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I have been coming to the Grant Street Inn for about twenty years ever since they opened. They know me, and theoretically they know that I am a big fan of room 30. Alas, on this trip they put me in room 31. The room is nice, but its biggest feature is also its biggest flaw.

The room 31 pod sticks out by 7th street

The room 31 pod sticks out by 7th street

The problem with 31 is noise from the 7th Street bus route. It’s OK during the day, but it starts early. Room 30, just around the corner from the pod is much quieter. And room 30 has a fireplace and a nice shower thing with a hot tub feature.

The deck off 31

The deck off 31

The door to the outside deck is very nice. And the deck makes a great place to delete email as big buses rumble by.

Room 31 Grant Street Inn

Room 31 Grant Street Inn

Room 31 Grant Street Inn

Room 31 Grant Street Inn

Bathroom/sink area room 31

Bathroom/sink area room 31

The shower in 31 is reasonable. It is a cube with glass, but not as fancy as it could be.

The shower is reasonable

The shower is reasonable

While in town, try restaurant DO for some interesting Korean food.

Anyway, for forgetting that I really prefer room 30, the Grant Street gets a temporary three showerheads. Until next time!

Glassaholic: Moscow Mule

April 29, 2015

The Moscow Mule is very easy to make. About the only difficult bit is finding some copper Moscow Mule cups. That’s where Cardinal Spirits comes in. They provided me with some first run Vodka and some Moscow Mule cups last trip out to Bloomington.

So Moscow Mules it is!

Moscow Mule
1.5 oz Cardinal Vodka
1 wedge of lime
real ginger beer (barritts or home made)
pour the vodka over the ice, squeeze in the lime, add ginger beer. if you’re feeling adventurous, stir!

Cardinal Spirits, Bloomington, Indiana

Cardinal Spirits, Bloomington, Indiana

Yes, we know the governor of Indiana is a jackass. And as a serious participant in the Indiana business community, my company is not happy with the exclusionary stupid laws recently enacted. But it’s not like we can just pull up stakes and leave. So we sometimes have to go to Indy.

Last trip out, NPS gave the Alexander a shot with mixed results. This time, we found a better room (3044) and had a much better shower. Much less hamster cage. Much more bathroom kung fu. If we find a higher floor version, we will have what we actually want. Oh, and about that morning newspaper…

3044 has style at the Alexander

3044 has style at the Alexander

3044 bathroom console (includes unused TV)

3044 bathroom console (includes unused TV)

Bathub AND large glass shower cube

Bathub AND large glass shower cube

Not only was the shower glass, it had great shower pressure and plenty of hot water. YES!

Hallway

Hallway

Homage to the American TV

Homage to the American TV

I was so beat when I got to the Alexander, that I did not even go to the fabulous bar for a night cap. Slept like a log. Maybe next time.

Four shower heads for the Alexander. So much better than the awful Conrad!

In other Indianapolis news, other than a stupid jackass governor, the Libertine has moved to new fancier and hipper digs. Still the same great cocktails though.

Arriving too early for the event and just in time to squeeze in a cocktail, my companion and I were served by Benjamin Moran. After the event, three hours later, we returned for more. Here is the as yet un-named Libertine Experiment One:
2 oz Ford’s Gin
.5 Cocchi Torino
.5 Gran classico
.25 Dry curaƧao
1 dash angostura
2 droppers scorpion grapefruit tincture (in house)
Stir down. Big rock. Grapefruit peel garnish for nose.

The Libertine Experiment One by Benjamin Moran

The Libertine Experiment One by Benjamin Moran

Benjamin was nice enough to make this for me even though his shift was over. But not to fear, Colin Lime was in the house to take over. Colin made us an Indiana Diamondback:
2 oz Bonesnapper Rye (local)
.75 Green Chartruese
.5 Demerara syrup (1:1)
2 dashes Angostura
3 dashes lemon bitters
shake. serve over big rock. lemon peel garnish.

Then it was back to Bloomington and the Grant Street Inn, but not before stopping in at the Irish Lion again for a Sazarac with Hendry.

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Cardinal Spirits is so new that their grass has not come in yet. We were honored to get an evening tour led by a mysterious partner.

The grass is still straw at Cardinal Spirits

The grass is still straw at Cardinal Spirits

Cardinal is using both wine and barley beer as mash for vodka and gin distillery. Currently, the vodka is available and the gin is almost ready for release (still in the titration stage with aromatics). There is some brandy and some whiskey recently barreled as well.

Where the mash is born.

Where the mash is born.

Cardinal Spirits still is about 6 stories in 4 connected sections

Cardinal Spirits still is about 6 stories in 4 connected sections

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Distillers notes

Distillers notes

Aromatics added here for the gin process

Aromatics added here for the gin process

The mysterious partner gave a great tour

The mysterious partner gave a great tour

How new is the brandy and whiskey?

One rick

One rick

This new!

This new!

New indeed. Born last week.

New indeed. Born last week.

You are in Indiana!

You are in Indiana!

The experiment is still underway when it comes to gin.

Gin testing bench

Gin testing bench

Bottler

Bottler

Needless to say, the tour was fantastic. So much fun to see Cardinal Spirits booting up!

Now it’s time to taste the gin.

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Spring at the Grant Street Inn

Spring at the Grant Street Inn

As a creature of habit, I always look forward to returning to my favorite haunts. The Grant Street Inn is my Bloomington home away from home. And room 30 is my room…though they changed it up!

The stylish new sink console. Nice.

The stylish new sink console. Nice.

Big huge tub shower thing remains intact: room 30

Big huge tub shower thing remains intact: room 30

Yes, the ceiling is tiled.

Yes, the ceiling is tiled.

Traveling at the height of Spring in Virginia is a tough row to hoe, but at least it is the height of Spring here too!

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Four perpetual shower heads forever. Plus a garland of flowers.

Very sad Bloomington news though, the Rail has closed. This leaves precisely zero high end mixology bars in town. So it will be the Irish Lion for some bourbon I suppose. So bummed.

Dinner at Janko’s.

Well, more like thunderstorms. This week is wet. Fortunately, the Grant Street Inn will provide umbrellas for those guests too clueless to plan ahead with the Interwebs.

Radar around Bloomington

Radar around Bloomington

Sometimes I miss the thunderstorms in the midwest. You can see them coming for miles and then they arrive in a hurry. Lightning, thunder, heavy rain in sheets, wind. It’s not tornado season now, but those happen too.

Sometimes I don’t miss the thunderstorms at all. Here’s what it sounds like at 6am in room 30.

After some finagling during prep for this trip, room 30 magically became available. The management does know its guests. As always, the only place to stay in Bloomington is the Grant Street Inn. Room 30 has a good shower.

Rainy days on Grant Street

Rainy days on Grant Street

In other news, Farm is OK, Soma coffee is still the best in town, the Irish Lion continues to have an outstanding selection of fine bourbon and rye (served by delightfully sassy waitresses), and The Rail will serve you breakfast for dinner if you want, along with a world class cocktail.

Try this little number, whose clever name escapes us:
1.5 oz buffalo trace bourbon
.5 oz eldorado 8 yr rum
.25 spiced honey syrup (1:1 with cinnamon, allspice)
.25 amaro abano
3 dashes mole bitters
Stir down, serve on the rocks with an expressed orange peel dropped in. (this drink needs to be adjusted toward the bitters.)

Almost forgot, United Express (operated by Shuttle America) flew a nice new Embrear 170 this trip. No net, but plenty of room for a commuter jet. Then again, it was April Fools Day.

There have been so many visits to this fine property over so many years (almost all in room 30) that I will skip the pictures this time.

Here’s a VINE posting from the porch
https://vine.co/v/h67KvDvH0TU

If you stay anywhere in Bloomington, Indiana, stay at the Grant Street Inn. Four perpetual showerheads forever.

In other news, the Irish Lion has a very nice selection of decent bourbon. Rumor has it, they will have a shipment of antique collection bourbon soon. Meanwile, rye concoctions with Handy Sazarac Rye are available.