Behind the bar

Five Questions for the Bartender: Andrew Bohrer

Bellevue’s master mixologist will carve iceballs for your whiskey drink and teach you the finer points of getting "negronked" in style…but please don’t ask him for a vodka soda.

April 21, 2009

“I hand carve ice for whiskey ‘on the rock,’” says Andrew Boehrer. “It’s a common practice in Japan.”

What does Andrew Bohrer do? “I change kegs, I have scars, and I occasionally make vodka sodas for people,” he says. “But I also seek out rare liquors, read a ton of books, and listen.” He is also a founding member of the Washington State Bartenders Guild, an avid blogger, and a true bartender-about-town. (He’s been a pinch-hitter at Vessel, Liberty, and Tost in Fremont).

But Andrew Bohrer has a higher calling: saving the Eastside one perfect cocktail at a time. Across the bridge at Naga Cocktail Lounge in Bellevue—a real deal den of first-rate mixology—he is serving up obscure 18th century martinis, handcarving ice balls for scotch-based mixers, and doing some seriously delicious things with raw eggs.

Bacon-infused bourbon and homemade syrups in Bellevue? There is a god.

Here, five questions with Andrew Bohrer.

What is the most underrated spirit?

For about two months now, I’ve had one underberg every day and I’m starting to wonder how I lived without them. So far as a bitter digestif goes, it is only okay, but so far as an eye-opening after-lunch tummy relax-a-tive that makes you ready to work again, its a miracle. They should sell it in coffee shops or anywhere that heavy foods are sold.

What’s your favorite Seattle bar (not including bars where you currently tend)?

Other than the classic cocktail bars like Vessel and ZigZag, I love Hazlewood in Ballard. For me bars are about escape and relaxation, and a great drink is also right up there. Hazlewood has all of those and lets my dog friend Otis drink with me on the patio.

What drink do you order at that bar?

I’m very much a negroni man. When I go out and have a few, I call it getting “negronked.” Sadly that term has yet to enter the pedestrian vernacular. Also like every bartender, I can’t resist a boilermaker, the finest of all “cocktails:” a whiskey AND a beer.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?

Sometimes I see people order vodka sodas. Otherwise, I once held the front door shut with my boot while an angry patron tried to smash it in with a bar stool. Had he got back in, did he think that I’d serve him? Thanks for the help Seattle police.

Name three reasons you live in Seattle.

I can live on my bicycle.

Seattle is the perfect mix of “big kid” real city and small town “do whatever you want.”

In Seattle’s short checked history, all that is certain is its potential.

Show Comments