It’s tough to pick a focal point at the Fog Room bar in Seattle’s new Charter Hotel (official grand opening tonight!). There’s the view from the lounge’s station on the 16th floor, which extends over the downtown waterfront and the Great Wheel, the food, which melds Northwest seafood with Asian flavors, and a thoughtful cocktail menu developed by former Rob Roy manager Jesse Cyr.
Cyr’s menu includes classic cocktails like the Rob Roy and Sidecar, a few “spirit free” mocktails, some originals and a couple of options borrowed from other hotel bars, like Start Me Up, from New York’s NoMad Hotel, and the Lucian Bacchanal from The Old No. 77 Hotel in New Orleans. The latter are his homage to outstanding hotel bars and the original cocktails they’ve borne — a largely bygone concept.
“My goal with Fog Room is to have that idea of a hotel bar come back,” he says. “People used to come to hotel bars frequently, but that went out of fashion with Prohibition. I want this to be the best hotel bar in Seattle.” And, if he plays his cards right, perhaps a trendsetter in the region.
Cyr’s Kingslayer is his favorite drink on the menu. “It’s a cross between a Sazerac and a Manhattan, two of my favorite drinks,” he says. “The blanc vermouth plays nicely with brown spirits. Rather than absinthe, we use pastis [anise-flavored liqueur], which is a touch sweeter and has a lower proof. And the amari is just delicious.”
Makes 1 cocktail
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 bar spoon of pastis
1/2 ounce amaro
1 ounce blanc vermouth
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
Garnish: lemon twist
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain the drink into a chilled rocks glass (sans ice) and garnish with a lemon twist.