kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Spies and the Shaker

Love espionage as much as you do a well made cocktail?

On Thursday, September 16, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, Washington, DC’s Occidental Grill & Seafood will host an espionage-themed cocktail seminar in conjunction with the Museum of the American Cocktail. Dubbed “The Suffering Bastard: Joe Scialom, International Barman of Mystery,” the seminar will give guests the chance to learn about "Joe the Bartender," who traveled around the globe (from DC to Cairo to Havana, then Istanbul - from the 1930s through the 1960s.)  This legendary mixologist was everywhere and nowhere, always one step ahead of governments who suspected him of espionage as he served numerous many heads of state, generals and journalists.

That evening, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry will take guests on a journey through the tumultuous time of the Cold War when tensions ran high, revealing the untold story of the trained chemist who spoke eight languages and survived two revolutions, imprisonment and exile to create such infamous exotic drinks as the Suffering Bastard.  Guests will also enjoy a selection of spy-inspired spirits prepared by Berry, as well as bites from Occidental's notable Mid-Atlantic Chef Rodney Scruggs.

Tickets purchased in advance are priced at $45 per person and are available online at  Tickets purchased at the door will be $50.