There are few things louder, prouder and bolder than Texas BBQ. Which is why when Dallas-native Jack Timmons opened his namesake Jack’s BBQ in between Seattle’s SoDo and Georgetown neighborhoods, he knew he had to do it right. Down to the a 22-foot smoker, one of the West Coast’s largest, and the quality meat he cooks inside, Timmons understands he is setting a precedent in the burgeoning Seattle BBQ scene, even behind the bar.
“At Jack’s, we love classic cocktails — like Manhattans, margaritas — and cocktails that have a Southern, BBQ flair,” the pitmaster says. “Like our Smoked Old Fashioned, where we smoke oranges and brown sugar in our BBQ pits, or the Lonestar Rose where we use fresh watermelon, or the Morning Paper where we use Ruby Red grapefruit. I moved to Seattle in the late 80’s and my bartender at Il Bistro was Murray Stenson — so he’s a huge influence on me.”
Finding inspiration in the lauded and innovative Seattle bartender, Timmons and team have taken their Bloody Mary game next level: using their house five-pepper BBQ sauce as the seasoning to the tomato juice-infused vodka sipper.
“We use five different whole peppers in our BBQ sauce that round out the spice profile with tomato, vinegar and Worcestershire that are common to a Bloody Mary,” Timmons explains. “Just a splash of our sauce makes it a Jack’s unique version.”
Although Jack’s primarily uses Austin’s Tito’s Vodka, when going local he prefers Glass Distillery’s barrel-aged vodka for its smokey qualities that match well with BBQ.
“At 99.9 percent of BBQ joints in Texas, you wait in line to get your BBQ,” Timmons says, noting the wait can be anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours if the place is popular. “I’d rather sit down and have someone bring me a cocktail so I can relax and enjoy the experience. The BBQ will get there when it can, but I love having a nice cocktail, enjoying the atmosphere and the company of my friends.”
Jack’s Bloody Mary
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces vodka, Tito’s for Texas pride or Glass Distillery to go local
4 ounces tomato juice
1 ounce Spicy BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 ounce olive juice
2 dashes Tabasco
1/2 ounce Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon grated horseradish
Garnish (optional): cucumber, olives, lime and pickled okra
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Shake and pour into salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with the cucumber, olives, lime and pickled okra — or a slab of thick-cut bacon like they do at Jack’s.
Spicy BBQ Sauce
One of the proprietary sauces that makes Jack’s BBQ some of the best in town, this recipe yields more than enough for the cocktail and should supply you for your next smoking or grilling session at home.
Makes 2 1/2 quarts
3-4 chipotle chiles
1/3 cup pickled jalapenos
2 guajillo chiles
1 arbol chile
2/3 cup cayenne pepper
1/4 cup smoked simple syrup (made 1:1 from smoked brown sugar)
1 1/2 28-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cup chile powder
1/3 cup paprika
2 tablespoons toasted cumin
Place the whole chiles in medium pot, add water to cover and simmer until chiles are soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Strain the chiles out and, in a blender or food process, puree to a complete paste without any chunks. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the puree and simmer in large pot. Cook until it is thick and saucy, about 45 minutes.