Professional Barfly: Zane Lamprey
Being relaxed comes naturally to Zane. He’s famous as the host of drinking/travel shows like Three Sheets, Drinking Made Easy, and his latest television show, Chug. Although he’s knocked back drinks with people in more than 60 countries, he says his favorite way to relax is “mixing a couple of mojitos and sitting in the pool with my wife in the backyard.” You can learn more about Zane on his website.
GETTING TO KNOW ZANE
What's the most unexpected ingredient you've been served in a cocktail?
This isn’t the best question to lead with… But, that’s because you didn’t assume that the answer would be snake “male parts.” [Editor’s note: Zane used the proper biological term, but we’re a G-rated publication.] In Taipei, Taiwan, I visited the Huaxi Street Night Market, also known as “Snake Alley.” From the outside it appears to be a traditional market. Once inside it’s evident how it got its name. Lining the corridor are vendors peddling live snakes, snake meat, and various snake products. There, I had a shot of kaoliang. On its own, kaoliang tastes like rum. But this “rum” had been sitting with several hundred snake wieners soaking in it for months — it’s supposed to help a man’s virility. Kaoliang mixed with snake bits tastes like roadkill. It was vile, but certainly a rite of passage!
What/where is your all-time favorite bar?
Totally unfair question! I’ve been to so many great bars, it’s like it’s my job (because it is). It would be so difficult to narrow it down to even 100. BUT, I did grab a few drinks at the Tommy Bahama Bar & Grill in Newport Beach, CA. The cocktails were great, and I got a pair of board shorts!
What's your favorite vacation destination?
Another tough question, since I’ve been to over 60 countries, and my work often feels like a vacation. But, I spend a lot of time in Hawaii. I go there several times a year. I mix up the islands, but I have so many friends in Maui that I go there the most. I respect people who go on vacation by themselves, but my favorite thing is to spend time with friends…. in Hawaii.
Shaken? Or stirred?
Shake the crap out of it.
Are there any drinking traditions you've learned about that you'd like to see us adopt in the United States?
The siesta is nice. I like Australia’s number of vacation days. Those aren’t necessarily drinking customs, but come on, what do you think we’d do on those days off?
Is your glass half empty or half full?
In life, my glass is always half full. I’m a very positive guy. But, at the bar, it’s half empty, because I’m always ready for the next cocktail.
What advice do you have for home bartenders and party hosts?
The internet is a treasure-trove of cocktail ideas. DrinkingMadeEasy.com, liquor.com and this little site called Google.com are all you need to make cocktails that will impress your guests, which is what throwing a party is all about!
If you weren't a world-traveling, cocktail-quaffing TV host, what would you do for a living?
I would be completely unemployable.