World Cocktail Day: Oliver’s at the Mayflower Park Hotel

The Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle is home to Oliver’s Lounge. They’ve been there since 1976, and have the distinction of being the first cocktail lounge in Washington State to be built after the “blue law” was repealed that prevented bars from having windows through which passersby could see in (or customers could see out). Oliver’s made marvelous use of their legal freedoms, surrounding the back-bar with grand windows so that customers sitting at the bar could look out on the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle.

Last year was Oliver’s 30th Anniversary, and with it also being the 200th Anniversary of the cocktail, it was destined that Oliver’s and The Museum of the American Cocktail plan some events around this. Through the year, Oliver’s was host to several well-attended cocktail seminars, and so this year as World Cocktail Day approached, they were anxious to be part of the celebration.

At last night’s event, they started off by showcasing their “Paradigm Shift” cocktail. Using Belvedere Vodka and Plymouth Gin. After first demoing the proper construction of the cocktail to attendees, they gave everybody a chance to make their own. Patrick, the head bartender, carefully took everybody through the steps necessary to properly combine the ingredients, shake, strain, and then garnish the drink with a flourish. After this brief exercise, it was clear to all that bartending isn’t quite as simple as it might seem at first.

We next moved from modern to historic, by showing the guests how to make a cocktail that embodies the form the original cocktails would have taken, the Old Fashioned, Made with Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey. We prepared this drink a few different ways, showing how the recipe has been altered (both for good and bad) throughout the years, and allowed the guests to choose which one they thought was the better version.

Paradigm Shift (The Signature Cocktail for the evening)

  • 1/8 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. squeezed Texas Ruby Red grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. fresh in house made raspberry lemon lime sour
  • 2 oz. Belvedere vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Plymouth gin.

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a raspberry.

Old Fashioned (the winning variation)

  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey

Add simple syrup and bitters to an Old Fashioned glass. Half fill glass with ice, and stir briefly to combine. Add whiskey, and stir briefly to chill. Flame a small slice of orange peel over the ice, and drop in as a garnish. Stir briefly to combine. Add a maraschino cherry as garnish. Serve with sip straws.

Oliver’s at the Mayflower Park Hotel
405 Olive Way
Seattle, WA 98101

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