Five Questions with the Bartender: Amanda Reed
What she saw in Thailand, the praises of Aquavit, and how wine influences Amanda Reed's cocktail creations.
Tavern Law may be known for its craft cocktails and speakeasy-esque atmosphere (check out the Parisian living room Needle and Thread behind Law’s vault door) but the real thrill behind the Capitol Hill favorite are the people behind the bar—namely bar manager Amanda Reed.
Reed moved to Seattle two years ago—after seven years of bar and restaurant work in and around the San Francisco area—with the Michael Mina group to run the wine-centric bar at RN74. And what really sets her apart as a craftswoman of cocktails is her sommelier-palate for wine.
This summer patrons of Tavern Law can look forward to a summery “tiki” feel, according to Reed. Expect Mai Tais and Pimms Cups with “floral, aromatic, and well-balanced” nuances that wine geeks will appreciate.
Here, five questions with Amanda Reed:
What's the most underrated spirit?
"In my opinion, Aquavit. I am a huge fan of herbal spirits and liqueurs and I especially love the flavor of anise. Aquavit based cocktails can be so interesting and unexpected."
What's your favorite Seattle bar?
"The Alibi Room. I used to work a few blocks from the market and I spent my first summer in Seattle in that bar. Feels like home."
What is the craziest thing you've seen at a bar?
"When I was traveling in Thailand, I visited a bar that was hosting a boxing match between children. Those poor kids couldn't have been older than five or six years old. They had a proper boxing ring and people were placing bets. Although this was highly unethical, those kids did look like they were having a good time."
What is everyone ordering lately?
"Summer is definitely 'tiki' time in my bar. So I have been making my fair share of Mai Tais and Jet Pilots. Pimms Cups are another summertime classic that seems to be gaining momentum."
What would you say that you do differently from other bartenders?
"I am a huge wine nerd. Seems to be uncommon for the crafty bartender to geek out on wine as much as they do spirits and cocktails, but I have always balanced my studies between the two subjects. My cocktails are heavily influenced by my wine palate. They tend to be aromatic, floral, and well balanced."