402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Now, first things first. If you want to meet up with a great bartender, you gotta start with a great bar, so we headed on over to The Old Dog Tavern. The Old Dog is one of those places that no matter how much you drink, you’ll never forget it. It’s relaxed, raw, real and it’s the right place to be if you want great music, good food and laid-back friends. The owner Sean Smith put his heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into this old historic building, and when you walk in, you can feel the friendliness.
As for our bartender, we didn’t just meet up with any mix maker. We were about to get our Michigan drink on with the one and only “Mighty Mixologist,” the “Elixir Fixer” herself, the one and only Angie Jackson. She’s a certified master of mixology who prides herself in making unique libations using locally grown fixers, mixers and liqueurs. With Angie, you don’t just get a tasty cocktail, you get an education, an entire floor show and a genuine sense of community.
Angie takes her mixology demonstrations to a variety of establishments, and if you’re lucky enough to catch her show, it’s a blast. I helped out with her demonstration the night we were at The Old Dog (sort of). I may not be a very good elixir-mixer-drink-fixer guy (actually, I’m more of a muddler) but what Angie and I did have in common is a great love of where we live.
So thanks to Angie, at The Old Dog, I learned some new tricks. I also learned that no matter where you’re from, when you’re in Kalamazoo, they make you feel like you belong.