Find Philip Trickey at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, and Rob Roy on Friday nights. Photo: Lucas Anderson

Welcome to local barman-writer Andrew Bohrer’s ongoing series charting the signature concoctions of esteemed local bartenders.

The Drink: The Midnight Water
Made By: Philip Trickey

“Hey Trickey, I’ll take an oat soda and the midnight water,” that’s the kind of thing you might hear from a couple of bartenders after finishing up 12-hour shift. Big Lebowski fans know what an oat soda is, but a midnight water started out being merely a shot of Fernet Branca (a bitter spirit dark as midnight). It later evolved into one of the finest brown, bitter, and stirred cocktails in Seattle.

The Midnight Water can be ordered at Rob Roy or at Purple Café and Wine Bar where you’ll find Philip Trickey behind the stick. He says pinning down the key ingredient is like, “asking which one of my fingers is my favorite,” but the reason this cocktail works so well is because of the Averna amaro and Peychaud’s bitters. The bitter Averna adds a delicate cinnamon touch and the Peychaud’s ties the whole thing together with a bit of dryness. A flamed orange zest is a perfect crown to this drink if you’re feeling fancy.

The Midnight Water

2 ounces bourbon
½ ounce of Averna
¼ ounce rich simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Combine ingredients, stir, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange zest.