By Lisa Shell
Summer in the Pacific Northwest is something to be savored. Because the season comes and goes so quickly, we have to make the most of it while it’s here. Whether that means spending long days at the beach with a good book, enjoying a backyard barbecue with friends and family, or just taking advantage of the longer, warmer days, these things can all be made even better when enjoyed with a thirst quenching drink in hand. Making your quest for the perfect summer quencher a little bit easier, Grays Harbor-area bartenders share their recipes for their favorite summer cocktails.
Westport Winery has numerous excellent wines. With names like Boom Runner, Bordello Blonde, Dawn Patrol, Duckleberry Grunt, Pineapple Express, and Peaches on the Beaches, you are sure to find just the precise sip of sweetness to accompany any meal. They also offer specialty drinks. Have you tried sipping a cocktail made from Westport Winery’s in-house “float?” You should try it, it’s a pleasing experience. A “float” consists of fortified Riesling and neutral grape spirits and is offered to purchase in a memorable glass-ball float. It makes a great gift or souvenir. You can sample it, sipping on the sweetness as you stroll the gardens at the winery.
I asked co-owner, Kim, “What is your favorite drink on the cocktail menu?”
Kim Roberts (who happens also to be an artist, author, dog lover, ex-charter boat skipper, gardener, and surfer) said,“I love the ‘Stop, Grope and Roll’ with the Pixy-Stix rim.”
Here’s the recipe for our readers to try it at home.
Stop, Grope and Roll
Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in lime juice, then add a Pixy-Stix to sugar the rim.
In a cocktail shaker with ice add:
4 ounces wild berry lemonade
4 ounces Float
Shake and strain into the martini glass.
For more recipes like this one, check out Westport Winery’s Float Cocktails.
Meet “Izzy Mix,” head mixologist at Rediviva. Rediviva is a restaurant in Aberdeen offering cuisine prepared fresh with a special focus on Northwest ingredients. Izzy hails from the east coast, where she began her bartending career. She was an instructor at the ABC Bartending School in Miami just prior to relocating to Aberdeen.
Recently, my husband and I sat with a few other “locals” around the bar and I asked Izzy what she recommended. I shared that I usually drink a rum and coke with a twist of lime. Izzy said this is called a Cuba Libra. During this visit to Rediviva, Izzy handcrafted an “In Bloom” just for little ole me. She shared the recipe for us to try and replicate at home.
2 ounces Backbeat Bourbon (Seattle)
½ ounce Lazzaroni Amaretto (Italy)
½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (Italy)
Beet syrup (made in-house)
Egg white and topped with cherry bitters
Izzy said her favorite on Rediviva’s libation list is “Ebb Tide.” A mixture of EBB&FLOW Vodka, passion fruit syrup, lavender liqueur, Pernod, fresh lime and egg whites. Rediviva invites you to join them and choose a new favorite from their libation list.
Happy hour is 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Reservations at Rediviva are highly recommended for dinner and parties of six or more. They are open Tuesday- Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. To make a reservation call 360-637-9259, or reserve your seat online here.
The entire wait staff at Mill109 can mix drinks. Mill109 offers a bit of a refuge to travelers arriving at the premier vacation destination town of Seabrook. The restaurant and pub opened in January of 2011. They offer classic Northwest cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I found the staff welcoming, friendly, and willing to answer any and all questions I had. It was Friday evening, about 6 p.m. I walked past the customers sitting at the tables outside and entered through the front door.
When I walked in, Jake greeted and seated me right away. He asked if I’d like a drink.“What do you recommend?” I asked, and he suggested the bloody Mary. “Okay,” I said. I do love a good bloody Mary. I was a little hesitant because this is one of those “hit or miss” drinks. Sometimes they are delicious and sometimes they taste, well, just a bit stale for my taste buds.
I was pleased that the service bar area was located just to the left of where I sat at the counter because I was able to watch Jake pour my vodka over the ice (I counted along in my head, one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand…) then he mixed it with the house bloody Mary mix and finished it with a garnish of large, green olives, celery, red pepper and lime.
What a perfect recommendation for a hot day – especially after the long drive to Seabrook. Wow! This bloody Mary was a sight for sore eyes and it quenched my thirst. My spirit was instantly refreshed. My beverage was good from the first to the last sip. Afterwards, I was satisfied and ready to stroll the path to the beach.