Photo Credit: DiasporaEngager, the World's #1 International Diaspora Engagement Social Media Network Platform (, by Courtesy of Dr. Roland Holou. © All Rights reserved.
Photo Credit: DiasporaEngager, the World's #1 International Diaspora Engagement Social Media Network Platform (, by Courtesy of Dr. Roland Holou. © All Rights reserved.

The Seattle Skyline In Spring

Brad Japhe

Few cities know how to celebrate spring as properly as Seattle. The bustling capital of the Pacific Northwest famously deals with a deluge of dampness throughout much of winter. So when the sun starts to shine here, locals take full advantage. Bartenders are prepared with refreshing cocktails to match the mood. And since the Emerald City holds no small number of talented professionals, options are a plenty.

If you’re a fan of quality mixed drinks, you’d be wise to explore this part of the world sooner rather than later. But if that’s not in the cards, fret not. Bring a taste of springtime Seattle to your home bar. Here are some recipes from a couple of the city’s most accomplished mixologists.

The Katie Elder Cocktail

RockCreek Seafood and Spirits

Just Make It A Julep

“Never underestimate the Mint Julep,” explains Adam Grimshaw of RockCreek Seafood & Spirits. “Mint, spirit and crushed ice is a great foundation for any cocktail.” It doesn’t just have to be the classic rendition on Derby Day. There are a number of variations that work well whenever the weather is heating up.

Grimshaw subs out the standard bourbon for a barrel aged gin in his ‘Katie Elder’ cocktail. The botanicals of the base spirit are balanced out by amaro and a Moroccan Mint Tea sweetener that heightens the drink’s herbal thrust. To construct it at home, you’ll need to boil down a simple syrup of equal parts tea and sugar (about 1 cup each). Then adhere to the following recipe:

Katie Elder:

1.5 oz barrel aged gin

.5 oz mint syrup

.5 Amaro nonino 

Muddle spearmint with Moroccan mint tea syrup. Add spirits and crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

A Garden In A Glass

Grimshaw is fan of the food-friendly cocktail. And as the menu of the restaurant evolves with what’s in the garden, so, too, do the modifiers at his bar. “We always want a noticeable relationship with our cocktails and our kitchen,” he adds. “Whatever fruits, vegetables, produce are in the kitchen, we get inspiration from for our cocktails.”

Spring in Washington is all about the rhubarb — a versatile plant that’s often cooked down and sweetened into a fruit-like finish. Grimshaw makes a simple syrup out of it, which is then unfurled to jazz up a French 76 riff. To make it, you’ll need to roast the vegetable on low heat (250 degrees Fahrenheit) for one hour to suss out the desired richness. Then mix in one cup of sugar and one cup of water with the roasted rhubarb, stir it around and strain. The rest is easy.

Rhubarb 76:

1 oz vodka (or gin for a French 75 variation)

.5 oz lemon

.5 oz rhubarb simple

2 oz cava sparkling wine 

The Rhubarb 76 By Adam Grimshaw

RockCreek Seafood and Spirits

A More Elaborate Aperitif

Barnacle is consistently ranked as one of the top bars in the country. To say they focus on amaro is a bit of an understatement; they have more than two hundreds bottles of bitters lining the back bar. Although it’s commonly associated with winter, this category of spirit adapts to accommodate all seasons.

“Spring is a great time for us as an amaro and bitters bar, especially,” observes Brady Sprouse, bar manager at Barnacle. “We love to highlight those bright and crushable spritzs, gin-tonics, Negronis (and all its variations), etc. Spring is a perfect time to enjoy those post-work, pre-dinner apertivo drinks and bites.”

Sprouse — like Grimshaw — is a fan of working rhubarb into spring elixirs. He just added a bitter and bright mezcal cocktail onto the menu, using a verjus blanc infused with the sweet stalk. “Verjus is the tart, fresh-pressed juice of unripened wine grapes,” Sprouse explains. “It’s often used for cooking but can be a great non-alcoholic ingredient on its own or to brighten up spirits.” Here it is used in an elaborate preparation he calls ‘The Space Cowboy’.

Be forewarned — Sprouse and crew specialize in what he describes as “weird stuff.” This translates into advanced recipes which take some tinkering to perfect in the home bar. If you’re ready to give it a spin, however, you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing and complex final product.

The Space Cowboy:

1oz Mezcal

.75oz rhubarb infused verjus* (recipe below)

.5oz Lillet Rosé

.5oz rabarbaro amaro (we use CH Bitter Dog, a rhubarb root bittered amaro, or rabarbaro from CH Distilling out of Chicago. Another more well known and accessible rabarbaro that would work in it’s place is Zucca Rabarbaro)

.5oz floral gentian liqueur (we use New Deal Distilling Cascadia Bitter from Portland but any floral gentian aperitif like Suze or Avéze would work here)

*Rhubarb Verjus

1 cup chopped rhubarb stock

.5 cup cane sugar

.25 cup water

750ml verjus blanc (any specialty foods store should have it)

Combine rhubarb, sugar and water in small pot over low heat until sugar dissolves and the rhubarb starts to break down. Remove from heat and add to verjus, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 to 48 hours. Strain and it’s ready to use.

Brady Sprouse Constructing The Space Cowboy at Barnacle

Brady Sprouse

Source – Brad Japhe, Contributor. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (