grenadine, muddled oranges. $10.
The unusual hue of this Old-Fashioned reflects the unconventional mix of ingredients that went into it. We are all well-acquainted by now with the standard set of elements that goes into a textbook Old-Fashioned, and indeed there are few drinks more satisfying than the classic, but far be it from me to stand in front of progress by discouraging an artist from adding more colors to her palette, assuming textbooks have palettes. The end result was far sweeter than just about any Old-Fashioned I've ever had, the already sweet Bourbon only amplified by the saccharine chorus of the other ingredients. I wonder what this would have tasted like with rye whiskey - to return to the painting metaphor, would the rye have balanced out the oranges and bitters/grenadine in a color triad, or would it have been too jarring? As it was, I didn't really taste the bourbon at all, and the cherry/pomegranate/orange flavors washed together in a muddled watercolor of berry and citrus. I think I would have enjoyed a traditional Old-Fashioned more, although I appreciated the experiment. It's hard to improve on an Old-Fashioned! That's the problem with experimentation: it's essential to progress, but not all of them work. At least with drinking experiments, you still get drunk.
Aaron, Hannah, Travis.
Clearport is more of a concert venue and dance club than a bar, though like any good club it has its little nooks of seating and relaxation tucked away for patrons to enjoy in between , rounds, sets, twerking sessions, or what have you. In terms of design there's a pretty cool multi-story layout, with long upper-level catwalks and landings looking down on the main concert stage that almost reminded me of an FPS level, although I assume that the only monster kills happening here involve energy drinks. I bet there have been some great Instagrams taken from the upper deck. The venue had the melancholy air of a ghost town during our visit, despite being mere yards away from the ROT rally, the largest motorcycle rally in the US. We spent a while on the top level enjoying the spectacle below, savoring the scent of E15 gasoline and the pops and growls of some truly odd-looking bikes promenading down the street. All public gatherings are built on ritual, and the display of customized chrome is quite a thing to behold from a distance. I'm not any kind of motorcycle buff, having internalized the warnings in Hunter S Thompson's classic essay The Song of the Sausage Creature at a young age, but everyone likes a parade, and there are far worse candidates for the stars of a parade than a gleaming new superbike with glowing green accents. There are worse places to watch one, too.