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Monday, July 11, 2016

Root Beer Barrel Shot at Green Parrot Key West

Originally published on

Photo by Felipe Correa
It was a warm, muggy afternoon, and the sky couldn't decide between a drizzle and a downpour. As I walked in with my buddy, a seasoned tour guide and regular at the Parrot, the bartender, Annie, threw down some coasters in front of us, and said to him, “You’re late.” I wanted something cool and refreshing, but the Parrot is not the kind of place you order a frozen drink. I mean, you could, but everyone would look at you like you were a rookie who took a wrong turn off Duval Street. 

With mix of locals and visitors-in-the-know settled in for a lazy afternoon at the parachute-draped bar, the building dates back to 1890. Covered in old signs (Key West Pirate and Torture Museum, anyone?) the walls looked like a memorial for all the businesses gone on to the great chamber of commerce in the sky. The root beer barrel shot has been a Green Parrot tradition for over 20 years, most of them not even listed on a drink menu. I ordered one up, and the blonde-ponytailed Annie efficiently filled a highball glass with Miller Light and then dropped a shot of root beer schnapps inside. As the glass clinked to the bottom she urged, “You have to drink it fast.” I tossed it back, and it tasted like a long cool swig of root beer straight from the tap. I immediately ordered another, and I wasn’t alone. Soon the bar was lined with shots glistening with condensation, as the other patrons said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

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