There’s a lot going on for the Thompson Hotel group. Part of the Hyatt collection of hotels, the Thompson pops up in metropolitans across the globe from Washington, DC, and Cabo San Lucas to Seattle. In honor of the new DC location’s recent opening and a nod to the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, the Emerald City spot created Her Day, a gin-forward sipper with ties to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Considered the “First Lady to the World,” Mrs. Roosevelt would often make trips from DC to Seattle to visit her daughter, Anna. Her son-in-law John Boettiger was the publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in the mid-1930s and, in the wake of a 1936 newspaper strike, he appointed Anna to serve as the Women’s Page editor. Whenever the First Lady was in town, she would use these offices to write “My Day,” her daily newspaper column that ran in papers across the country.
Roosevelt is also allegedly responsible for bringing the ever-present cherry blossom trees from the Northwest to DC, one of her many claims to fame as a First Lady. Bartender at the Thompson Seattle, Lexi Birkebak brings all of these ties together in a cocktail recipe for Her Day. Featuring a gin and genever — the Dutch ancestor of gin — from Portland’s female-run Freeland Spirits, Birkebak also includes a Japanese cherry blossom vermouth and rhubarb liqueur, topped with a brut sparkling rosé.
“This is a refreshing day drinker with a lot of character with the gin and genever combined,” Birkebak says. “The vermouth is one of my favorites and the cherry blossom ties into Eleanor. The cocktail is elegant but bold and robust from the genever.”
A rye-based spirit, Freeland’s genever, titled Geneva, contributes a unique, malty flavor to the drink, Birkebak notes, while the vermouth is floral, the rhubarb slightly bitter and the brut rosé adds a splash of bubbles.
As a finishing touch, Birkebak rims the cocktail glass with a rosemary sprig before dropping it in. “The key to the rosemary garnish that puts off so much aromatics when sipping but not taste is, just like with mint, you slap it a few times,” she says. “Rosemary is so easy and it goes a long way, you just do a dusting around the rim.”
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Freeland Spirits gin
½ ounce Mancino Sakura Vermouth
¼ ounce Freeland Spirits Geneva
¼ ounce Giffard Rhubarbe
¼ ounce lemon juice
1-2 ounces brut rosé sparkling wine, as a float
In a cocktail shaker, pour in all ingredients with ice, cap, shake and strain in a tall glass over a large ice cube. Top with brut rosé and garnish with rosemary.