The Hideout

What happens when you let the barkeep pick your poison.

A weekly blog feature in which we walk into a bar unannounced and ask the bartender to make us his or her favorite drink. Read more at hole: The Hideout, 1005 Boren Ave., 903-8480, FIRST HILLBartender: Tara McLaughlinHelping Seattleites get drunk since: A few years ago, when she moved from Delaware because... "Oh my God," she says. "Who likes Delaware?" Fair enough.Reaction to getting her photograph taken: "Ugh. I look stoned."Tara wants to know after hearing the rules if I have a liquor preference. I remind her she's supposed to make me her favorite drink, but she doesn't want to make something that contains a liquor I have a strong aversion to. (Read: whiskey.)I'm a tequila girl. Hit me! "I don't like tequila, but I can make you a drink using it that even I really like."Let's do it. Tara presents me with La Reina Madre, a dizzyingly sweet concoction of tequila, fresh lime, Damiana (a Mexican liqueur), and a dash of cinnamon. My companion also has a strong aversion to tequila, but I force him to take a sip. He nods approvingly. She anxiously asks if we like it.Yeah. The tequila taste isn't too strong. "I think a lot of people are really split on whether they like tequila or not. But it can work wonderfully in a good cocktail. I cannot take a shot of tequila, but I can drink this anytime. The Damiana adds a warm tingle. Actually, the mother of the groom gives the bride Damiana at a traditional Mexican wedding—it's supposed to ensure fertility."Well, thank God for birth control. How often do you drink tequila when you can make something as yummy as this? "Are you going to print this?" Silence. "OK, I drink about as much as the next guy...though I suppose that really depends on who you're standing next to."

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