After changing ownership hands last summer, The Gerald is ready for its time in the spotlight. The craft cocktail bar and gastropub, found in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, still has many of the same faces locals came to rely on since its 2012 opening, but new ownership alterations came in the form of a new paint job, decluttering, better lighting and, most importantly, the menu.
While the kitchen focuses food on gastropub mainstays like truffle fries, deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese, pork belly slides and duck confit tacos, the bar’s cocktail menu has made the most impressive updates — and the bar staff strives to revise and rotate it quarterly with the seasons.
Ready for both spring’s entrance and Seattle Cocktail Week — which runs until Sunday — bar manager Katie Frazier and her team bring their A-game to the new menu with the aquavit-forward All the Wilde Things.
“Inspired by Oscar Wilde and springtime, [the drink] captured the whimsical, complex, childlike storytelling of Oscar Wilde,” Frazier says of the drink’s name. We “also wanted to explore aquavit, a nod to Scandinavian roots here in Ballard.”
The drink marries House Spirit‘s Krogstad aquavit with bouncy citrus juices, a honey simple syrup and broVo Spirit‘s Pretty — a dry, white vermouth. “Krogstad, with notes of caraway, anise and orange peel, provides a clean base and foundation to build this cocktail,” Frazier adds. “Pretty expands those flavors from Krogstad and adds floral elements.”
The cocktail also includes a float of fernet that Frazier says elevates the drink to another level of complexity with bitterness, a slight briny note and herbal, anise tones. While she uses an Italian amaro for this fernet, we recommend keeping it local with the rendition from Townshend’s Distillery.
All the Wilde Things
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces House Spirits Krogstad aquavit
1/2 ounces broVo Spirits Pretty vermouth blanc
1/2 ounce honey-simple syrup
1/4 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce fernet
In a mixing tin, combine all ingredients except the fernet and shake with ice. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass and top with the fernet by slowly pouring down the side.