Special Briefing: Drinking Dangerously
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because it’s time to drink on the edge.
This is an OZY Special Briefing, an extension of the Presidential Daily Brief. The Special Briefing tells you what you need to know about an important issue, individual or story that is making news. Each one serves up an interesting selection of facts, opinions, images and videos in order to catch you up and vault you ahead.
WHAT TO KNOW
Call it human nature: We like to live dangerously. While alcohol consumption alone can be dangerous (be kind to your liver), that’s not enough for some. When you grab drinks at a club, they’re usually served up with a side of thumping music and flashing lights. But what if the club offered a little something extra, like a horrific past or a sinister secret?
OZY has explored five exciting international party locations that are bringing new meaning to “drinking dangerously.” From a coffin-shaped club built on the site of a massacre to a silver mine turned underground — deep underground — dance palace, we highlight where you can get your drink on while also pondering mortality.
HOW TO THINK ABOUT IT
Death in the afternoon. Linger, a swanky Denver cocktail restaurant and bar, had a previous existence as a functioning mortuary for 81 years. Diners — who eat in what used to be a garage for hearses — can lean into the eatery’s morbid origins by ordering the Corpse Reviver, a gin cocktail dyed black by activated charcoal. Fun/disgusting detail: The water pitchers are formaldehyde-style bottles.
Way down under. This silver mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, shut down in 1960 — but by 1975 it was a tourist destination and by 1978 it was a bar. It still is: To get to Bar Mina El Edén, you’ll have to take a four-minute train ride through a claustrophobia-inducing 1,770-foot-long underpass. It’s supposedly haunted by a miner named Roque who was buried in a rockslide, and the deadly Piedra de Roque — which contains rum, vodka and tequila — is named for him.
Labyrinth. It’s easy to get lost in the depths of Moritzbastei, a three-story underground bar housed in the remains of a 16th-century fortress. The space, which was used as an unofficial bomb shelter and nearly destroyed during the bombardment of Leipzig in 1943, is now routinely packed with ravers. It also serves veggie lasagne and beer.
All aboard. Thailand’s Floating Raft Restaurant lies along the famous “Death Railway” — whose grueling, sadistic construction methods killed 105,000 Allied prisoners of war and Asian laborers during World War II. Now it’s a place where tourists can raise a solemn glass in memory of those who died there, as they watch the slow-moving train and an actual bridge on the actual River Kwai.
Traumatic memories. As with many locales in Beirut, B018 doesn’t have an exact address. To find this club, known as the heart of the city’s electronic music scene, you’ll have to go to the Karantina neighborhood — yes, that means Quarantine — and ask around. It’s been holding all-nighters since 1998, and is built near the locale of the Karantina Massacre, when as many as 1,500 people were killed in 1976.
WHAT TO READ
The Bar Where Misery Is All Part of the Service, by Martha Bayne in Roads and Kingdoms
“The discomfort its acid-drenched DayGlo walls and mismatched furniture engenders is all in service of encouraging you to imbibe.”
Rosé Is Exhausting, by Sarah Miller at Eater
“Rosé is alcohol, and if you drink it all day, you will eventually black out and wake up under a porch in Fair Harbor, and you will be covered in ticks.”
WHAT TO WATCH
The Sourtoe Cocktail
“The recipe is simple. One part alcohol and one part mummified human toe.”
Watch on YouTube:
The Ghost and Demons of Bobby Mackey’s
“Aside from housing a supposed portal to hell, Bobby Mackey’s also has plenty of rich history that lends itself to spiritual hauntings.”
Watch on BuzzFeed on YouTube:
WHAT TO SAY AT THE WATERCOOLER
Watch Where You Sit. The promise of tasting fabulous Bordeaux wine draws a million visitors to the charming medieval village of Saint-Émilion, France. Tipsy tourists should take care on the town’s steep cobblestone paths. But for women in no hurry to experience motherhood, another danger lurks … in the form of a so-called fertility chair in La Grand Cave de Saint-Émilion. The chair first belonged to the town’s namesake, a monk from Brittany, and was used for meditation. Today, local guides encourage women to take a seat if they’re eager to conceive.