Merry memories of Millimallikas

In 2009 I took a month long epic journey for my 50th birthday to meet the first unmet friends. They were my pen pals and the story was published on the postcrossing blog Although the story was a bit long for the typical user spotlight post, it didn’t include many of the juicy details of the adventure. Therefore I’ve decided to flashback and extract some of these gems randomly from the archives.


On September 6 2008 I received this excellent postcard from Loona in Tallinn, Estonia. I sent her a hearty thank you message which started a very amusing exchange of emails. In my user profile I had described myself as a person who loves to write and travel and collect antiques and drink martinis. These were not my only listed likes but they were the ones that Loona used to create the image in her head which made me just like Carrie from Sex in the City. I felt obliged to reveal my true self as a woman who does not wear high heels, fur coats or lots of make up and there is absolutely no martini drinking in penthouse apartments. I haven’t really watched many of the episodes or any of those movies but that is the image I have of Carrie’s lifestyle. Loona held fast to her image until finally saying something like “Well, I like Carrie and I like you, so whatever!”

We continued to exchange cards until I invited myself to visit and she said okay. She met me at the airport and for some reason it was super duper awkward for the first hour or so. Maybe it was because I was so NOT Carrie? (Just kidding!) Honestly, I think there is always a moment of shock when you are trying to process the person you’ve only known on paper to the real human standing before you. I do remember Loona walking up to me and saying “I’d know you anywhere” which was such a sweet thing to say. Anyway, the antidote to awkward was drinking beer and from then on we had great times! Beautiful and delicate looking, this woman could possibly drink a 200 pound guy under the table and walk a straight line while still speaking perfect english! Seriously, she was kind of my drinking super hero 🙂 as well as a gracious host and good friend.


We hung out for 5 days, 3 in Tallinn and 2 on the island of Kihnu and there are several different stories I could tell but I choose Millimallikas at the Valli Baar. It is a famous working class dive bar from around 1969 where nothing has changed and no one would wish it so. If you google it you can watch lots of drunken youtube video of Americans drinking…apparently I was not the first but still I betcha Carrie has never stepped a stiletto heel into that establishment. The core patrons are crusty old timers but I’m sure it’s also attracting plenty of trendy hipsters these days. Here is the first thing I saw when I walked in the bar at around 5 pm:


I don’t think this would fly in Chicago but at the Valli bar it was no biggie. Loona and I sat at the bar and she ordered us the beloved shot, Millimallikas or “Jelly Fish”. She told me that it was a secret recipe but now the potion is splattered all over the internet: Tequila, Sambuca and tabasco. Yum! I loved the spicy concoction. The bar tender was a no nonsense, make up your mind, don’t ask any stupid questions or any questions period kind of a guy. I’m sure the two passed out dudes at the end of the bar could have gotten a smile out of that guy but not me, no way. If Loona wasn’t there I would have slunk out after the first drink and that’s if I had the courage to order! I remember we sat there at the bar and tried to teach each other how to say tongue twisting words. Millimallikas is not exactly a twister but the more I drank the better I could say it! Loona struggled with the word “brewery” which ironically,  was harder for me to say slowly while thinking and drinking! Go figure.

From what I’ve read about this place, there are all kinds of interesting shenanigans happening on any given night. Accordion and guitar playing old Estonian and Russian folk music, sing alongs and once I even saw a film of two guys standing on their heads doing shots ( I think? Maybe I dreamed that) While we were there it was pretty tame with just crabby pants bar tender, passed out dudes and us but I could easily imagine it’s crazy potential. It was such a slice of something completely unique. Now that I am bar tending I could be the one to bring the Millimallikas to Chicago. Maybe that’s too grandiose an idea like trying to make myself sound all Christopher Columbus but I’ll wager that I would be the first to pour it at !


4 Responses to “Merry memories of Millimallikas”

  1. 1 sby April 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I’ll come to Lizards for a Millimallikas!!

  2. 2 Inga April 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I was there to sample the bottom drips from the Millimallikas shaker!!! The first Millimallikas ever to grace ‘Lizards’ in Chicago!!! May I have another?!

  3. 3 rac April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I wonder if it’s hard to get that Sambuca thing in the city; I guess not.

    A friend told me that the new trendy way to drink a beer is with a shot of mezcal inside the glass of beer and gusano salt in the border of the glass. You should try, I’m gonna try. ja.

    I like theunmetfriend, it’s a warm welcome to see two guys that wasted; and it reads like chating with you in person.


    • 4 theunmetfriend April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Hey Ricardo!

      Sambuca is way easier to find then Mezcal which I just noticed on the menu of a popular Mexican restaurant for $15 per drink. Hurry up and bring one of those gasoline cans full of mezcal soon!!! I tried making the Millimalikas at the bar and my first attempt SUCKED. I can only guess on the proportions and it had too much sambuca. Maybe I’ll give it another try next time I work.

      Thanks for reading. It made my day to get your message 🙂 ♥♥♥♥♥

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