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Tag: Tacoma craft cocktails

July
11th

Sip on this: Summery cocktails from Hilltop Kitchen and Smoke + Cedar

One of Dean Shivers' signature cocktails, an Old Smoky at Tacoma's Smoke + Cedar restaurant. Drew Perine/Staff photographer
One of Dean Shivers’ signature cocktails, an Old Smoky at Tacoma’s Smoke + Cedar restaurant. Drew Perine/Staff photographer

With summer heating up, so is my thirst for cocktails. Recently, I encountered two lounges with cocktails worthy of your attention. My first stop was Smoke + Cedar for the smoky creations of Dean Shivers, lead bartender at the new Tacoma restaurant. My second stop was Hilltop Kitchen, the Tacoma lounge with a menu of Latin-leaning sippers. Read on. Read more »

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.
17th

Thirsty Thursday: Checking in with Jason Alexander of Tacoma Cabana

Today, I’m starting an occasional series I’m calling Thirsty Thursday where I check in with Tacoma brewers, cocktail slingers, sommeliers and other Tacomans who work with booze. Today’s Q&A is with Jason Alexander, the king of Tacoma tiki drinks and co-owner of Tacoma Cabana with business and life partner Robyn Murphy.

Alexander collected a cocktail following in Tacoma when he was bartending at Villa Cafe and Imbibery, the restaurant he and Murphy opened in 2010 before opening Tacoma Cabana in October 2012. At Villa, Alexander developed his own style of blending fresh squeezed fruit juices with housemade

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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.
3rd

Local buzz: Tacoma honey on the menu at Crown Bar

Last week, Crown Bar bartender Chelsea O'Sullivan began serving the West Slope Honey Bee, a cocktail made with honey from bees raised by Crown Bar and Primo Grill owners Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner. Photo courtesy of Crown Bar.

Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner, owners of Primo Grill and Crown Bar on Sixth Avenue (opened in 1999 and 2007, respectively), have carefully sourced Tacoma-grown ingredients for years. On select weekend nights, they’re known for roasting whole pigs raised by Tacoma farmer Cheryl Ouellette (known as Cheryl The Pig Lady to, well, everyone in the universe).

Last week, they went hyperlocal on the sourcing – they started serving cocktails at Crown Bar made with honey that came from the bees they raised in their backyard, a project they started two years ago with two hives. Read more »