The Hollywood Tavern was around long before Woodinville, Washington, was known for its wine country. First as a corner service station in 1922, the site was converted into the original Hollywood Tavern in 1947 by local resident Mabel Nieman. She turned the roadside bar into a fixture of the community that poured strong drinks, pumped quarters into a jukebox for music and kept its Olympia Beer sign lit at all hours.
That sign is still in the window today, and is an honorary throwback to what the Hollywood Tavern has been for the Washington drinks community in its tenure. New ownership and an almost-complete overhaul was undergone in 2013 and the community (and beyond) continues to been eat and drink at the time-honored establishment.
With more than 100 winery tasting rooms within city limits — and the acclaimed distillery Woodinville Whiskey right next door — the Hollywood Tavern focuses its drinks menu on local spirits that pay homage to the tradition of the space. For the Woodinville Sunset, Thomas Self, co-owner and managing partner, thinks a bit outside of the box in using tequila — as the classic Sunset cocktail calls for — in this spin.
“We tasted this with a silver tequila and then tasted it with the reposado, and [that] really came through more and added another dimension to the cocktail,” Self says. “Though the oak in Hornitos is subtle, it was just enough to complement the floral notes of the St-Germain and the passion fruit… We always want the spirits to shine in our house cocktails and this is no exception.”
Self admits this cocktail gets its name more from the color than to the traditional cocktail itself but, like a Tequila Sunset, it is a tequila drink made for sunshine enjoyment and warmer days ahead.
Ideally those days will be spent on the Tavern’s expansive patio that looks out at the surrounding wine valley, and with one of the kitchen’s new small plates. Self recommends the new lamb wraps.
“We top flour tortillas with ground North American lamb, a cilantro-mint crema, tomatoes, cucumbers and a drizzle of the famous Sriracha,” he says of the dish. “The savory lamb, the fresh herbs and produce and the spice of these wraps would go well with our easy-drinking cocktail.”
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces Hornitos reposado tequila
1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1/4 ounce passion fruit purée
1/4 ounce simple syrup
In mixing tin, pour in all of the ingredients, add ice, cap and shake vigorously. Strain into Martini glass.