Downtown Spirits - Seattle

The Best Turkey Recipe


- 1 Turkey
- A slab of the best smoked bacon you can find
- High quality butter
- 3-12 Jalapenos (depending on your preferred level of spice)
- Fresh garlic and onions
- Olive oil
- Fresh rosemary
- Bourbon (I usually use Maker's Mark. Anything better is not worth cooking with)
-100% pure  maple syrup
- Salt & pepper

- Whole grain bread
- Carrots and celery
- Onions and garlic
- Brie cheese (or any creamy cheese that is to your liking)
- Merguez (this is a Moroccan lamb sausage, a good substitute would be a spicy andouille cajun sausage)
- White wine
- Milk or cream (optional)
- Salt and pepper

(Photo credit: Sara Moulton Enterprises)


1) Stick whole grain bread in the oven

2) Line the bottom of the turkey pan with Washington state grown apple slices.

3) Sautee onions in a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil.  Add garlic and Jalapenos after 
onions just start becoming clear. Add salt and pepper.

4) Add a generous amount of Bourbon, butter and turkey necks to the pan. After a couple of minutes, 
lower heat to a simmer and add the fresh rosemary.  Allow the concoction to simmer for at least 30 
minutes (add Bourbon to the mixture or to a personal tasting glass at your leisure).

5) While the bourbon sauce is simmering, you can work on the stuffing.  At this point, the whole grain 
bread should be nice and crunchy, overcooked and slightly burnt.  Take it out of the oven and cut it up 
into large crouton size chunks.

6) Cut up the celery and carrots and combine with bread chunks in a large bowl.

7) Cook and slice the sausage and combine with other ingredients.

8) Add lots of brie and about a quarter cup of white wine.

9) Stir the bowl.  If the ingredients are not combining properly, add milk or cream.

10) Stuff the Turkey with the stuffing.

11) Now that you have stuffed the Turkey, you can get back to the delicious Bourbon medley.  Take a 
cooking syringe and inject the sauce throughout the bird.  Focus extra attention on the breast, as it is 
the part of the animal that is most often lacking in moisture.

12) Pour extra bourbon sauce over the bird and allow it to settle at the bottom of the turkey pan.

13) Coat the turkey with maple syrup.

14) Lay bacon slices across the turkey so that the entire surface is covered. Make sure that no turkey 
flesh is exposed.  

15) Cook it up! I'm sure you will know how to judge when it is fully cooked.  It always depends heavily on 
the size.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 
Downtown Spirits will be open from 11 am to 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day (November 22).

Grey Goose Punch Series


Grey Goose Vodka launched the Grey Goose Punch Series, a collection of four short films hosted in four major cities around the US. The vodka brand visits LA, New York, Chicago and Miami bringing together some amazing chefs and bartenders with tips on mixing up the perfect cocktail and the perfect party. Each event captures the unique ambiance and culture of the four different cities with a cocktail recipe to match the locale's lifestyle. Catch the short films HERE and give these recipes a try!

The Lakeshore Punch

5 parts Grey Goose La Poire

4 parts Pear Nectar

3 parts Elderflower Liqueur

2 parts Fresh lime juice

2 parts Mint water

1 spoonful of cucumber

The Hamptons Punch

5 parts Grey Goose Cherry Noir

4 parts Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

3 parts strawberries

1 part Basil syrup

The West Hollywood Punch

5 parts Grey Goose Original

4 parts Grape juice

2 parts Fresh lemon juice

5 whole Star Anise

3 parts Blueberries

3 parts Grapes

1 whole Orange

The South Beach Punch

5 parts Grey Goose L'Orange

4 parts Grapefruit juice

3 parts Water

1 part Agave syrup

- Meru Belbayeva

Staff Pick Thursday - Oola Rosemary Vodka and Demitri's Bloody Mary Mix


In honor of Fall's arrival and Demitri's Bloody Mary Mix appearing on our store shelves, this week's featured cocktail is a Bloody Rosemary.

I wrote a bit about Demitri's Bloody Mary Mix in our previous post, but let me add here that I'm a bit a Bloody Mary snob.  For a long time, I wouldn't have believed that there was a mix out there that could equal a well-crafted scratch Bloody Mary.  That changed when I moved to Seattle and started working at bars that carried Demitri's.  Now I can't remember the last time I actually bothered to put together my own spice blend, Demitri has done the work for me already.  I might add a little something here or there if I'm feeling saucy, but as far as base seasonings go, Demitri's is tops in my book.

We're going to pair his awesome Bloody Mary mix with an equally awesome vodka, the Rosemary flavored vodka from Oola Distillery.  Oola is one of the new crop of craft distilleries that have been springing up in the state in the last few years, and they're one of my favorites.  They make great small batch vodka, gin, and whiskey, and have some of the friendliest staff around.  I highly recommend you visit their tasting room to take a look at their operations.  They're up on the hill at 1314 E Union.

Their Rosemary Vodka is distilled from organic winter wheat from Eastern Washington and infused with local blue rosemary.  It's got a great clean rosemary flavor that stands up nicely to the tomato and spices in the Bloody Mary mix.  It's 84 proof and comes in a 375 ml bottle.  Our current stock on hand is from Batch no. 3, Case no. 4. 
Recipe for the Bloody Rosemary is as follows:

1.5 oz Oola Rosemary Vodka
3 oz Demitri's Classic Recipe Bloody Mary Mix (this is as mixed with tomato juice, not straight)

Pour those into a mixing glass full of ice and shake.  Don't shake Bloodies to hard or they can get foamy, you just want to do enough to mix the ingredients well.

Pour the contents of the mixing glass into a serving glass rimmed with Demitri's Rimshot rimming salt.  To rim a glass with salt, run a lemon wedge around the top of the glass and dip it lightly into the rimming salt.  Generally after shaking, you'd strain the liquid over fresh ice.  With Bloody Marys I feel like too much flavor is lost that way, so for this one just pour it all in.

Our garnish for this one is super simple, just a sprig of rosemary to give a nice scent as you're drinking it.  I don't think this Bloody needs a lot of 'salad' on top to make it pop, but the choice, as always, yours.

Jawn Wakefield

The Best Bloody Mary Mix in Town

With Fall finally arriving, the drinks of summer have passed and the palate prefers a more savory, spicy flavor.  It's Bloody Mary season.

Long a staple of Sunday Brunch and cold weather drinkers, the Bloody Mary perfectly combines tomato juice, Worcestershire Sauce, pepper, spice, citrus and vodka to create what some have called the world's most complex cocktail.  

It's generally agreed that the Bloody Mary originated at Harry's New York Bar in Paris around 1921, after Fernand Petiot improved on a recipe by comedian George Jessel which called for equal parts tomato juice and vodka.  Petiot added Worcestershire and spice, and the modern Bloody Mary was born.  The name Bloody Mary is a reference to either Queen 'Bloody' Mary I of England, best known for persecuting Protestants, or to a waitress named Mary at a Chicago bar called Bucket of Blood, best known for possibly being the origin of the name Bloody Mary.  There are some who say it was named after actress Mary Pickford, but as she's already got a cocktail named after her (light rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, Maraschino) I'm going to let one of the other two take this one.

After getting some requests at the store lately for Bloody Mary mix I was asked which one we should carry.  I had one answer.  Demitri's.

Demitri Pallis was a bartender at the New Orleans jazz club here in Seattle, and was unhappy with the inconsistency of their Bloody Marys.  He decided there had to be a better way, and after more than a year of experimentation he came up with his perfect blend of spices and began serving it at the club.  As word of the fantastic Bloodies there spread, other bartenders in the neighborhood started using his recipe, and soon enough he began producing it for everyone to enjoy.

We're currently carrying all four flavors of Demitri's Bloody Mary mix, Classic, Extra Horseradish, Chilies and Peppers, and Chipotle-Habanero, as well as his two rimming salts, classic and bacon-flavored.  Be aware that these are concentrated seasoning blends meant to be mixed with tomato juice.  Adding them directly to vodka will make a more potent beverage than most people are looking for.  The ratio is 2 ounces mix to 1 quart of tomato, so the 8 oz bottles we carry will make a gallon of Bloody Mary mix, enough for a handle of vodka.  If you need more than that we're also carrying 16 oz bottles of Classic Recipe, which will yield 2 gallons of mix.

We'll leave it up to you to decide what you'd like to include for the 'salad' of garnishes that traditionally finishes off a good Bloody.  Popular choices are pepperoncinis, pickled vegetables, cocktail olives and onions, and more recently, bacon.

For an excellent North of the border variation try Canada's favorite, the Caeser, with Clamato replacing the tomato juice.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So come on down and grab a bottle of Demitri's fabulous Bloody Mary mix along with your favorite vodka and enjoy the best Bloody Mary in town with brunch (or as brunch) this weekend.

Jawn Wakefield

The history behind one of the steadfast rules of Bourbon whiskey

One of the steadfast rules of Bourbon whiskey is that it must be aged in new white American oak barrels that have been charred inside. This step in the production process gives Bourbon its color and flavor from the caramelized sugar in the charred wood. One of our readers, James Shepherd, tipped us off that it was Evan Williams who was the originator of charring barrels before aging. James writes:

"When I went on a distillery tour in Kentucky they said that the reason for the charred oak is because of Evan Williams. A frugal preacher and whiskey distiller, Williams used to make corn whiskey and ship it down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans in oak barrels. One night there was a fire in his barn where the barrels were stored. Since many of the barrels were still intact and only charred he saw no reason for new barrels and filled them with corn whiskey anyway. Over the next 6 or so months before the casks were opened in New Orleans the whiskey soaked into the wood, taking on the flavors of the oak. As he got more and more requests for this "New Brown Whiskey" he decided to char all 
of his barrels and up the cost of whiskey."

Smart man. No wonder Evan Williams flies off the shelves at Downtown Spirits.  

- Meru Belbayeva

On account of it's game day - a Seahawks inspired cocktail recipe

It's game day in Seattle and the Seahawks are taking on the Patriots. Amp up your tailgating with this Seahawks inspired cocktail:

The Emerald City

8 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
4 oz. Midori melon liqueur 
4 oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
1 splash of Sweet & Sour mix
1 Splash Sprite soda

Pour into an ice filled glass

- Meru Belbayeva 

Written by Meru Belbayeva — October 14, 2012

Hakushu & the Japanese Ice Ball

One of the great perks of being in this industry is getting the chance to taste some incredible products. Recently, I got to try The Hakushu, a 12 year old single malt from Suntory Whisky. I was at an event at Vessel in Seattle where I had the pleasure of meeting Neyah White, the West Coast Brand Ambassador for Yamazaki. Neyah gave me a run down of the difference between Scotch and Japanese whisky, then handed me a glass of Japan's lesser known export. I'm still getting comfortable with whisky vernacular, but I can tell you this - Hakushu is good. It's bright, clear and memorable. To give you a better description, I set out to do some research. Here is what I found on the Suntory Whisky site:

Color: pure gold 
Nose: fresh green leaves, green apple, pear, soft smoke
Palate: sweet pear, butter cookie, crisp
Finish: soft, pleasantly smoked, dry

This description is accompanied by some impressive accolades  - 2009 & 2010 IWSC Gold, 2011 SWSC Double Gold. 

Something else I stumbled upon during my search was this video taken at The Summit, a New York City bar. Here, Gardner Dunn, Suntory's National Brand Ambassador, reveals the importance of the ice ball in Japanese whisky culture. 


- Meru Belbayeva

Plymouth Gin Distillery Tour

Take a video tour of England's oldest gin distillery from the master distiller himself. Sean Harrison takes you around Plymouth Gin's 213 year-old distillery located in Plymouth, England. I'll say no more and let the master show you around his crib (video courtesy of Cool Hunting).

Staff Pick Thursday - Noah's Mill

The best part of operating a spirits, wine and beer store is the opportunity to taste new products. Today we happened to sit down to try a selection of bourbons from Kentucky and beyond. Not being the biggest bourbon fan myself, I sat through most of the tasting with a puckered look on my face as the sour mash flavoring hit me.

Noah's Mill, however, was this scotch lover's tasty reprieve. Smooth with bold characteristics, it's obvious that they've used quality ingredients. Meru and I have joked about taking an educational trek around Scotland to learn about scotch, but perhaps a less exotic location is calling: Kentucky?

- Marques

Bleeding Heart Martini


It's that spooky time of year when goblins are out, and cocktails are strong. Today's pick is the BLEEDING HEART MARTINI which is easy to make and is certain to please.

Ingredients (4 servings)

2 parts Dolin Dry Vermouth

8 parts Uncle Val's Botanical Gin

4 pickled baby beets (skewered)


Frost martini glasses in the freezer. When sufficiently chilled, add Vermouth, split evenly. Swirl until each glass is coated, and then empty. Add gin to the cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake vigorously. Pour into frosted glasses, and add 1 pickled baby beet to each to garnish.

Please Drink Responsibly

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