One of the biggest problems with owning a private dirigible is that they tend to be quite large. Even the compact version Mr. Harada and I operate is just shy of 250 feet. So, while I steered the Von Barfly above the squat skyline of the South Bay, Mr. Harada scanned the ground below with his standard-issue monocular. We identified an appropriate spot on highway 9, brought the Von Barfly down to landing height, unfurled the rope ladder, and staked in our safety lines between a group of Italian sports cars.

Jack Rose Libation House is located at the Highway 9 turnoff, where everyone passes by wondering what exactly is behind the sign that reads “La Hacienda.” Things have certainly changed. Jack Rose is a world-class cocktail bar: reclaimed wood, a casual ambience, excellent food, a decapitated Zebra, what looks like half the personal library of an English Lord, etc.

Mr. Harada and I weren’t sure how to proceed, so we took a seat on the deck and ordered crispy cauliflower, pretzels, house-made sausage, house-made meatballs, butterscotch something or other for desert and enough drinks to water the lawn.

Several thousand calories later, out of the back of the bar, we felt a force much greater than us approach. I heard the tell-tale click of cowboy boots as he turned the corner, wearing black jeans, a black cowboy shirt, and a devilish grin topped by a finely manicured, silver pompadour.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “how’s the evening treating you? Joey Myers.”

Our hands trembled as we reached to greet the legendary rockabilly/swing drummer/bartender. We shook “hello” and I pondered who else has had the pleasure of meeting Joey Myers: David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Iggy Pop, Lemmy, Eddie Nichols, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Pejack, and probably more women than an average human sees in their lifetime.

He’s one of those individuals who lives a dozen lifetimes at once. We share some sordid friends, and with the summer nigh Joey treated us to some seasonal drinks. They included:

The Little Orchard: A whiskey and peach number that takes advantage of the smokiness of both to create a sweet balance.

The Palm Reader: A pomegranate powerhouse that is sweet, smooth and tart.

Strawberry Margarita: You know what this is, but it’s better than you think.

Blackberry Ice Tea: Tannin from the tea and blackberry from the bush—a personal favorite.

Jack Rose Bloody Mary: The best we’ve ever tried. It doesn’t need anything. No meat, no pizza, no bacon on a stick to hide what it really is. Even with minimal garnish, it’s several bars above the rest.

As I struggled up the rope ladder into the Von Barfly, Joey winked at us from the redwood deck and disappeared. Was he ever there? He must have, but maybe…

Unless you have a dirigible, have someone else do the driving. The drinks are too good.

Jack Rose Libation House
18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Road, Los Gatos.