Like many, Abigail Gullo is a big fan of Netflix’s show “The Crown.” The assistant manager and bar manager of buzzy restaurant-bar Ben Paris in downtown Seattle’s The State Hotel, Gullo is able to bring her affection for British royalty to her bar menu.
Her cocktail, Dash & Willow, is modeled after Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite cocktail, Gin & Dubonnet, and named for a number of furry friends. “We were watching both ‘The Crown’ and the PBS series ‘Victoria,'” she says. “By we, I mean myself and my two pups, Ronnie and The Bandit. They also inspire me daily and are good couch surfing buddies… Dash is the name of Queen Victoria’s first dog, and Willow was the name of Queen Elizabeth’s last corgi.”
The libation features barrel-aged gin — Gullo recommends Seattle distillers Copperworks or Batch 206 — French vermouth Dubonnet, lemon and a house-made clove-peppercorn syrup garnished with fresh thyme.
“Barrel-aged [gin] brings a deep spice note that plays well with the clove and peppercorns, it gives it full body to stand up to the Dubonnet too,” Gullo says, noting the Queen imbibes one of these on the daily. “The fresh thyme garnish represents the courage these ladies had to have to rule.”
A versatile sip, the bartendress says it pairs nicely with some of Ben Paris’ lighter dishes, like the cobb salad, but can also hold its own next to the sumptuous burger or savory duck pasta.
For an experiential cocktail encounter at Ben Paris, assemble a crew to enjoy this sip in person — the bar offers tableside cart service for groups of four and larger, making everyone involved feel like royalty.
Dash & Willow
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce barrel-aged gin
1 ounce Dubonnet
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce clove-peppercorn syrup*
Garnish: sprig fresh thyme
Pour all ingredients into a mixing tin, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.
*In a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorn, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cups sugar then bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Combine and let cool, then strain out the solids. Bottle and refrigerate. Yields roughly 1 1/2 cups.