He’s been all over, but bar manager Jeremy Barnett has infused ingredients and mixed up classics at Serafina and Cicchetti for more than 3 years. Right now he's excited about Serafina's in-season bar program, where tinctures and infusions include fresh and of-the-moment ingredients like blood orange, rhubarb, blueberries, and tons of other fruit and sweeteners or, says Barnett, “whatever fresh ingredients we can find.”
What’s happening in that picture to the left? Barnett is soaking dehydrated lime and lemon twists into a brine of salt, sugar, and Aleppo chili to be incorporated into an eventual cocktail. It’s basically a functional, edible stir-stick.
Here, five questions with Jeremy Barnett:
What's the most underrated spirit?
I don’t think rum gets enough love, at least in my experience. I just like that there are so many flavors you can experience with fewer rules and restrictions on the distillation. It’s great by itself and wonderful in a cocktail.
What are the three best things about living in Seattle?
The summer time here is perfect. There is no reason to travel at this time of year. You work and play close to home and save the travels for those less than desirable cloud covered months. I have a dog, so I love all the dog parks and outdoor areas I can take her to play, explore and exercise. I am a big fan of all the wonderful bars, restaurants, food trucks, and pop-up events. With all this, I’m glad I can—and love to—eat and drink all the wonderful creations Seattle talent has to offer.
What is the craziest thing you've seen in a bar?
A young lady came in and was going to meet her mom, who gave her up for adoption 23 years earlier. Watching and listening to this young woman waiver as the meeting time approached made me nervous for her. I guess it wasn’t that crazy, but more memorable and nerve-racking for us both. They sat at the bar for hours talking and crying and ended up reconnecting. This made my night and a permanent memory.
What would you say that you do differently from other bartenders?
I love to educate, inspire, and create beverages that become part of my guests' memories.
What's everyone ordering from you lately?
Serafina has an infusion program, so our guests are always stopping in to see what we have macerating (fresh fruit, herbs, or spices infusing in alcohol) on our infusion shelf, or what new tinctures we are playing with at Cicchetti. Mostly our guests order what we're excited about.