Mixologists create steamy cocktails, so toast to winter

February 21, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Cold conditions call for fortifying cocktails, and Issaquah bartenders concoct winter warmers

Stacey Snowden, a Pogacha server, adds Captain Morgan Spiced Rum to hot buttered rum. By Greg Farrar

The season almost demands a nip to chase off the chill from snow-blanketed afternoons and rain-dampened nights. Fortunately, local mixologists offer tonics for unwelcome wintertime doldrums.

The solution is found in time-honored recipes — strong coffee and fragrant spices stirred into libations designed to melt the frost.

Chase Bruesch, a WildFin American Grill bartender, caramelizes sugar on a glass for Spanish coffee. By Greg Farrar

Denise Jordan, a longtime bartender at Pogacha, dips a dollop of secret-recipe hot buttered rum batter into Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for the adults-only indulgence.

“It makes you feel like you’re sitting at home in front of the fireplace,” said Stacey Snowden, a Pogacha server.

Jordan guards the batter recipe in the same manner KFC protects Colonel Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices.

“I don’t tell anybody my recipe,” she said.

David Boehm, a manager at WildFin American Grill, a recent addition to the local restaurant scene, said classic cocktails deliver for patrons as the mercury drops.

“What we’ve learned with our winter warmer drinks is, don’t reinvent the wheel,” he said.

Pogacha’s Captain Morgan Hot Buttered Spiced Rum

Bartender Denise Jordan is sworn to secrecy about a family hot buttered rum batter recipe, but a store-bought mix or simple ingredients round out the drink, too.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum


Boil all ingredients except the rum in 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over medium to high heat. Then, reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the rum.

WildFin American Grill’s Spanish Coffee

Spanish coffee is a classic drink – and flaming the glass to caramelize the sugar adds some flair to the presentation. Burning off the light rum in the recipe eliminates the alcohol, but retains its flavor.


  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum
  • 3/4 ounces Kahlua
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • Sugar
  • Whipped cream


Add the light rum to a sugar-rimmed glass and use a lighter or matches to carefully ignite the rum. Then, after the flame subsides, add the Kahlua and coffee. Garnish the drink with a dollop of whipped cream.

WildFin American Grill’s Irish Coffee

The classic combination of coffee and whiskey remains a standard on menus after autumn turns to winter and patrons wait for spring.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • Whipped cream


Combine whiskey, sugar cube and coffee in a mug and stir until the sugar cube dissolves. Garnish the drink with a dollop of whipped cream.

WildFin American Grill’s B-52 Coffee

The wintertime beverage offers a punch from Bailey,s Irish Cream, Kahlua, Grand Marnier and coffee.


3/4 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

3/4 ounce Kahlua

3/4 ounce Grand Marnier

1 cup hot coffee

Whipped cream


Stir the alcohol into the hot coffee. Garnish the drink with a dollop of whipped cream.

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