Nicholas Hall

Nicholas L. Hall is a husband and father who earns his keep playing a video game that controls the U.S. power grid. He also writes about food, booze and music, in an attempt to keep the demons at bay. When he's not busy keeping your lights on, he can usually be found making various messes in the kitchen, with apologies to his wife Lori, his daughters Cecilia and Juliette, and his son Joshua.

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Behind the Backbar at Houston’s The Pastry War

In “Anatomy of a Backbar” we get to know the world’s most notable spirits programs in five bottles. This round, The Pastry War, where responsibly produced agave spirits are sourced from distillers the bar knows personally.

Inside Houston’s Iconic West Alabama Ice House

In his “Bar Tripping” column, photographer Daniel Krieger travels the world to capture its most unique and photogenic bars. This week, he hits Houston’s West Alabama Ice House, a watering hole that’s been offering cold beer, food and community to an ever-changing neighborhood for nearly a century.

Drunken Socialism: The “Break-Even Bottles” Bringing Rare Spirits to the People

Bars around the country are offering up pours of rare and expensive bottles at cost, in a new form of drinking egalitarianism dubbed #DrunkenSocialism. Nicholas Hall on the growing practice of offering these “Break-Even Bottles.”

The Ritual of the Shift Drink: Houston’s Anvil Bar & Refuge

The hallowed ritual of the shift drink may take a different form at every bar, but it inevitably serves the same purpose: letting the staff exhale at the end of service. This it how it all goes down at Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston.

Inside Houston’s Dry Neighborhood and Its Private Drinking Clubs

Just a stone’s throw from downtown Houston is Houston Heights, the city’s only dry neighborhood. Nicholas Hall explores the quirky area, the archaic law that keeps it alcohol-free and the rash of new “private clubs” that have found a boozy loophole.

The Art of the Unmeasured Cocktail

Sometimes, the beauty of an experimental or intuitively measured cocktail lies in its irretrievability. Nicholas Hall on living outside of ratios and formulas and in the moment of the “splash drink.”

The Ever-Evolving Texas Icehouse

Once pre-refrigeration outposts for ice sales, South Texas’s historic “icehouses” transitioned into bars and community centers in the ’40s and ’50s. Today, a handful remain in Houston as evolving bastions of the city’s old drinking traditions.