Behind the bar

Five Questions for the Bartender: Jamie Boudreau

The man behind the bar at Tini Bigs worships at the alter of Murray Stenson, encourages you to drink vermouth, and gives his wife a Valentine’s Day shout out.

February 14, 2009

Jamie Boudreau, Woodford Reserve, rocks.

UPDATE: Jamie Boudreau now tends bar at the Kneehigh Stocking Co on Capitol Hill. He is no longer employed by Tini Bigs.

In this new series for Sauced, I’m asking local mixologists the same five questions. I began with Jamie Boudreau, the former Vessel barman who first introduced Seattle to foam in cocktails. These days he is managing the bar at Tini Bigs in Queen Anne, where you can try either of his two homemade bitters. Boudreau’s Web site, Spirit and Cocktails, is my go-to source for all things mixed drinks.

What is the most underrated spirit?
It doesn’t really count as a spirit, but I’m going to say vermouth and other aperitif style wines. Everyone is so afraid of vermouth, probably because their local bar doesn’t know how to care and store it properly, but used properly it can really elevate a cocktail to that next dimension.

What’s your favorite Seattle bar (other than Tini Bigs)?
I’d have to say Zig Zag. Reasons? Staff, staff, staff and spirit selection—in that order.

What drink do you order at that bar?
Bartender’s choice, usually something with American whiskey.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?
Shake a Manhattan. Actually, many years ago, I saw someone spit in another person’s drink when they weren’t looking, but the Manhattan thing is a very close second. And I see that much more often.

Name three reasons you live in Seattle.
1. The four months of sun that we get is better than all the sun that a place like L.A. gets.
2. The great support and teamwork of the local bartenders (we’ve even just started a bartender’s guild).
3. It’s where I met my wife.

Aw. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Read more about Boudreau in this Pour article from Seattle Met’s March issue.

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