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Let the 2011 fun begin: Cowper Inn, Palo Alto, CA

January 6, 2011

I am a creature of habit.

Newly christened “no fly Noel” has come to an end and I am back in the air. Starting the new year out at a place that feels like home is always nice. I have been going to the Cowper for years. See the two previous entries from 2009:

Entry 1

Entry 2

This time I did not get my favorite room (28). I was just across the hall in room 22. Here is what the bathroom looks like in 22. The sink is actually in the bathroom!

As you can see, this is a standard 70’s cube tiled Cowper-type shower. But room 22 has a more generic shape and no bay window. If this fireplace belonged to me, I would have a fire going. That’s probably against all kinds of California regulations these days.

Palo Alto remains a great town to visit. I found a new breakfast place with real crepes called Bistro Maxine (thanks to BC for the pointer). And I am very pleased to report that Tamarine has really been improving their bar. I had an expertly made Sazarac—a workhorse of a great old drink. Here’s how to make one:

Drop a sugar cube in an old fashioned glass (the mixing glass), soak the cube in 5 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and muddle. Add ice and 2-3 oz of good Rye Whiskey. Stir until the sugar mixture dissolves. Coat the insides of a second chilled old fashioned glass with Absinthe (disgarding any extra liquid). Strain the thoroughly-chilled rye from the mixing glass to the drinking glass. Garnish with a generous lemon peel twist.

Gary, the bartender at Tamarine, and I discussed the Sazarac which he made with a local Rye allegedly crafted by the hangar one people. He made the first one with pernod’s (which is a big no-no ion my book). He said the absinthe they had on hand was too spicy…and after a taste and an experimental sazarac it turns out he was right. It is great to see Tamarine stepping up.

5 Responses to “Let the 2011 fun begin: Cowper Inn, Palo Alto, CA”


  1. […] They like to use Rye. I prefer Pappy van Winkle in my Liberals. I think Rye is better mixed in a Sazerac, though Drink makes this one with a twist as well using the New Orleans infusion that they […]


  2. […] should have known. You never forsake a longtime high-on-the-list hotel (the Cowper Inn) on a lark. But the event where I was speaking was in Mountain View and the Kimpton people have […]


  3. […] any case, the trip down to Blue Smoke for some excellent Hirsh Reserve bourbon and a well-crafted Sazerac was definitely a better deal all […]


  4. […] seem to have made a tradition about coming to Silicon Valley for the first trip of the year. Exactly one year ago I was here to kick of 2011. It’s nice to be at the Cowper Inn […]


  5. […] We topped off the evening with dinner at Cumin, which Dan properly summed up as “solid.” I taught their bartender a thing or two about mixology (we made Blue Moons and Sazaracs). […]


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