Spirit in the bottle
Anyone who joined the Naftalys at Sambar knows Sara makes a mean cocktail. Spirit in the Bottle, Marmite’s interior bar and nocturnal sister, follows in that same tradition. All ingredients are treated with care. Nothing is done simply to get it done. Much like Marmite, Spirit in the Bottle is all about the details: flavors that grow as you sip, that bite of citrus cutting through Fall’s hearty meals, a moment to savor by yourself even among friends.
From 4 until 6pm Tuesday through Friday at the bar, as well as Marmite’s chef’s counter and outdoor patio, Spirit offers a happy hour lovingly called Fine Diving. Snacks and $7 cocktails like the Mid Century Modern with bourbon, bitters, sour cherry, orange and soda make this happy hour far more than fine, but when you dive into our avocado on rye with salted caramel and pickled rhubarb you’ll know what we mean. Join us inside Marmite at Spirit in the Bottle for cocktails, a quick bite on your way, or wind down over dinner. Spirit in the Bottle is inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s 99th tale, a smart story about a woodcutter and his son who taught us growing up that cleverness comes best from the combination of education and instinct.
If you need something to read while you sip check out our telling of the Brothers Grimm’s 99th tale below…
Spirit in the Bottle, Grimm’s 99th Fairy Tale (a condensed but spirited telling):
Many years ago a loving father spent his life cutting wood to save enough money for his only son to be educated so that he too would not spend his life in hard labor and be able to support his father in old age. When the time came for the youth to be educated his father’s savings ran short before the young man fully learned a new trade and he was forced to return home. With a desire to be helpful in supporting his family the young man urged his father to let him cut wood, but the old man knew his son to be of soft hands and keen mind rather than physical strength. He was proud of his son’s cleverness and did not want it to be wasted on a life of hard labor but eventually he relented. After borrowing an ax from their neighbor the two set off to cut wood from the forest to sell. The father was correct that his son was easily tired and so his son instead set off to wander the forest. Low and behold while wandering the young man came across a genie trapped in a bottle sitting on the roots of a tree!
The genie cried out and begged for freedom, promising a reward to the young man for his release. Compassion - and perhaps a hint of greed - took hold and the young man released the spirit from its' bottle only to find his reward would be death. However, this is not the end for our friend! Recall that he is quite clever and do not fear, for the young man said to the genie, "Not so fast! First I must know that you really were shut up in that little bottle, and that you are the right spirit. If you can indeed get inside again, then I will believe it, and you may do with me whatsoever you want." The genie, a creature of more hubris than intelligence took on the challenge with glee and returned back to his bottle only to have the top shoved right back on, finding himself quite stuck again!
Realizing he had been tricked the genie offered a reward but this time our hero was far more wary. Being quite wise for his age the young man knew he was not one to be cheated twice. But after hearing the genie’s pitiful begging and knowing himself to be capable of yet again tricking the genie should the creature betray him the young man decided to release the monster, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Luckily this time his confidence was rewarded! Instead of threats, the genie rewarded him with a rag that heals wounds and turns steel or iron to silver. Both went their own ways never to cross paths again, each with far more freedom than before.
Now it would have been easy for the young man to live in luxury and riches without another day of hard work but this was not in his character. After returning to his father and relaying the tale he used the rag to create enough silver to both allow his father to retire and to continue his own studies, where with the help of his magical rag the young man became the most successful and famous doctor in all the land.
What do we take away from this tale? Treat those who help you with kindness or you will find yourself back in need of help again. While cleverness is a truly valuable skill it’s only useful if you are willing to work hard and use it wisely. Even when given the chance to live a leisurely life the young man chooses to work for his coin, with a bonus earned by his intellect. We’ve also learned that hubris is dangerous and allows one to be easily tricked, which is no good at all! We chose this story to inspire Spirit in the Bottle because it represents our own lease on life: work hard, think smart, and never get too big for your britches because that’s when your pants fall down.