A Farewell to Sauced

Our booze blog fades to black. But its spirit isn't going away.

By James Ross Gardner July 23, 2013

We'll be pouring a few of these on the curb for Sauced.

“Cocktails remind me of a wicked but intriguing friend I had in high school,” wrote Jessica Voelker shortly after she started Sauced in January 2009. So began a blog like no other in Seattle, a sort of liquor appreciation via autobiography. With beer, wine, and cocktails as launch points, Voelker told us about a monster truck rally in her Pennsylvania hometown, her Australian brother-in-law, her dad’s yen for vinho verde, and her own grappling with the often perplexing food and drink scene. And she located the surprising intersection of Mad Men, booze, and literary criticism in a string of recaps for that TV series.

A self-described neophyte to the world of cocktails, Voelker used her reporting skills to master all things boozy, bringing her readers along for the ride. Her best sources were the city’s bartenders, who showed amazing generosity. Those who came to her aid early on included Jamie Boudreau, Andrew Bohrer, Rocky Yeh, Andrew Friedman, David Nelson, Erik Chapman, and Anu Apte (sorry if I’ve missed anyone). Others (wine guy Jameson Fink, for instance) later helped round out her knowledge on the non-cocktail front.

In 2011 Sauced was a finalist for best blog at the national City & Regional Magazine Association awards. So Voelker left big TOMS to fill in October of that year when she departed Seattle for an opportunity in DC. We were lucky enough to snag the disarmingly witty Allecia Vermillion, whose back-of-the-classroom-style sarcasm evokes sitting at the bar with the cast from MST3K. (One of my favorite Vermillion lines: “Think football is for pansies? Then perhaps a pig butchery demo is in order.”)

So it’s bittersweet to announce that this is the very last Sauced post. Why? We’ve been debating whether to merge Sauced with our dining blog Nosh Pit for years. Restaurants and bars have become increasingly integrated in this city—a city where one expects a crafted cocktail at restaurants, and bars are running out of excuses for not offering high-quality, fresh food options—so much so that lately we’ve found it hard to decide if a news item belongs on Sauced or Nosh Pit. So we’re combining the two.

We want to be clear: This does not mean less cocktail, beer, and wine content on We’ll be covering bars and the drinking life as much as ever. And for those who only want booze-related content, don’t worry. We’ll be tagging all such posts (see: “drinking”).

We hope to see you on Nosh Pit. But for now, we’ll sign off with the words of this blog’s founder, who, after stumbling upon a wake held in a bar she was about to review, once wrote:

“The mourners toasted the deceased with a round of shots, which is a badass thing to do at a wake.”

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