My only gripe as the sun begins to peak out of the clouds here in Seattle, Washington and as the temperatures rise is the lack of whiskey cocktails I see on bar menus. Bourbon makes its grand appearance in mint juleps during the Kentucky Derby then seems to fizzle out in favor of lighter spirits such as vodka or gin, usually combined with citrus or a floral liqueur. As a gal who prefers whiskey year-round, I decided to tap the great minds at Seattle’s Brave Horse Tavern for some inspiration.
Nestled into the booming South Lake Union neighborhood of the city, the Brave Horse distinguishes itself from the renowned Tom Douglas’ other restaurants as a beer and whiskey lover’s paradise. Every year, for example, the bar/restaurant hosts a “Pappy Hour” that celebrates the highly coveted spirit with a flight and paired food experience.
Bar manager and resident whiskey lover Brian Dalbey, who has been with the company since it opened in 2011, was kind enough to craft some seasonal drinks and share them with us. In exchange, I promised to remind our readers that they should not be afraid to mix base spirits together. Enjoy!
Rye Pineapple Smash
- 1.5 oz of Rittenhouse or Jim Beam Rye
- ½ a Lime
- 5 mint leaves
- ¾ oz pineapple gum syrup
Firmly press the lime and mint leaves in a mixing pint glass. Add the pineapple gum syrup and rye. Top with ice. Shake vigorously with a metal strainer, and then strain into a cocktail glass over fresh ice. Garnish with sprig of mint.
This drink is bright and fruity without the sweetness.
The Dirty Bird
- 1 oz. Wild Turkey 101
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- ¾ oz. Tuaca
- ¾ oz. Hot Monkey Pepper-Flavored Vodka
Combine the ingredients in a mixing pint glass. Add ice and shake using a metal cocktail shaker. Double strain into a coupe glass using a hawthorn strainer and fine strainer to ensure that there’s no pulp or ice chips.
This dirty bird is an unexpected perfect balance of flavors with a little bit of a spicy kick.
The Rusty Roy
- 1¾ oz. Banknote Blended Scotch
- ½ oz. Drambuie
- ½ oz. Carpano Antica
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine the ingredients in a mixing pint glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass using a hawthorn strainer. Garnish with fresh orange peel.
Mr. Dalbey’s signature drink invites Scotch drinkers everywhere to rejoice, grab a seat on the patio and sip generously.
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I am an avid whisk(e)y drinker born and raised in Seattle, Washington. My love for the drink developed at an early age when I had the privilege of living and studying in Galway, Ireland where I visited many distilleries. Since then, I’ve worked at bars with exhaustive selections of whiskey...