Four Drinks to Have with Robots

A.J. Rathbun
Drinking with robots AJ Rathbun Seattle magazine
Atomula + robot makes for an epic drinking adventure

I’m a firm believer in having a drink for every occasion, and for creating drinks to celebrate certain milestones like movie releases, sporting team victories and more. Because of that, I’ve decided that every good drinker in Seattle needs to have cocktails this week that would go nicely if you were hanging out with robots, reading about robots or watching the awesome new movie Pacific Rim, which pits giant robots against giant monsters and comes out on Friday, July 12.

This drink sounds like it could be the name of a robot that once terrorized the world, but then gave up smashing everything to bits for science. It features the herbally bittery Czech digestif Becherovka, in this recipe from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz:
Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces dark rum

1 ounce Becherovka
1/2 ounce rosemary Simple Syrup (see Note below)
Rosemary sprig for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Becherovka, and simple syrup. Shake well.
2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the rosemary sprig.

A Note: To make rosemary simple syrup add 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves, 2-1/2 cups water, and 3 cups sugar to a medium-size saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the syrup completely cool in the pan. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Uyeda’s Crystal: Ideal for times when you and your robot pal (or pals) need a quick one, this shot sounds as if it’d be a device used to bring robots to life. Actually, it’s named after famed Japanese bartender Kazuo Uyeda, and comes from famous Seattle bar star Andrew Bohrer’s book The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried.
1/4 ounce blue curaçao
1 pinch salt
1 ounce tequila (Casa Noble works nicely)
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice

1. Dip the top of a shot glass into a dish of blue curaçao, and then into salt.
2. Pour remaining ingredients into shot glass and slam.

Whizz Bang: This cocktail was invented by Tommy Burton in 1920 at the Sport’s Club of London. I’m not sure if he named it after the sound robots make when they fly through the air (whizz) and then land with their big robotic feet (bang). But that would certainly make sense.

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce absinthe
1/4 ounce grenadine
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, vermouth, absinthe, grenadine, and orange bitters. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass and give a glance skyward.

Brainstorm: Have this one both in honor of the Autobot of the same name in the Transformers' universe, and for those moments of pure imagination the many authors, artists, and filmmakers have when coming up with memorable mechanized men and women. This recipe’s from Dark Spirits:
Ice cubes
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce Benedictine
Orange twist for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with cracked ice. Add the whiskey, vermouth, and Benedictine. Stir well.
2. Strain the mix into a cocktail glass. Squeeze the orange twist over the glass and drop it in.