Citrus comes into its own this time of year, something bartenders are hoarding when it comes to a less-than-fertile produce season. At Civility & Unrest, the new cocktail lounge from restaurateur Jason Wilson in Bellevue, Washington, providing guests with seasonal libations that speak to the nature of the drink is priority No. 1.
“A majority of the amazing cocktail programs on the Eastside [of Seattle] are an addition to a restaurant’s food program,” says Erick Armentrout, beverage manager of the boozy operation. “We are drinks first. Coming to Civility & Unrest is about a social experience based around classic cocktail culture, blended with modern techniques.”
That blend is seen in the New Kur, a citrus-laced, vermouth-heavy gin cocktail featuring nearby Wildwood Spirits‘ Kur gin. “I found a recipe in an old tiki bar guide called a ‘New Century Cocktail,'” Armentrout says of the drink’s inspiration. “We fiddled around with a few versions until we got this version. The original was a bit lighter with a tart finish; our version has a really nice spiced citrus flavor with a soft, warm finish.”
According to the bartender, the Spanish Sherry-based vermouth in the recipe adds spice and a rich hint of red wine, while the Dolin Dry, a classic backbar ingredient, also adds to the weight and depth of the citrusy grapefruit. In using the Wildwood gin, Armentrout says he is able to play with the juniper and Seville orange flavors from the distillery’s chosen botanicals to brighten up the drink — and your gray winter day — even more.
Try your hand at the cocktail here, and bring a little brightness to your day.
The New Kur
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Wildwood Spirits Kur gin
1/4 ounce Lustau Vermut
1/4 ounce Dolin Dry vermouth
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
Dash grapefruit bitters
Garnish: grapefruit strip
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing tin. Add ice, cap, shake and strain the drink into a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit strip.