Join World Whisky Specialist and Candidate of Master of Scotch Whisky, Carolyn Sellar, as she tours the Seattle area to find three whiskey-based cocktails
I think the Seattle weather has decided that it is officially summer — finally! Summer is all about long sunny days and warm summer nights while sipping a refreshing and delicious cocktail. Of course, many summer cocktails that come to mind typically include vodka, rum or gin. But don’t forget about whisk(e)y!
Cocktails made from bourbon, rye and scotch are also being crafted into refreshing warm weather options. Join me as we explore three bars in the greater Seattle area that feature some incredible whiskey-based cocktails which will have you rethinking what your go-to summer sip should be.
Olympic Bar, Fairmont Hotel | Downtown
411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101
If you are downtown and want to have one of the most beautifully developed Scotch whisky cocktails in the city, pop into the Olympic Bar at the Fairmont Hotel and order Hijinks. This cocktail was crafted by award-winning cocktail creator and beverage director for the Fairmont Hotel, Jesse Cyr. Whatever stereotypes you had about scotch cocktails, imagine the opposite. This cocktail is made with X by Glenmorangie and focuses on the soft and delicate flavors that can be found in many Scotch whiskies. There is a playfulness and a little mischief in this drink — no surprise, given its name — as well as a delicate floral aroma from the chamomile and sherry and a brightness from the lemon juice, creating a unique flavor profile that is nontraditional for single malt scotch cocktails.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounce X by Glenmorangie
3/4 ounce Fino sherry
3/4 ounce chamomile syrup*
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Dehydrated lemon wheel for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds until well diluted. Finely strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.
Makes 24 ounces
3 chamomile tea bags
2 cups white cane sugar
2 cups hot water
Measure hot water into a heat-proof container. Add tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes, agitating every few minutes. Remove tea bags, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool and refrigerate.
The Barrel Thief | Fremont
3417 Evanston Ave. N #102, Seattle, WA 98103
North of downtown, The Barrel Thief in Fremont (aka the Center of the Universe), a favorite neighborhood bar, is showcasing an amazing summertime whiskey drinkappropriately named Galactic Center. This delightful bourbon-based drink is an ode to Seattle’s unparalleled summers. The green chartreuse represents our lush green landscape even on our warmest days and the seasonal fruit liqueur is bright and refreshing, not dissimilar to our cooling rivers, lakes and coastline..
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce rye (100 proof for spice)
1/2 ounce grapefruit liqueur
1/2 ounce peach liqueur
1/2 ounce green chartreuse
1 bar spoon rich Demerara sugar
1 drop cacao bitters
Orange peel for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a stirring tin with ice. Stir for 13-15 seconds until diluted. Strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel.
Civility & Unrest | Bellevue
10455 Northeast 5th Place, Bellevue, WA 98004
Another bar featuring a new summer whiskey cocktail takes us to the Eastside and the incredible dual bars of Civility & Unrest in Bellevue, Wash. This delicious rye-based cocktail is called Re-Dickel-ous (get it? Dickel Whisky?) and is created by Drew Jenkins, the operations manager of Civility & Unrest. Don’t let the cocktail name fool you — this drink is anything but ridiculous. It was originally created as a spin on a Black Manhattan, but it reminds me more of a Boulevardier. The CH Amargo de Chile Amaro gives this cocktail the bit of warmth and spiciness you need with your summertime fun. Even if you don’t live on the Eastside, this cocktail is worth the trip.
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces Dickel Rye
1/2 ounce CH Amargo de Chile Amaro
1/2 ounce Meletti Amaro
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes chocolate bitters
Toasted orange peel for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass jigger with ice. Stir 10 times. Pour into a bucket glass over a large ice cube and garnish with toasted orange peel.
So, when you are heading out to your favorite bars for those incredible summertime cocktails, don’t forget that whisk(e)y is made for summer — hence the saying “sunshine and whiskey.” And now that we finally have sunshine, it’s time to drink up. Cheers!
Sip Contributor Carolyn Sellar is a renaissance woman in the whisky and spirits world! She is the owner of Adventures in Whisky, a certified educator, event producer, branding consultant, and also a regional & national whisky, spirits and cocktail competition judge!