Five Questions for the Bartender: Oliver’s Twist’s Brady Sprouse
"I'd probably roam the land fighting zombies."
Some say that he’s a workaholic with “800 jobs,” but Brady Sprouse, bartender at Oliver’s Twist and Smith, says, “I just work a lot.” Besides Oliver’s Twist (where he’s worked for about two and a half years) and Smith (where he fills in two nights a week), Sprouse has tended the bar at a number of favorite Seattle drinking establishments: Hazlewood, Spur, Cicchetti, Still Liquor, and Revel, to name a few.
Here, five questions for Brady.
What's the most underrated spirit? I think Drambuie gets kind of a bad rap but can be very versatile in cocktails and sours. Unfortunately it's mainly associated with the Rusty Nail which, incidentally, can be a great little drink when you're not being forced to take it as shots by a crazy Scottish chef on Tuesday nights in your early twenties. That never happened to me, obviously. Just an example.
What is everyone ordering at Oliver's Twist these days? The Barrel Aged Duff and Blathers. The Duff and Blathers is one of our house cocktails made with rye whiskey, Averna, maraschino liqueur, orange bitters, and our house black pepper tincture. It's been on the menu for quite a while. A couple years ago we started a barrel aging program and that was one of the drinks we chose—the result is amazing.
What current cocktail trend is completely overrated? Ridiculous markups on semioverrated, limited release spirits. Other than that, I try not to get too worked up about trends. They're all fun, more or less, even if it's only for a moment.
What is the craziest thing you've ever seen happen in a bar? Once, when I was working at Hattie's Hat, someone threw a pint glass through the giant front window of King's Hardware. From the inside. It left a perfect cartoon-like hole in the window the size of a pint glass.
If the bar and restaurant world suddenly disappeared, what would you do? Well, that would mean the apocalypse had actually happened and the world would have fallen into chaos, so, I'd probably roam the land fighting zombies and alien ninjas. I'd have a sweet Road Warrior car and a bunch of friends and we'd kick ass and chew bubble gum. The bubble gum would probably run out pretty quickly, though. That, or I would finally finish college. Either one would be cool.