Micah Anderson has mastered high-low balance. At Ponyboy, the neighborhood cocktail bar he manages in Oklahoma City, Anderson creates memorable drinks inspired by Dairy Queen banana splits and Sonic Cherry Limeade.
Keys to the Lake House, a drink on his summer list, features sherry, bonded bourbon, blackberry, mint, and bitters. Anderson says it was inspired by “lake life,” or the quintessentially OKC experience of going out to your (or someone’s parents’) lake house and hanging out on their patio.
We caught up with Anderson to chat about his favorite bourbon, a very regrettable bottle of Captain Morgan, and his esteem for Miller High Life.
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1. What’s your desert-island drink?
It would be a traditional Trader Vic’s Mai Tai. Rummy and refreshing. You can’t beat it!
2. What’s the first drink you bought when you turned 21?
I didn’t really drink a lot when I turned 21. I do remember the first time I bought booze at a liquor store, though. It was Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut. It was horrible.
3. FMK three cocktails: Negroni, Margarita, Manhattan?
F Margarita for sure, M Negroni (helps you out in every situation), and K Manhattan.
4. You’re on death row. What’s your final drink?
This is a tough one. I would probably order Elmer T. Lee Bourbon neat. It’s literally my favorite spirit on the face of the planet.
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
It would have to be Best Intentions in Chicago. I can get Miller High Life, they know how to make all the classics, the patio is awesome, and I would see friends there regularly.
6. What’s the best and worst bottle on your shelf?
Best: Plantation 5 year Rum; it’s the most versatile bottle I have. I can use it as the base spirit in pretty much any classic drink riff. Worst: blue curacao, for the exact opposite reason. I can only use it to make drinks that specifically call for blue curacao, which is pretty much just a Blue Hawaiian.
7. What cocktail will you never order again?
A Seelbach. I have only ever ordered two and both times I took one sip and immediately ordered a different drink. Never again.