A Seattle Bartender’s Selections For Your Typhoon Survival Bar

If you’re like me, you’ve been avoiding the recurring scenes of the-apocalypse-is-nigh madness currently playing out at local big-box stores as the Easter-Christians of the prepper movement fill their carts with imported water, canned Swai, build-your-own-harpoon-gun Ikea kits (the Jagfångatenfisk, coming soon near you) and other staples of panic-driven suburban Americana survivalism.

Instead, I’ve resigned myself to starving to death/being enslaved by ex-soccer-mom typhoon marauders, and have instead been focusing my energy on hunting down what I’m going to drink when this apartment inevitably plunges into interminable darkness. Below are a few things you and yours might enjoy while huddling around the glow of a slowly dying laptop:

-Quinta das Carvalhas LBV Port 2011, an absolute steal of a 92 point Wine Enthusiast fortified wine at $16.

2009 and 2011 were magnificent years

This late-bottle-vintage (almost as good as vintage-vintage, but at a fraction of the price) ruby port is an excellent addition to your weird-weather bar for a number of reasons, not least of which is the delightfully warming character of a 20% ABV beverage, in addition to the rich and layered nose and flavors of dark candied fruit intermingled with winter spices. Perhaps most importantly, port was engineered at least in part to survive the often tumultuous nautical journeys from Portugal to the rainy coast of England, a handy feature which protects it from spoilage if your power goes out for a couple days.

-Three Howls Backbeat Bourbon, an excellent offering from an award-winning Seattle craft distillery, sitting in the very reasonable midrange of small-batch bourbon pricing at $30 before tax.

This whiskey is notable for being partially non-chill-filtered, meaning it incorporates natural proteins, esters, and oils from the mash into the final product for a much richer mouthfeel. This, coupled with the hearty 46% ABV, balanced by a fully disclosed mash-bill of 75% corn, 21% barley, and 4% rye (the high percentage of corn and barley equates to smoother, less sour whiskey) means that this whiskey has more in common with a high-end 92-proof Scotch than it does with Jack Daniels or other grocery-store brands. An excellent choice for sipping neat, or whipping up fortifying Manhattans or Boulevardiers.

-Van Meer’s Stroopwafel Liqueur, a Dutch confectionary beverage which mimics the flavor of the famous stroopwafel biscuit to an impressive degree, $12 before tax. It is of note that most specialty imported golden liqueurs of this complexity retail for $30 (Baernjager, Licor 43, etc).

A potent nose of honey and caramelized butter follows through onto the palate, with undertones of cinnamon, crushed walnuts, and pastry crust. I don’t usually go for sweet liqueurs, but in a side-by-side tasting with the cookie itself, the only discernible difference is that the liqueur features perhaps a little more spice. While a bit sugary to sip on its own (unless you’re into that; I’m not your real dad), I recommend adding it to fresh-pressed apple cider which has been warmed on the stove. Drink your cares (and your daily serving of fruit) away with a cup of the following:

  • 12 oz warm apple cider (I recommend the Lattin’s Farm fresh pressed stuff wholeheartedly; local, and one of the best ciders in the US)
  • ~2 oz Stroopwafel Liqueur (I gently free-poured by counting “one-and-two-and”)
  • A splash of orange liqueur or triple sec (I used Morey Narancello from Spain).

Enjoy responsibly, and please stay warm and safe tonight, Seattle.