Raise a glass to 2013

Local bartenders, restaurant owners and mayor share favorite holiday libations




New Years Eve is upon us, and once again the age-old question arises: What’s the best drink to ring in 2013?

Clark County bartenders, restaurant owners and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt have a variety of opinions on the subject. And The Columbian asked them to share their favorite recipes for the celebration with our readers.

The most important thing, of course, is to find a drink that bests suits your tastes, whether it be a classic cocktail, fancy signature concoction or even something decidedly more beery, if that’s a word.

But whatever your preference, you’re likely to find something to enjoy from their recommendations, which include a little bit of everything.


Bourbon Maple Cider

From: Suzy Taylor, owner, The Grant House restaurant

1 1/4 oz Temperance Trader Bourbon

1/4 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz maple syrup

dash of nutmeg

dash of cinnamon

apple juice

rocks glass

Mix ingredients in cocktail shaker and give it a quick shake, pour into rocks glass.

Tips: Serve with a lemon slice as a garnish.

Quote: “For New Years you could make a big batch and serve it like punch. It’s warming and makes you cozy.”

Location: The Grant House, 1101 Officers Row, http://thegranthouse.us/, 360-906-1101. The bar will serve the drink through the New Years holiday.

Classic Manhattan

From: Michael Watts, bartender, Low Bar

2 oz Bulleit rye whiskey

1/2 ounce Doulin Rouge sweet vermouth

dash of bitters

martini glass

Combine whiskey, vermouth and bitters in a separate glass with ice. Stir, don’t shake, then strain into martini glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Tips: Eat the cherry at the end, it absorbs the rye and has a nice complex flavor. “It’s great to share with somebody,” Watts said.

Quote: “It’s more of an older fashioned drink. It looks really nice and it tastes really good too.”

Location: Low Bar, 809 Washington Street, http://www.lowbarlounge.com/, 360-718-8378. The bar always has this drink available.

Beer Float

From: Eric Surface, owner, Mt. Tabor Brewing

Peppermint or vanilla ice cream

stout, porter or Imperial stout beer

pint glass

Put a scoop of ice cream in the bottom of the pint glass, then fill with 14 ounces of beer.

Tips: You can use any ice cream, but coffee and chocolate tend to muddle the flavor, Surface said.

Quote: “I make those from Christmas through January. My favorite is doing it with my own stout, but of course I’m partial.”

Location: Mt. Tabor Brewing, 113 W. Ninth St., http://www.mttaborbrewing.com/. Customers can buy growler fills of stout beer to make the drink at home. No ice cream or freezers available in the tap room.

Kahlua Cockroach

From: Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt

1 oz Kahlua liquor

1 1/2 oz tequila

rocks glass

Simple. Pour tequila and Kahlua into the rocks glass. Drink.

Tips: For a little added excitement, set it on fire briefly, extinguish flames, then drink with a straw from the bottom of the glass. Some websites suggest garnishing with an orange twist. Leavitt, who found the recipe in a magazine, said it’s his favorite drink this holiday season.

Quote: “It’s a pretty simple drink and it’s tasty, too. The Kahlua really balances out the tequila.”


From: Dennis Kinsey, bartender, Birch Street Uptown Lounge, Camas

1/2 oz white crème de menthe

1 1/2 oz Remy Martin VS cognac

martini glass

Combine crème de menthe and cognac in a separate glass with ice. Stir for about two minutes, then strain into martini glass.

Tips: The original recipe is 1 oz crème de menthe and 1 oz cognac, but Kinsey says that’s too strong on the sweetness. “The original overpowers the cognac,” he said.

Quote: “With this time of year, it’s a very elegant, very classy drink. It goes down easy. And if it’s good enough for Cary Grant, it’s good enough for us.”

Location: Birch Street Uptown Lounge, 311 N.E. Birch St., Camas, http://www.birchstreetuptownlounge.com/, 360-210-7219. The bar always has this drink available.