No one has ever thrown me a pity party when I whine about needing to “hit two more bars tonight for work.” Part of the barhopping goes to picking the Happy Hour of the Week. On these tipsy excursions, I also pick up gossip and tips from bartenders, barflies and hipsters with ironic mustaches. I’ll share these tidbits along with other random thoughts on this blog periodically. First post starts…now.
Best cocktail I had in May: Coin Toss at Rumba on Capitol Hill. It’s a rum cocktail that originated at the speak-easy style bar Death & Co. in the East Village. It’s a nice surprise if your only brush with rum is in a Mai Tai or daiquiri. This is a more sophisticated, spirit-forward drink. The herbaceousness of the chartreuse and benedictine brightens the rum, and the vermouth’s vanilla note rounds out the drink nicely.
Best beer I had in May: Sun of a Beak, a collaborative brew between Black Raven Brewing in Redmond and Midnight Sun Brewery in Anchorage. This limited edition porter is available at Brave Horse Tavern though will likely sell out by the weekend.
Cocktail/happy hour menus that caught my eye: Oddfellows features $5 happy hour cocktails daily from 4-6 p.m. The new ChicoMadrid on Capitol Hill has a $5 sangria and a $4 kalimoxo (red wine with coke) for happy hour and sidewalk seating, perfect for those shorts-and-sandal afternoons. BOKA in downtown started serving spiked popsicles, including a frosty banana split. The popsicles are discounted on Tuesdays during happy hour ($7-$9).
I mentioned the great dive bar Hooverville in SoDo in this week’s Q&A. I was there last month where everyone was doing Fireball shots at a bachelor party. Have you had it? It tastes awful, but it’s the most popular shot in the Seattle bar-and-nightclub scene now, especially for the 30 and under set. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky tastes like cheap booze maksed with a candy-sweetness that’s a cross between a cinnamon gumball and a Jolly Rancher.
This week, an early happy hour get-together started at Smith, which offers $5 negronis (during happy hour 4-6p.m. daily). Best $5 cocktail in Seattle. Then we crossed the street to Ethan Stowell’s Rione XIII. It’s one of the best kept secrets for happy hour on the Hill. it’s a perfect place for folks who consider happy hour almost a dinner instead of a snack. It’s also good for large parties. The happy-hour menu is not posted on web, but I snapped pix of it.
For the home mixologist to try: Jim Romdall of Vessel is one of 10 national finalists who will compete in the Roses Bourbon/ Magic City Cocktail Competition in Louisville on June 10. Below is the winning recipe that got him there.
1.5 oz Four Roses Bourbon Single Barrel
.5 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
.5 oz Vallet Amargo Angostura
1 barspoon Art in the Age Root
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.