No, I’m not going to boast about my holiday projects (plus, I’m thinking more South-East Asia than Northern Africa); neither am I going to review a Moroccan restaurant. Instead, let me tell you about one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had, served in one of the most eccentric and unique bars I’ve been to, The Hideout.
I’ll be honest: My original intent was to write something about St. Patrick, either by making a festive recipe or cocktail or by suggesting places in Seattle where you can party until dawn with some leprechauns. Unfortunately, I’m not big on beer or whiskey, and if all that’s left is to write another recipe for green sugar cookies, I guess I can pass (and you should too). As for the best places to enjoy the night with a Guinness in one hand and an Irish coffee in the other, just check The Stranger. The truth is, I’ll be on a plane Sunday night, so no crazy partying for me.
But back to The Hideout. Your main challenge will be to find this unassuming little gem in the heart of First Hill; once found, you’ll be well rewarded. As soon as you walk into the Hideout, you know you’re in for a surreal and artsy experience. Is that because of the 70-ish pop art paintings displayed on the walls (with some pushing the bounds of decency) or the Robotic Art Dispenser, Earl 3.0, a vending machine that sells miniature artworks and poems? Whether you’re shocked or intrigued, don’t wait any longer and peruse the cocktail menu. Everything I’ve had is excellent. If you want to play it safe, try the infamous Andy Warhol, a simple yet excellent cosmopolitan served with a Polaroid of yourself.
As for the Marrakesh Express, it’s perfection (although I would suggest to change its name for Bangalore Express since you’re more likely to be transported to India). The flavor is complex: spicy yet smooth, on the sweet side but with character. To make it, you’ll need vodka, pomegranate molasses, lemon, sparkling wine and the secret ingredient, Scrappy’s cardamom bitters. Be careful, a little goes a long way!
I knew this would be the start of a long love story before even trying it, because I’m a very predictable woman: Put cardamom in just about anything and I’m in love at first taste. What I did not predict is that my husband would also have an inclination for it and try to recreate it at home. Why complain, you might think? Well, have you ever had to try endless variations of the same cocktail to the point where you’re just tired of it (and your kitchen looks like a laboratory experiment)?
So, bartenders of the Hideout, if you ever read these lines, please help us with the recipe!
Have a great weekend!