Lately, it seems Spanish cuisine is popping up everywhere in my life. From being invited to a spanish cookbook release party and spanish olive oil tasting to most recently, a lunch with girlfriends at Txori, Seattle’s hip Belltown neighborhoods new restaurant featuring San Sebastian-style pintxos (little bites), wines, sherries and cocktails.
It is owned by Carolin Messier de Jiménez and Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez, who opened the Harvest Vine in 1998 and this newest gem just a few months ago. This dynamic duo certainly has a knack for finding small, intimate locations with lots of character — but then, they have lots of character themselves, and it comes through in all they do, from the interior to the tasty nibbles to the smart wines and cocktails.
We gals enjoyed about four dishes each — including pera a la plancha con valdeón (pear, blue cheese and walnut toasts) and tortilla española, the classic potato omelet with aioli (done perfectly!) — which made a splendid little meal. Be sure to check out the the daily offering of seasonal bites on the chalkboard. This great new bar-and-tapas snackery is just right for a light lunch or late-night sip and bite.
In love with this romantic cuisine — I was inspired to create a new cocktail. My Spanish Corrida Cocktail is enhanced with a splash of dry sherry and a smoked paprika-sugar rim, it is a perfect tapas-party or pre-dinner sipper.
Spanish Corrida Cocktail
Makes 1 drink
½ ounce dry Spanish sherry, preferably a Manzanilla
1 ½ ounces vodka
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup*
Garnish: Smoked Paprika Sugar rim (procedure follows**)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in sherry, vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup. Cap shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into Smoked Paprika Sugar-rimmed martini glass.
Kathy’s Notes: This cocktail is also great made with an added squeeze of fresh blood orange.
* To make simple syrup, combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a small heavy pan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Bottle and store refrigerated until needed.
** To make a Smoked Paprika Sugar rim: Mix together 1 cup superfine or baker’s sugar with 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Place mixture in a small deep bowl. Set aside. Slit a wedge of orange, lemon or lime halfway through. Slide the wedge over the rim of a cocktail glass, and press lightly against the rim as you slowly rotate the glass, moistening the outside of the rim. Then lightly dip the outside rim into the sugar, making a 1-inch-deep frost. (The goal is not to get sugar on the inside of the rim.) Copyright 2008, Kathy Casey Food Studios