By RJ Johnson
With Pride week starting the crew at The Raven Bar are as busy as the rest of the community preparing for the revelry. With seven events planned before the end of the month, this is expected to be one of the busiest weeks of the year for new owners Scott Stroud and Roger Sagraves. Neither of these men are strangers to the hustle that June brings to local gay bars, with both having bartended their fair share of Pride week events in the past. Perhaps that is why they have chosen to have such a diverse schedule of frivolity, and maybe even a little debauchery.
On June 20 there will be a meet and greet for the participants of Arno’s Bear Cruise. The visitors to Alaska will be able to get to know some locals before they board their ship and see the rest of the beautiful state. After showcasing hospitality for visitors in a way that only Alaskans can, the crew at the Raven will get ready to kick off the Pride Week celebrations with the annual Kickoff BBQ Sunday, June 23 on the patio at the bar, which is sponsored this year by Smirnoff Vodka.
The very next day on Monday, June 24, there will be a Pride edition of Queefs Against Humanity. This monthly event hosted by controversial drag queen Queef Sativa is a chance for people to come out and enjoy seeing who can best their friends with topical and sassy answers, while playing everyone’s favorite party game, Cards Against Humanity. On Wednesday, after The Last Frontier Men’s Club event Lube Wrestling, there will also be a victory party for the winners at the Raven.
Absolut Vodka is sponsoring a new event on Thursday as Beats Messiah + Beat Roots are throwing a patio takeover as a fundraiser for KONR Radio. Dig Sista, Jacob Mattie, and Simplicate will keep the crowd dancing, and hopefully that crowd will be wearing the loud prints and bright colors that are the suggested attire for the event.
Friday night things will get a little kinky as the International Ms. Bootblack Gretchen hosts a G.U.L.F. Party, which stands for Gear Uniform Leather and Fetish. Dressing in theme is not required for this event, seeing that for the kink community voyeurism is participation. On Saturday night Jameson Irish Whiskey is proud to present the Pride Underwear Party with DJ Mike Mason. These underwear parties have become one of the most well attended of all the Raven’s regular events, so what better way to celebrate than in the comfort of your favorite undies?
The bar staff at the Raven wanted to find a way to feature a cocktail that would be just as delicious no matter which spirit you are using with it, so why not go with the classic Moscow Mule? The spicy and sweet libation is perfect for all the summer activities that will be occurring on one of the best downtown patios. Since the Mule was created circa 1941 at the Cock ‘n’ Bull, a British style pub in Los Angeles, it has been a classic American cocktail, revived and reintroduced to the drinking public every few years. The original recipe is simply vodka, ginger beer, and lime, served in a copper mug. Throughout the years mint is often a component, and many restaurants and bars find their own ways to take the classic and make it a signature drink.
Not everyone is a fan of vodka however, and so another trend has been to use other liquors when mixing with ginger beer. The Kentucky Mule is probably the most well-known, using bourbon in place of a clear spirit. The variation called the Mexican Mule uses tequila, of course. Often the name is simply where the alcohol being used is best known, such as with the British Mule which uses gin to pair with the bubbly is simply where the alcohol being used is best known, such as with the British Mule which uses gin to pair with the bubbly ginger mixer. While you have ginger beer flowing you might as well try it with some dark rum and enjoy a Dark ‘N’ Stormy.
For the Pride week events the staff at the Raven Bar will have all the ingredients for the Raven Mule, which will have all the elements of the original, which you can try with Smirnoff or Absolut vodka for that authentic taste. If you want to step outside of your comfort zone and see why the Mule is so versatile, order it with Jameson for something new. After all, if Pride isn’t the perfect time to be versatile and try new things, when is?