Building a Home Bar: Part 1, The Space

by Sonja Groset

For anyone who enjoys making cocktails at home — including myself — it can be tough finding the space for…


From being a morning time hangover cure while at the same time being a downright delicious, ailing vegetable sip and a tailgater’s best friend, there’s nothing quite like a Bloody Mary. With just the right mix of Northwest ingredients, fresh spice and the taste of freshly picked garden morsels, you can transform yourself into the most important person during the pre-game.
The Mary mix itself is the base to the entire structure, outside of your Northwest vodka selection, of course. St.

Nic Lee has spirits down to a science. As a North Carolina native with an intuitive penchant for moonshine, it was only natural when the Glacier Distilling Co. founder repurposed his chemistry degree accordingly, swapping white lab coats for whiskey barrels in an equally meticulous endeavor.
Since the winter of 2010, Lee and team’s operation has been a fixture in the small community of Coram, Montana.

Gin lovers — and even haters — know it’s the unique blend of spices, herbs and other botanicals that give gin its unique flavor. If you love juniper, you lean towards classic, London dry-style gins like Beefeater. If you loathe juniper, however, you might prefer the modern, milder style of gin popularized by Hendrick’s or even Aviation in Portland.

As summer winds to a close, we can reflect back on the past several months and all the spirited ways we enjoyed the warm, sunny days and evenings. Rosé, cold-brewed coffee and frosty beers are part of the regular lineup but when it comes to cocktails, the season provides unique opportunities to create cold, refreshing libations.
One of my favorite ways to create cocktails in the summertime is by getting out the blender.

The world of imbibers is largely divided into three worlds: cocktail drinkers, beer drinkers and wine drinkers. There are still plenty of consumers, myself included, that are what I refer to as “equal opportunity drinkers,” imbibers who find pleasure in alcohol of any kind. So what do you do if you’re a beer-centric restaurant and bar wanting to entice the cocktail-loving crowd? You create cocktails with a splash from one of the taps.

Growing up, I very distinctly remember the smell of lemon cookies and cakes baking in my mother’s oven. As a child, however, these were not my favorite sweets. I much preferred ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies or a plain piece of white cake with chocolate frosting. Now, as an adult with a more mature palate, I appreciate the citrus flavors that turned me off as a child and I see myself following in my mother’s footsteps.

In 2008 Washington lifted a law that made it difficult for would-be craft distilleries to set up shop in the state. The new law now allows these micro-distillers special tax breaks and the ability to operate tasting rooms, under the condition that at least 51 percent of the ingredients come from Washington. This created a boom in the state’s craft distilling industry, as Washington now has more distilleries than any other state and Seattle more than any other city.

A good cucumber pickle is only as good as it’s brine. Traditionally, dill pickles are flavored with fresh dill, mustard seeds, dill seeds and maybe a few other savory herbs. When pickling other produce — like carrots, peppers, garlic, rhubarb or watermelon rind — just about anything goes. Making gin also requires a great deal of herbs, spices and other botanicals, which is where Seattle’s Batch 206 Distillery comes onto this common ground with these brined cucs.

The best time for a margarita is when the sun is beating down, mid-summer, after all duties of the day are checked off the to-do list. Kicking back on a patio, beach, boat or in the comfort of your own living room is where this sip shines.

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