Kicking off March 1 and running a full eight days, Seattle Cocktail Week returns to celebrate the libations of its namesake city and surrounding area. More than 60 participating bars and liquor brands team up to showcase the best in the Seattle drinking scene, with events like the Cocktail District (a spirits, cocktail and food festival going down at the Bell Harbor Conference Center on Saturday, March 7) happening throughout.
From three of the Seattle area’s best bartenders, these three cocktails are ones you can make at home or have in the flesh at the bar top.
“The Browning Derby is an updated rendition of the classic cocktail Brown Derby,” says Kyle Browning, bartender at Soi on Capitol Hill. “I always had wanted to make this cocktail due to the obvious and silly play on my last name.”
Because this drink is for the advanced home bartender (challenge accepted), Browning is happy to make you his namesake drink at his bar.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce dry curaçao
1/2 ounce grapefruit oleo saccharum (recipe below)
1/2 ounce honey syrup (recipe below)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
2 dashes bitters
3 drops saline solution
Garnish: grapefruit swath
Add all ingredients into a mixing tin, add ice, cap and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a grapefruit swath.
For the grapefruit oleo saccharum, set an immersion circulator to 135° F. Carefully peel a grapefruit trying to avoid pith. Weigh grapefruit peel in grams and measure equal parts white sugar. Vacuum seal sugar and grapefruit peel together and cook in water bath for 2 hours, taking time to massage peels and sugar every 30 minutes to incorporate into syrup. Strain through chinois.
For the honey syrup, measure 3 ounces honey with 1 1/2 ounces of hot water. Stir together well until fully incorporated.
Coffee Old Fashioned
Heartwood Provisions Bartender Michael Cadden created this zero proof cocktail to offer a high-caliber sip without the booze. Beverage Director Amanda Reed applauds his use of craft ingredients to make a tasty zero-proof cocktail.
“The low and no proof movement is definitely on the rise,” Reed says. “Since Heartwood is known for craft cocktails, the team was getting a lot of requests for creative, custom mocktails. It was an opportunity to showcase all these wonderful ingredients we make in-house and to provide our guests with a sensational experience, with or without the booze.”
Makes 1 cocktail
3 ounces cold brew (regular or decaf)
1/4 ounces demerara syrup
3 dashes Fee Aromatic Bitters
3 dashes Fee Orange Bitters
Garnish: orange peel
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a bucket glass. Add regular ice or a large cube. Garnish.
For the first time, Seattle Cocktail Week is including the Eastside, and Bellevue’s Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi was primed to participate with this complex, four-ingredient sipper.
“The Monkey Business cocktail is a blend of our Las Vegas and Bellevue cocktail history,” says Charles Lee, Ascend’s lead bartender. “We were ‘monkeying around’ with old recipes from our past experiences and came up with this iteration, something from Vegas and Bellevue.”
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/4 ounces Bulleit bourbon
1/2 ounce Antica vermouth
1/2 ounce Gifford banana liqueur
4 dashes walnut liqueur bitters
Garnish: candied walnut, brûléed banana
Combine in a mixing tin and stir with ice. Strain over big ice cube in a bucket rocks glass. Garnish with candied walnut and brûléed banana.