It's Cocktail Week, so Eater checked in with four Seattle bartenders to find out what ingredients are inspiring them, and what cocktails they're currently swooning over. From Shane Sarh's housemade huckleberry cognac syrup at LloydMartin on Queen Anne, to a Calvados old-fashioned at Damn the Weather in Pioneer Square, fall is definitely in the air in Seattle, and in glasses of cocktail enthusiasts across the city.
LloydMartin's Shane Sahr
Shane Sahr, longtime lead bartender at Tini Bigs, is back from a sojourn in Australia and behind the bar at LloydMartin on Queen Anne. New to the menu at this 21+ restaurant is the Kentucky Gun Bar. This cocktail features 100-proof rye whiskey, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters, and Sahr's own Huckleberry cognac syrup. "I love this cocktail due to the changing of weather," say Sarh. "Even though it's served chilled, it has plenty of spice to warm your insides. It has a complex flavor profile with a lot of hidden soft notes to balance the cocktail with every sip. This cocktail is on our ever changing cocktail menu, as I try and keep up with Chef Sam Crannell's amazing food offerings. I want to provide the same experience with my cocktails."
The Kentucky Gun Bar, by Shane Sahr
1 1/2 ounces James E Pepper rye whiskey
1⁄2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1⁄2 ounce housemade huckleberry cognac syrup
3 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters
Mist of Sound Spirits Aquavit
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until the drink is well chilled. Strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass and mist aquavit over the top of the drink. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Vito's Melissa Cross
Over at Vito's on First Hill, the Italian restaurant and lounge has long been regarded as one of the better drinking dens in the city, bartender Melissa Cross created The Underwood cocktail over the summer. But she had fall in mind. "I believe that Drambuie is delicious and under appreciated," she notes. "One night I was looking for complementary flavor for the wonderful honey notes in Drambuie and lighted upon Nocino. Walnuts and honey, of course! A bottled in bond rye provides a nice strong base here and the orange bitters provide just a touch of citrus."
The Underwood, by Melissa Cross
2 ounces Rittenhouse rye whiskey
1⁄2 ounce Drambuie
1⁄2 ounce Nocino
2 dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until the drink is well chilled. Strain the cocktail into a coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a piece of orange peel. Enjoy after dinner or as a nightcap.
Damn the Weather's Bryn Lumsden
Pioneer Square newcomer Damn the Weather offers us something old and old-fashioned made with Calvados, an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France. "Calvados is one of our favorite spirits at Damn The Weather," says owner and bartender Bryn Lumsden. "It's probably too delicious to mix with, but on the other hand, apple and cardamom love each other so much that we couldn't resist."
Calvados Old Fashioned, by Bryn Lumsden
2 ounces Château du Breuil Fine Calvados
1⁄4 ounce rich simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Scrappy's cardamom bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Dust lightly with fresh nutmeg.
Rumba's Jim Romdall
At Rumba on Capitol Hill, bar manager Jim Romdall launched Rum Map earlier this year. "It's a loyalty program to sample a considerable amount of rum from throughout the Caribbean," says Romdall. "Nathan Layman, a fellow bartender in Seattle, was the first to complete the map! We recently added this punch to the menu in honor of his feat."
Layman's Punch, by Jim Romdall
Makes 8 servings
In a large punch bowl or pitcher, muddle the peels of 2 lemons with 4 ounces sugar
Add 20 ounces freshly brewed black tea
13 ounces Santa Teresa Selecto rum
2 ounces Coruba rum
2 ounces Lustau amontillado Sherry
4 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
Serve over ice and garnish with grated nutmeg.