La Rocio

Once upon a time, I worked with a guy at Union named Dave Nelson. Dave had worked his way from being a busser, to a waiter then to bookkeeper. But what he really wanted to do was tend bar.

What the hell he was thinking, I'll never know. But he worked a couple times for me and I showed him a few things I knew. Dave always has (probably always will, God bless him) been extremely confident in himself, bordering on cocky. After a few shifts, Dave declared himself ready to be a full-time bartender/mixologist. Eventually, he found himself doing just that at Campagne, a renowned French restaurant with a bar that sat something like 5 people.

Somehow, someway, within two years, Dave was asked to be the bar manager for a new gastropub called Spur. Dave threw himself into the task of opening the joint and has, within a few months of Spur being open, thrown himself into the mix as one of Seattle's better bartenders.

He's grounded in the classics (I like to think I helped hammer that into his head) but his own creations are amazingly inspired. Take his tequila drink currently knocking them out at Spur, La Rocio. He wrote it out for me, so I'll just copy verbatim what he wrote:

1 1/2 oz silver tequila
1 oz stone fruit syrup*
1/2 oz red wine
top with red wine foam**

"Chill rocks glass with ice. Shake tequila, syrup and red wine. Discard ice in rocks glass and fill halfway with red wine foam. Strain drink over foam into glass. When performed correctly foam should rise to the top without spilling over."

*Stone Fruit Syrup
1/2 qt rainier cherries
1/2 qt white peaches
1/2 qt plums
1/2 qt apricots
1/2 qt nectarines
2 cups sugar
3 cups water

"Boil water and add sugar. Cut, pit and juice fruits. Steep in sugar water for 25 minutes on low heat. Strain off ffruit and cool in fridge before serving."

** Red Wine Foam

2 cups red wine
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup simple syrup
1/2 tsp egg white powder
1 tbs methyl cellulose

"Blend all ingredients until creamy and foamy. Load into canister and add CO2 charge."

That's a lot to do for a lazy guy like me, especially when I can just beat over to Spur and have Dave do all the work (which I'm glad to do). Let's just say, though, that this is a revelatory tequila cocktail, absolutely delicious and goes down FAR too easy, which is a compliment.

I'm definitely proud for Dave and the kick-ass work he is doing at Spur and glad to share his cocktail recipe. It deserves to duplicated in kitchens and bars around the globe.

Oh, and the name? Apparently some hot chick Dave met in Argentina or Mexico and still has a red-hot jones over. . . perfect.

Look, Ma, I Made the Paper!!!!

. . . . and in the good section, too (The What's Happening section...quick aside, as just saying the phrase What's Happening reminds me of The Rerun Dance... sigh, I miss the 70's), and not the Front Page, which is definitely not where my mom wants to see me.

In any case, the Hemingway Daiquiri I once made for Leslie Kelly inspired her to include it in her list of the top 8 cocktails of this summer, appearing in this Friday's Seattle Post Intelligencer. For those of you who prefer to read their news online as opposed to buying a paper, you can find that article here.

Andy Rogers, the photographer, is a really cool and laid back guy, and I'm sure he's too busy with fatherhood to mind if I shamelessly swipe his photo for the blog, and since I'm encouraging EVERYONE to buy the paper, I'm hoping the PI doesn't mind as well.

Oh, and the Hemingway Daiquiri?

2 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. maraschino liquer
dash of simple syrup

Shake above, then strain into a goblet (or Cognac glass) filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime twist and two cherries on a pick.

We Did It!!!

August 3rd, Seafair weekend here in Seattle, with boats plying the waters of Lake Union and seaplanes soaring overhead, Christine Nylin and I got married on the Skansonia Ferry. Words hardly do the experience justice. It was the greatest day of my life, and I'm humbled and lucky to be Christine's husband.

Some shout-outs are in order. . . Thanks to both sides of our families, to all who came and celebrated with us, to the staff at the Skansonia, to our photographer Erich Ruff, to Ethan and Angela Stowell for helping procure the booze, and to all at the Zig Zag, who hosted an extravagant and special after-party with all the class we've all come to know and love.

Finally, I'd like to thank our wedding party. Each and every one of you mean the world to us and all of you worked so hard to help make our day one we will never forget. I'd especially like to thank Kate Halfwassen, Christine's Maid Of Honor and Sean Twomey, my Best Man. You two worked tirelessly and took amazing care of us. We can't thank you enough, although we will certainly try, again and again.

To all who were there, whether bodily or in spirit, we raise our glasses to you. Thank you for the best wishes.