In the sporting world, one good trade can make a good team great. The same concept applies elsewhere. Consider, for example, Tini Bigs Lounge, a Seattle watering hole that's long been considered one of the city's better places to enjoy a classic cocktail. Owner Keith Robbins, not willing to rest on his laurels, hired venerated mixologist Jamie Boudreau, who respects the old but craves the new.
A Montreal native, Boudreau made his name in Vancouver, where he worked in some of the city's best restaurant/bars, including the acclaimed Lumiere. From there he moved to Seattle to open Vessel, and before long Seattle magazine named him the city's Best Bartender (2007). He's a champion of obscure and cutting edge ingredients and one of the country's pioneers of molecular mixology, the beverage version of molecular gastronomy. His drinks have been featured in the New York Times, Esquire and Time magazine.
Now, at Tini Bigs, he's revamped the cocktail menu, which was designed to serve prohibition-era cocktails. You'll still find a carefully curated list of “obscure classics” (early 1800s-1940s), but joining them are a number of cutting-edge new drinks created by Boudreau. Consider, for example, his Chocolat Cochon, which pairs bacon-infused Woodford Reserve bourbon, cherry, chocolate, amaro and bitters. It's served with a single, giant square ice cube. Or his Mexican Cloud, a tequila drink that includes rhubarb bitters and is topped with egg-white foam that's flamed (toasted) with an atomized Chartreuse spritz.
“What else is to come? Let's just say I'm excited to make proper cocktails behind a bar that was built in 1909,” says Boudreau.