This week I’ll be writing about cocktailing around Tacoma bars. From the housemade peppercorn-infused tequila at Pacific Grill to the elderflower cocktail at Top of Tacoma and the Starburst-infused vodka at Varsity Grill – I’ve collected cocktail recipes from Tacoma bartenders – and tips for making the drinks at home. Have a cocktail you’d like the recipe for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment here.
Today: Pacific Grill’s Urban Bourbon and a peppery margarita
Tuesday: Elderflower cocktails at Top of Tacoma
Wednesday: Varsity Grill’s candy-infused vodka (think Starburst and jolly ranchers)
Thursday: Hotel Murano’s puckery drinks (and a twitter cocktail recipe contest)
Friday: Tempest’s obsession with basil and lime
Click more to read about Pacific Grill’s grown-up cocktails, including a margarita with a peppery sting.
At Pacific Grill, a margarita comes with a peppery kick. The tongue sting in Carol’s Margarita – named after bartender Carol Reutercrona – is delivered in the form of pepper-infused tequila. Reutercrona starts with a half cup of black peppercorns and a reposado tequila (she uses cazadores). She lets the tequila sit and steep for at least three days, but it gets even better after a week. Here’s how to make it, plus a recipe for an Urban Bourbon, a current favorite at Pacific Grill’s bar.
¼ ounce orange, sliced
¾ ounce Cointreau (orange liqueur)
2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
Muddle the orange slices. Add the Cointreau and bourbon. Stir and pour over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
Note: Bulleit Bourbon is a grownup taste. Its pronounced smoky flavor adds serious character to any drink. On its own, it goes down smooth. Some details about how the bourbon is made here.
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ouce Pomegranate puree (or substitute Pomegranate juice)
1 ½ ounce Tequila infused with black peppercorns (see recipe below)
1 ounce sour mix freshly made (At Pacific Grill, they mix lemonade with fresh grapefruit juice to make their sour mixer)
Shake ingredients together and serve in a salted bucket glass.
Black Peppercorn Infused Tequila
½ cup whole peppercorns
1 bottle (a fifth) of tequila reposado
For the tequila, use a good reposado—white Tequila won’t work for this recipe. At Pacific Grill, they use Cazadores. Combine the peppercorns and the bottle of tequila. Let steep for at least three days, but it improves with age. Steep for a week if you can wait that long.
Where: 1502 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma 98402
Info: 253-627-3535 or website here
Happy Hour: 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and 5 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays
Happy hour menu pick: For me, it’s always the kobe sliders with garlic fries, thin-cut potatoes fried with whole cloves of garlic and sage and rosemary. Hands down the best fries in town.