TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Tag: Tacoma cocktails

Dec.
31st

New Year’s Eve toast: Checking in with Brian Johnson of Better Cocktails at Home

Pictured here, Brian and Brooke Johnson on Tacoma. They produce a web show called Better Cocktails At Home. Photo courtesy of the Johnsons.
Pictured here, Brian and Brooke Johnson on Tacoma. They produce a web show called Better Cocktails At Home. Photo courtesy of the Johnsons.

Followers of my occasional cocktail features will remember Brian Johnson, the gritty Tacoman who works in marketing by day and hosts his own cocktail show via the web by night (literally -they film the episodes at night after their 3-year-old is put to bed).

I checked in with Johnson on what he’s drinking for New Year’s Eve and what he’d recommend for those hosting a party. Find more of his cocktail advice at his YouTube channel, Better Cocktails At Home. Read more »

Oct.
24th

Thirsty Thursday: Checking in with Brian Johnson of Better Cocktails at Home

Pictured here, Brian and Brooke Johnson on Tacoma. They produce a web show called Better Cocktails At Home. Photo courtesy of the Johnsons.
Pictured here, Brian and Brooke Johnson on Tacoma. They produce a web show called Better Cocktails At Home. Photo courtesy of the Johnsons.

Brian Johnson’s not a bartender, but he plays one on video. The Tacoman is one year and 54 episodes into a  video hobby that tells Tacomans how to make better cocktails at home. That’s also the name of his weekly video series on YouTube.

Johnson’s not the kind of guy who will spend an episode dictating how to steep your own digestif with 324 varieties of hand-harvested forest herbs or how to dust a rim with magic truffle glitter. That’s because he’s lazy. (His words, not mine.)

To make a better cocktail at home, Johnson’s edict is simple. Keep a well-stocked bar. Learn to balance sweet with sour. Use the right spirit with the right mixer. And, most of all, invite friends over to drink your mistakes.

Here’s Johnson’s take on his weekend hobby as a video bartender.

Read more »

July
10th

Booze news: Primo Grill and Crown Bar add Northwest spirits to the cocktail menu

Photo courtesy of Plattner.
Photo courtesy of Plattner.

Primo Grill and Crown Bar – the restaurant and bar on Sixth Avenue owned by Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner – have forged a spirit partnership with Seattle distillers Big Gin and Rain City Vodka. Cocktails made with those and other Northwest spirits can be found at both Tacoma restaurants. Read more »

Feb.
28th

Opening in Tacoma – Hilltop Kitchen, a second cocktail lounge from the owner of 1022 South

Cocktails at 1022 South are crafted from unusual ingredients and flavors.
Cocktails at 1022 South are crafted from unusual ingredients and flavors.

The Hilltop is getting a second craft cocktail lounge from the owner of 1022 South. Chris Keil plans a mid to late-spring opening for Hilltop Kitchen, a 49-seat cocktail lounge and eatery in the space where Tempest Lounge operated from 2005 until last September.  He’ll open Hilltop Kitchen with Matt Schweitzer, a managing partner at Cal’s Classic American.

The theme at Hilltop Kitchen – or HK, as Keil called it in a phone interview – will have a niche focus on categories of spirits Keil finds interesting – namely, Latin American spirits.  He talked at length about agave-based and Latin American spirits mezcal and pisco. Rum, whiskey and genevers also are spirits that Keil is considering. Keil said he may return to where he started when he worked at Monsoon Room – 1022 South’s precursor -  tiki style cocktails. Expect less of the Latin American spirits on the menu at 1022 South as Keil directs cocktails there toward gin, whiskey, brandy and sherry. Read more »

Oct.
12th

Drink to this: Cocktail recipes from Tacoma bars

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 tntdiner@thenewstribune.com or just comment here.

The lineup:
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.

Read more »

Oct.
6th

Looking for cocktail recommendations

We’re mixing up a cocktail story here in the newsroom. Does anyone have a cocktail they can recommend that was enjoyed at a South Sound bar or restaurant? (Though send us your homegrown cocktail recipes, we’d like those, too). Comment here, post recipes, or e-mail tntdiner@thenewstribune.com